You might be wondering whats with the date 20/10/2010. It marks my 26th birthday and the date conincidentally forms a unique number sequence, 20102010, which is rare to come by. For this very special occasion, I promised to treat myself to a luscious layer cake. Hmm.. sounds a bit weird huh? Poor Bakertan has to resort to baking his very own birthday cake. Well, I would prefer a home-made birthday cake anytime. Firstly, I get to customize the texture and flavour to my liking and secondly, its going to be another enjoyable experimental layer cake session/lesson/therapy at home.
I scratched my head pretty hard trying to decide the flavour. Was wondering whether I should make a blackforest cake, a tiramisu or a durian mousse cake. After some considerations, I opted for the tiramisu. It has been quite a while since I helped myself to one and I was certainly looking forward to a nice turnout.
So last friday, I stepped forth and tried my hands at making tiramisu for the first time. Instead of using saviordi fingers (lady fingers), I decided to make it a tiramisu torte by using coffee sponge cake layers. The first attempt on making the tiramisu mousse was a complete disaster. The steps were tedious and there were plenty of room for errors.
The recipe had asked for warmed egg yolks (leave to cool) and beaten egg whites. I might have overwarmed the egg yolks slightly, scrambling it a little (straining it might help, which I didn't) and the beaten egg whites turned out dry and clumpy (I used Swiss meringue method instead of the Italian meringue method). After mixing the yolks, beaten whites, mascarporne cheese and whipped cream, the mixtue curdled real badly. It taste good though but it was not going to do the job for sure.
You can imagine my morale and spirits dipping to an all-time low at that instance. I almost fell into despair thinking that I will be going cakeless the next day when my family will be celebrating for me in advance. At the same time, I hated the fact that I wasted my precious mascarporne cheese, a good 300g of it. Arghh!
At that moment, I was faced with a tough decision. Should I carry on or abandon the mission? My coffee sponge layers were sitting aside and drying out with every minute that passed by. Thanks to the encouraging words from my mum, I decided to re-attempt the mousse a second time using a different recipe and my remaining 200g of mascarporne cheese, minus the yolks and whites which were way too troublesome for me to handle.
Thankfully, the second attempt was a successful one. I made some coffee syrup and brushed it over the sponge layers to moisten them. Making the mousse the second time round was a familiar sight to me. The mousse consists of gelatin solution, whipped cream, mascarporne cheese, a little of the coffee syrup and a small amount of kahlua. Gently folded these components and they came together to form a nice smooth mousse. With the help of my cake/mousse ring, I managed to get my desired tiramisu torte cake with ease. Now that I learnt my lesson the hard way, there will be no more tiramisu mousse containing eggs in future! I actually brought trouble to myself trying to figure out how to make the eggs as safe for consumption as possible in the first attempt.
It was'nt all that bad after all. Despite the disaster with the mousse curdling at first, the silver lining was that the tiramisu turned out decent on the second attempt. What I liked best about the tiramisu was the sponge layers were moist due to the coffee syrup and the mousse firmed up well without being gelatinous. I will be adding more kahlua to give it a little more kick, increase the amount of mascarporne cheese and add more sugar in future. Will be posting the complete recipe in future when I am done with the fine-tuning.
I received a book from a friend today much to my pleasant surprise. Its a book I wanted to get but do not have much luck finding it =] Yay! This would make a nice addition to my mini-library of books.