Saturday, June 27, 2009

Raspberry Tiramisu Cake

I warn you, with the abundant amoung of berries showing at the farmers' market and grocery storess, you would see a lot of berry-flavored cakes showing often :D. I'm such a sucker for berries, especially raspberry. It's really hard for me to resist really good-looking raspberries, super sweet strawberries, deep purple color cherries, fragrant stone fruits. I could very easily pass those things in grocery store, but when it comes to farmers' market, uh oh... I would be in a really big "trouble" :).

Again, I also made this a while back for my dear friend's birthday. I always use every opportunity I got to experiment with type of cakes I've never made before. I mean, this is the best way to learn new stuff, plus you have the people to eat it, right??? (assuming the end result is edible :D). Fortunaltely, I have friends who are willing to eat anything including failed or ugly-looking cakes (well, most of them at least).



I was determined from the beginning to make raspberry tiramisu cake. My other option was mango tiramisu cake (my two most ultimate favorite fruits or cake flavors). I believe that there are things that are meant for each other (flavor or ingredient-wise :P). This includes raspberry-mascarpone, raspberry-white chocolate, dark chocolate-rum-coffee, mango-mascarpone, I could go on and on and on about this. So here's a way to combine them, raspberry tiramisu cake.

I thought of regular tiramisu components, mascarpone, cream, savoiardi (italian lady fingers), coffee, rum, coffee soaking mixture. I want this rasp. tiramisu to have the same components that make up a tiramisu, a tiramisu :P. I decided to use the soft lady fingers, instead of the hard ones like savoiardi as I don't think that making a raspberry solution to soak the lady fingers is going to be as good as the original tiramisu with coffee. So I made my own lady fingers or what French called biscuit a la cuillere. Instead of piping the batter one by one to look like a "finger", I just spread it all in a sheet pan. It'll be stacked together anyway, so no one will notice :). The lady finger is then brushed heavily (not soaked) with raspberry solution with lots of framboise (clear raspberry brandy), just like you brush a cake with simple syrup. Then, a thin layer of raspberry jam that I thinned out a little with framboise goes on top of the lady finger, a layer of mascarpone cream, and lots of fresh raspberries inside. This process is repeated twice. I didn't use egg yolk for the mouse as I don't usually use raw egg yolks to make a fruit-based mousse/cream.



The end cake is a lot higher than I would have liked. After a quick trip to the freezer and trim all of the sides, the cake is now ready to be glazed. Now, this is where the problem started :(. I always have problem with glazing a cake, especially if I use Oetker clear glaze. I followed the direction carefully, but it just set up like a jelly in a minute after taking it off the heat. I kept reheating it, adding more water and raspberry puree, adding my own homemade glaze, etc but nothing works. You can see the really poor glazing on top. I was really frustrated, and I was already late to the dinner (hence the poor decoration :( ). I was a little disappointed with the height and the glazing and the decoration, but hey, this is an experiment, I should have expected something like this.

But unfortunately, that's not the end of the problem. The real disaster followed 30 minutes after. As I mentioned, the oetker glaze set up like a jelly layer on top of the cake that wasn't really "glued" to the cake. I wasn't really paying attention to this as I drove really fast (a little speeding and maybe juuussttt a tad "zig zag-ing" :P to the dinner place where all of my friends were waiting. When I opened up the box after I arrived, I was just speechless. The glaze/jelly layer on top was sliding down the cake and it looked like a mess!!! I just couldn't say anything at that point.

Here's a picture of the cake after the "accident":



I made a good note of the ingredients proportions (that I might need to try next time), and I will definitely make the lady finger layer thinner. But I'm not done with raspberries, I mean how can I be with lots of them lying around everywhere I go, tempting me to pick up a basket or two (maybe four). So, more raspberries or berry posts comiinnggg :)

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