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Author Notes: Not everyone can press my buttons to push me just that ‘little bit’ over the limit and out of my comfort zone. But I do enjoy being pushed out of my comfort zone, and I thrive under that kind of pressure. The one little person who knows when and how to push those buttons is nobody else but my son. He knows I won’t turn him down and I will make it happen. He doesn’t ask for things often, but when he does, they really are something. When I asked my little guy what he wanted for his 12th birthday, he just said he wanted a multi layered cake with lots of coffee in it. He recently developed a taste for coffee flavoured things and cappuccinos, so he wanted a coffee flavoured cake.
I thought I would make him a Tiramisu cake but he then said he wanted the cake to have 28 layers since his birthday falls on the 28th day of the month. What? I didn’t want to say to him that it would be a a few feet high if I baked 28 layers but it was something I had to think about.
Hence, a painstakingly delicious Tiramisu cake made with lots of espresso coffee, marsala wine and mascarpone cheese between 31 layers of crepes, stacked up nice, tall and straight. A bit of patience will help make this cake a show stopper, every time! I lost count layering the cake, hence the 31 layers.... there's no egg in the icing, as I wanted to keep it for a little longer and freeze it if possible. —Ginni Kelley
Makes 1 10 inch cake with 31 layers
The Crepes (2 batches would be required - at least)
- 3 cups Cake flour
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 5 Large eggs
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 8 tablespoons Unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 cups Whole milk
- 2 tablespoons Cognac or Sweet Marsala Wine
- 3 teaspoons Instant Espresso Powder (1st batch only)
- 2 teaspoons Instant Espresso Powder (2nd batch only)
- 1 teaspoon Instant Espresso Powder (3rd batch only)
- I made the crepes on a slightly thicker side, as I wanted the crepe layers to stay in place through the process, and afterwards. I had to make 3 batches of the crepes batter, as some of the crepes were stolen by the quality testers by some naughty elves.
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well, specially the espresso powder before adding the eggs, followed by the Cognac or Marsala wine and the milk. You may or may not need some extra milk depending on how thick you want the batter to be for the crepes. I kept mine on the medium side, so not too thick. Add the butter in the end.
- Whisk well and let the batter sit for about 15 minutes before you start making the crepes. Whisk it one more time as it will turn out shiny and smooth, ready to be cooked.
- Heat a 10 inch non-stick frying pan on medium heat and once its nice and hot, spread about 3/4 cup of the crepe batter. I used a wooden crepe stick to help spread the batter on the pan evenly and to get rid of any bubbles and tiny bumps that appear from time to time.
- Cook the crepe until the ends start to curl up a little, and it separates from the pan. About 2 minutes. Flip the crepe over and cook for another 40 seconds or so, before taking it out on a large plate. Keep repeating the process until the batter has all finished.
- For the next batch of batter, use less espresso powder. It creates a beautiful ombre effect on the colour of the layers of the cake. The darkest ones will end up on the top as they are in the first batch.
- Let the crepes cool to room temperature. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight. You want them to harden up a little for the cake.
- 6 pounds Mascarpone cheese
- 2 cups Whipping cream
- 1 pound Icing Sugar
- A few Glugs of Sweet Marsala wine
- 1 handful Ferrero Rocher chocolates for garnishing (optional)
- 1/4 cup Cocoa powder (for garnishing)
- Whipped cream for garnishing
- I made the icing in small batches, using one 500gm tub of Mascarpone cheese at a time as I had to control the consistency of the icing from the bottom up.
- The bottom most layer must be stiffer than the rest of the layers, and does not need any whipping cream. It gives the cake a stronger foundation. For the first batch of whipping cream you make (for bottom layers of cake) Whisk the mascarpone until nice and soft, before stirring in 1/2 cup of icing sugar and a little glug of alcohol. If you want the icing sweeter, just add more sugar. Just taste a little to adjust as we did not want ours too sweet.
- For the second batch of icing, add 3-4 tbsp of whipping cream to the cheese as well as a slightly bigger glug of alcohol and 1/2 a cup of sugar (or more to taste). This version would be slightly softer than the first.
- For each batch of icing you make, add a tbsp extra whipping cream each time and alcohol (to taste) and sugar (to taste). The top most layer would be slightly softer.
- CAKE ASSEMBLY Taking one layer of crepe at a time, spread the icing evenly to the edges, before placing another layer on top. Continue till you finish the layers. Be gentle with the cake as you want the layers to stay straight and not move around. Don't put too much pressure when spreading the icing or the crepes will break. Once assembled, let it rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- Sprinkle the top of cake with cocoa powder generously and if using Ferrero Rocher chocolates to garnish, decorate them on top before serving. The cake tastes the best at room temperature and not straight out of the fridge as the icing needs to soften a little to enjoy the flavours.
- To make cake even boozier, sprinkle a little booze on each crepe before icing. Only a few drops will go a long way in terms of flavour. It is worth the hard work on this cake!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe Made with Coffee