Saturday, December 08, 2012

Saturday Snapshot: Birthday Cake

I love baking a cake for each of V's birthdays. Past birthdays have seen everything from a rich chocolate cake to a cheesecake to a Boston cream pie.

This time, it was a Tiramisu Cake, yellow cake drenched in a syrup of espresso and Marsala wine, then sandwiched and frosted with a luscious blend of mascarpone cheese and whipped cream. I used Dorie Greenspan's recipe as posted on Smitten Kitchen. It has all the flavors of traditional tiramisu but with fresh cake instead of the ladyfinger cookies.


I followed the recipe closely with some variations (intended and unintended!)-
1. I did not buy cake flour; instead I made my own cake flour using all purpose flour and cornstarch. One less ingredient in the pantry.
2. Instead of the liqueurs mentioned, I used Marsala wine. I'd lugged a half-full bottle of Marsala wine from my St. Louis pantry just for this.
3.  After reading the comments on that post about the cake needing more syrup, I doubled the amount of syrup. I did not quite end up using all of it, but the extra syrup was soaked up well by the cake.
4. I forgot to add the chocolate in between the layers- ah well. It would have made a good cake even better.
5. I used chocolate covered espresso beans to decorate the cake, instead of cocoa powder. It possibly looked a little childish but the espresso beans were a nice crunchy treat to eat alongside the cake.


The cake was wonderful- fun to make and even more fun to eat. With all that coffee and booze, this cake is a grown up dessert. I think I'll be making this again and again for special occasions.


I'm sending these pictures to Saturday Snapshot.

This weekend, we'll go shopping for V's birthday gift. In past years, I've given him such a spectrum of gifts from an experience gift (a skydive) to a handmade gift (knitted scarf and hat) to supporting his favorite cause (membership to the local public broadcasting station) to electronics (an iPhone). This year, it is furniture! I'm hoping to buy him one of those super comfortable recliners. This hard-working guy deserves to put his feet up in style. V ended up buying an original watercolor painting for his new office from an art fair instead!

Have a wonderful weekend, all! I'm hitting local craft holiday markets today looking for small gifts. We might also put up a little string of lights on the front porch. What are you doing this weekend?

50 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday, V! Hope you have a wonderful day and a year full of everything you hope for.
    Nupur, the cake looks awesome! This will make a wonderful dessert for a xmas party.

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    1. Yes, it would be the perfect holiday dessert- with loads of booze and coffee! Thanks so much for the sweet wishes.

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  2. hey! this looks brilliant & so yummm :)

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  3. First off, I absolutely adore Tiramisu...and a cake with those ingredients? Heavenly....

    Thanks...you've now caused me to drool...lol

    Here's MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

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    1. Fans of tiramisu will love this cake!

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  4. Your cake looks yummy. I may have to try it sometime. My DH isn't fond of tiramisu, but I am. The holiday craft shows are about done in our area. It is cold and a bit snowy this morning. DH is going to hang a few lights on his mom's apartment patio railing. She has just moved to an independent living facility and is feeling a bit nostalgic for her old house. Maybe the lights and her small tree will help.
    Thanks for the lovely baking inspiration.!

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    1. More for you, then ;)
      Your DH is so so sweet to bring some festive spirit into his mom's apartment! Even just a small wreath or string of lights can bring so much cheer.

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  5. What a cute cake!! Sounds yummy too. Happy Birthday to V!!
    Here’s My SS

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  6. Wow, that looks amazing--so elaborate and delicious! I'm good at throwing together savory recipes, but baking eludes me...

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    1. Baking is not any harder than cooking- a little bit of measuring and with a good recipe, you'll have success right away.

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  7. Happy Birthday to V! I lOVE tiramisu and have been dreaming of Tiramisu cake after seeing it on several blogs - looks perfect... Can't wait to try this some day.

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    1. Make it for yourself on your birthday! You'll seriously love it.

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  8. Happy Birthday to a lucky man. Who bakes you a cake on your birthday?

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    1. No one bakes me a cake (pouting). But really- I don't care, I'm not a big dessert person and enjoy baking more than eating cakes.

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  9. Wow, that looks amazing! I love tiramisu, so that cake would be quite the temptation!

