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.
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.
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.
Ingredients for the chocolate glaze: 5 ounces semisweet chocolate 3 TB water I forgot to put in the vanilla.
Plop half of the chocolate over top the cake, reserving the rest to drizzle over top the finished dessert.
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.
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.
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?"
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.