Saturday, May 05, 2007

Pick Me Up, Pick Me Up!

The ex roommate had her birthday last weekend, and she decided to bake two gluten free, dairy free, sugar free cakes. The other cake, she decided, would be tiramisu.

My roommate and I decided to help her out by making the tiramisu cake. We were very invested in making sure that cake came out right.

All three of us, for different reasons, were very very tired; we really needed that Pick Me Up to come out right.

happy birthday roomie!

April 28, 2007
Name of cake: Gluten-Freekin Tiramisu!!
Occasion: My Ex-Roommate's Birthday Party
Constituents: two layers gluten free Biscuit de Savoie soaked in espresso and layered with the mascarpone-whipped cream-marsala-good times.

I was SOOO tired when we were going to bake this cake. Actually, I wasn't tired, I was OMG EXHAUSTED.

Annmarie, who made the decision to break her Mediclear cleanse for the tiramisu, said she would make the creamy lovely filling, if I could just get off the couch long enough to bake up the ladyfingers.

My initial plan was to bake ladyfingers, then the plan changed to baking the ladyfingers in one big sheet, then the plan changed to baking a biscuit (European-type sponge cake, you heathens) in one big sheet.

The reason I changed to a biscuit was that, according to the RLB, the ladyfingers (Biscuit a la Culliere for you non heathens) have more flour to help them hold their shape. Since I wasn't piping and I was baking gluten free, I thought the biscuit with less flour would be best.

So Biscuit de Savoie it was. And luckily, one recipe makes enough for two 9x13 layers.

the gf sponge cake

This Biscuit seems perfectly made for tiramisu. In RLB's words,
"Biscuit de Savoie is also a European sponge-type cake which, like American sponge, contains no butter or oil but a lot more egg, making it lighter, drier, and tougher until well soaked with syrup. Because it contains no added fat, it is lighter and can absorb more syrup than a genoise without losing its delicate texture."
Sounds perfect for soaking in espresso and sandwiching between creamy cheesy winey goodness.

Also, RLB says this is a perfect cake for alternative flours, and this GF cake came out perfectly.

There was cake trauma, of course. Annmarie started out with RLB's recipe for a tiramisu torte from the Pie and Pastry Bible. Eventually, I pointed out that her recipe wouldn't make enough filling for a 9x13 pan--it would make enough for an 8 inch torte.

She didn't like hearing that.

I googled tiramisu recipes and found a good one that was seemed similar to RLB's, except big enough.

The problem was, we had already made the zabaglione part of the filling--warming and beating the egg yolks with the sugar and marsala until it thickens. And we had used RLB's torte proportions.

Interestingly, RLB's recipe calls for the same amount of egg yolk. So we didn't need to make more zabaglione, really, we just needed to add more sugar and marsala. We decided to heat the marsala and the sugar together until the sugar dissolved and then add all that later on when we beat the cheese and zabaglione together.

Which kind of worked, except that it looked curdled and chunky instead of creamy.

tiramisu from the side

Annmarie kind of freaked out.

Which is usually what I do, but I was too tired to muster up the energy.

After beating the crap out of the mascarpone-zabaglione mix for awhile it looked better and we whipped the cream and folded everything together. It still never got creamy and luscious which had Annmarie mad, but I told her that once we got it all layered up nobody would know that it wasn't perfectly creamy. She finally agreed and we moved on, cut the biscuit in half, assembled the cake, and let it relax in the refrigerator.

We covered it in foil and unfortunately it stuck to the top of the cake and pulled off some of the creamy goodness. Also, Regenia almost dropped the cake when she was trying to put it on the table. Luckily, I didn't see that. I would have freaked out.

the gf tiramisu

It was really good. Really good. It was even better 24 hours later when all the flavors finally sorted themselves out.

I highly recommend making it the day before.

The tiramisu did its job--we were sufficiently perked up to go out banghra dancing for a couple of hours. Woot-woot!


  1. I do love a good cake spread! I like all your lateral thinking on how to do and redo the tiramasu.
    I hear you about being tired beyond exhausted. You are a very good friend to bake when you are so tired.
    I have b(lurked) around your blog several times to see what you are baking and also to see what may be
    going on in Portland. Oregon is where I am originally from (Eugene) and I went to Good Sam Nursing School-grad. 1975. I haven't really been back to look around since 1978. I do have such fond memories of Portland. All my friends say it is very trendy around Good Sam now.
    I haven't perfected the short sharp comment yet, so apoligise for the long rattle!
    Will go now and tune in more regularly for ECL bakes.
    Cheers, Melinda

  2. Hi Melinda!

    Thanks for stopping by--sorry I haven't responded yet, but I am glad to hear from you. Portland probably has changed a lot since 1978--I've only been here since 1998 and I can say that it has changed a lot since then...

    I am often thinking about how to do and redo cakes, as I always seem to mess up somehow...I call it cake trauma because I usually freak out. Maybe "cake drama" is more appropriate!

    I'll be seeing you around your blog, BBC's blog, and here!