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    1. You'll love it. The flavors were wonderful.

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  10. Sounds like tiramisu made extra awesome! Homemade yellow cake sounds so much better than lady fingers. It's beautiful, too!

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    1. I thought the cake was tastier than lady fingers too!

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  11. Love Tiramisu, that looks really delicious, I loved the colour combo, that's definitely a wonderful cake for the birthday boy!!, Happy birthday to V!!.., missed blog posts from almost 3 months., How is your baby girl now, she must have grown u a lot now :))...

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    1. Welcome back! Yes, baby girl is more like a little girl than a baby now- she's lots of fun.

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  12. The cake looks AMAZING!!! Happy birthday to V!

    Mamatha

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  13. Hope your husband had a wonderful birthday! Who needs a gift when you have a cake this gorgeous! The espresso beans are a nice touch and make the cake look very pretty.
    I put up my Christmas tree today and then went shopping for treat bags and festive boxes- I'm making holiday treats for my co-workers, neighbors and friends and am hoping to have a fun day tomorrow making and getting everything packed & ready before the weekend's over.

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    1. What a wonderful weekend you must have had! Your peeps are very lucky indeed. Post some pics if you can, would love to see what you made.

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  14. Happy birthday to V. that cake looks terrific!

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  15. A very happy birthday to V. This cake looks really really delicious...have a wonderful weekend !

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  16. Happy birthday to V! ! Fabulous cake for a birthday, what more!

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  17. Love tiramisu and love the cake! Happy birthday V.. since we know the names of 2/3rd of your family - how about you reveal the last 1/3rd and let us all in :)

    Archana

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    Replies
    1. A little bit of mystery is not such a bad thing, is it?

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  18. I loved your description of how you "changed" the recipe. I do that all the time and basically only bake forgiving recipes ;-)

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    1. Oh yes, I play fast and loose with all recipes. But even most baking recipes are very forgiving, I find.

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  19. One sweet birthday present.
    You are very kind and know how to bake a cake.

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    1. I certainly enjoy baking birthday cakes!

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  20. Hey Happy Birthday to V. Cake looks lovely. Can you please post the inside view of the cake? you know the one we see after we slice it? just curious. I am not good at estimating from a picture, but do you think your measurement would suffice for a party of 20? ( slice each)?

    Thanks,
    Annapoorna or AP

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    1. AP, the cake was devoured less than 4 hours after being baked. So there's no inside to show you. But it looks like any other 2 layer cake with frosting inside (do a web search for some other cake pics, perhaps?)

      I think this will be 12 to 16 servings. Not enough for a party of 20.

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  21. Happy Birthday V!!!! The cake looks absolutely yum, I love Tiramisu so I would love to try out this cake. I liked all the gifts you have gifted V over the years, gave me some great ideas for my hubby's b'day. We have gifted each other 'travel' in the past, we travel and celebrate our b'day's at a new destination. The b'day gal/guy gets to choose the place and the other one plans all the details.

    - Priti

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    1. Travel is such an excellent gift! Love the way you plan it too. V has gifted me a weekend getaway a couple of years ago. He's much more a fan of travel than I am, though.

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  22. Belated Birthday wishes to V!! The cake looks fab and very homemade, the beans add the little extra touch. Lucky guy, I must add! I made Tiramisu cake, the eggless version with Bong Mom's recipe (thank you Bong Mom) during summer this year. It was over soon and could not get a click. :-(

    Recently, a friend of mine made Tiramisu Pie. Imagine a pie base with all the good things in Tiramisu. It was very tasty!

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  23. Your cake looks fantastic, although I don't like coffee (hard I know).

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  24. I like the decorations you used! Unique and cute!

    Oo, the booziness sounds enticing and sinful at the same time. Marsala wine, wow, that's a new twist on the classic tiramisu. Cool idea.

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  25. I love this cake! I don't think it looks childish at all, just super pretty. Lucky V! Also, his taste in gifts is pretty cool (skydiving, donation to local public broadcasting, watercolor over a recliner - such wonderful picks!)
    One time I baked Amey a cake for his birthday, then tried to ice it. Big mistake. I really ought to leave the pretty cakes to people with more hand-eye coordination than me.

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