Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. Hawthorne!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Hawthorne!
Whenever there's a birthday around here, the Birthday Boy or Girl gets to pick whatever cake they want. Mr. Hawthorne picked tiramisu for his birthday today. Good choice, Mr. Hawthorne. As you well know, I make kick-ass tiramisu.
Ingredients for the cake: 4 eggs 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour 2 TB cornstarch Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Beat eggs and sugar over simmering water at high speed for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and continue beating until tripled in volume - about 3 more minutes. Sift flour and cornstarch. Resift 1/2 flour mixture over eggs and fold into egg mixture. Resift rest of flour mixture, folding into eggs until flour is fully incorporated. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, until top is golden and edges are pulling away. Let cool.
Add the flour and cornstarch to the sifter.
Sift flour and cornstarch. Set on hold.
I added the sugar to my eggs ...
... and started beating on high.
Continue beating until the eggs are light colored and warm, about 5 minutes.
My mixing bowl is sitting in a pan of simmering water. Don't let the bottom of the bowl with the eggs touch the water. Check out the color and the volume of the eggs after 5 minutes.
Remove eggs from heat and continue beating until the mixture has tripled in volume - about 3-4 more minutes. It becomes lighter colored.
Sift in half of sifted flour and cornstarch.
Gently fold in the flour mixture.
Add in the rest of the flour mixture and fold until completely incorporated.
Pour into prepared pan.
Spread evenly and tap the pan several times on a towel so the air bubbles come to the surface. I always remember Mama Hawthorne tapping the cake pans to get the bubbles out.
Bake for 20 minutes at 350 until golden brown and the edges are pulling away. Let cool. Continue to the syrup:
Ingredients for the syrup: 1 cup water 1/2 cup sugar about 2 TB freshly ground coffee about 1 TB vanilla In a small sauce pan, bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water to boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and stir in ground coffee and vanilla, to taste.
Pour sugar into small sauce pan of water.
Over medium-low heat, stir to dissolve sugar.
When the solution is boiling and clear, remove from heat ...
... and add in coffee ...
... and vanilla.
Fork the cooled cake all over ...
... and pour the coffee mixture over top.
Thusly. Proceed to the chocolate glaze:
Ingredients for the chocolate glaze: 5 ounces semisweet chocolate 3 TB water I forgot to put in the vanilla.
Chocolate and water in small saucepan over a bare flame.
Chocolate slowly melting in water in small saucepan over a bare flame.
Stir until smooth and a spreadable consistency.
Plop half of the chocolate over top the cake, reserving the rest to drizzle over top the finished dessert.
Spread out with an offset spatula, a little gizmo that I love.
Continue to whipped cream filling:
Ingredients for whipped cream: 1 pint heavy cream 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar 3-4 TB lemon juice
Add in the lemon juice to the heavy cream.
Add in the powdered sugar.
Add in some vanilla.
Whup it up until you have nice peaks and can do this when you draw the beaters back and forth. One thing that helps in getting the most volume out of your whipped cream is to chill the bowl and the beaters first. With eggs, it's the opposite. To get the most volume out of eggs, they should be room temperature to warm.
Remove the glazed cake from the fridge and slice into 24 pieces.
And take a picture of one. Look at that cloud-like airiness. Look at that pocket of sweet coffee flavoring. The perfect crumbs. The chocolate. Syrupy goodness.
I lined a brand-spankin' new glass dish I bought at the WalMart a few days ago (especially for this tiramisu) with the cake squares, chocolate side in, since I'm thinking the chocolate on the glass might get messy.
I poured about half the whipped cream into the nest of cake. The nest used about half of the cake.
I stuffed the rest of the cake into the whipped cream ...
... and poured the rest of the whipped cream over top.
Drizzle the remaining chocolate over the whipped cream.
And stand back.
And oooooooh.
And ahhhhhhhhhhh.
And cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. For 2 hours and 59 minutes, Mr. Hawthorne kept whining, "Is it ready yet? Is it ready yet?"
Yes. Now it's ready.
And you may have some cake.
The cloud-like lightness of this cake is phenomenal. It's indescribable. The coffee undertone is exquisite. The juxtaposition of the chocolate glaze with the lemon-kissed whipped cream is heaven. Never thought I'd like lemon and chocolate together but it's a combination that truly marries. You have the separate, distinct flavors, and then you get the whole, which is more than its parts. Synergism.
This was excellent.


Kathy said...

Darn, I'm sorry I missed Mr. Hawthorne's birthday. Please give him a big sloppy kiss for me. ;-)

DH said...

OMfg please send me some!!! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Marilyn said...

Happy belated birthday to Mister Hawthorne. Sorry we missed it, but we were out of town.