This Tiramisu naked cake with mascarpone frosting is creamy, rich and has a bit of a kick! Well Tiramisu means ‘pick me up’ after all… This recipe is made and sponsored by Tesco’s new range of lactose free products.
These days there seems to be an increasing number of products that cater to food intolerances and allergies. A few years ago you would be hard pressed to find gluten-free anything, now there’s great choice of products, certainly in all big outlets.
Now Tesco have a great new range of products for those suffering from lactose intolerance, as I discovered at their recent event at Jenius social. Chef Lesley Waters was on great form giving us a cookery masterclass using the new products, and nutritionist Christine Bailey was on hand to answer questions about lactose intolerance.
If you are suffering from the fairly unpleasant effects of lactose intolerance – which I will not go into for fear of turning you off my recipe! – you will know that creamy cheese and yoghurt are big no-nos. Well, I am glad to reveal that the Tesco products are totally lactose-free and taste rich, creamy and completely indulgent.
There’s mozzarella, mascarpone and (my favourite) blue cheese, lovely crème fraîche, as well as a range of yoghurts, from thick Greek-style to breakfast pots. All these were used in Lesley’s delicious recipes, starting with canapés and dips, a super-tasty pea risotto with crumbed chicken for main and ending with a tangy tropical cheesecake and rich tiramisu for dessert.
I had great fun recreating the risotto and tiramisu aided by a little bubbly and my partner Becky of Munchies and Munchkins (so great to finally someone I know from the virtual world IRL). When it came to serving ourselves, or rather ‘plating’, we were all a bit over-enthusiastic, but the food was genuinely so delicious that I could have licked my plate.
Lesley was a fantastic teacher and I went home not only with a very full belly – and a very heavy goodie bag – but with a brain swimming with lots of ideas for new recipes I want to try. One of them was the tiramisu we created at the event… but naturally I wanted to turn it into a layer cake!
Tiramisu is normally made with ladyfingers soaked in strong coffee and alcohol (usually Marsala wine) and topped with mascarpone enriched with beaten egg yolks, sugar and cream. My Tiramisu naked cake sticks pretty close to the traditional Italian recipe using the same elements to create a very creamy and indulgent cake with a bit of a kick!
If you are not sure about adding the egg yolks (they are gently cooked over steam) you could leave them out, but they do add an extra dimension to the frosting (hold on to the egg whites to make macarons or pavlova). Making a cake with alcohol and coffee is not very kid-friendly – more for us adults I say!
- For the cake
- 165g | 5.8oz plain (all purpose) flour
- 165g | 5.8oz caster sugar
- ½ tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 100g | 3.5oz cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 100g | 3.5oz whole milk (use lactose free if that's a concern)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- For the frosting
- 3 large egg yolks
- 85g | 3oz caster sugar
- 60ml | ¼ cup strong black coffee sweetened with 1 tsp sugar
- 60ml | ¼ cup Marsala wine (see notes for alternatives)
- 500g | 1 lb 2oz (Tesco Lactose Free) mascarpone
- 100g | 3½ oz icing sugar
- 200g | 7oz (Tesco lactose Free) full fat crème fraîche
- cocoa powder, for dusting
- Make the cake. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Lightly spray three 15cm (6in) cake tins with cake release and line with baking paper.
- Add all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder/soda and salt) to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse briefly to mix together.
- Add the cubed butter and pulse again until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Mix the eggs and vanilla together. Gradually add the eggs through the feeding tube and process for a minute until well incorporated.
- Gradually pour the milk into the processor through the feeding tube and process together until you have an evenly mixed batter. Stop the mixer and use a spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure the batter is thoroughly mixed.
- Divide the batter between the tins (about 200g/ 7oz per tin) and bake for 20-22 minutes until the cakes are springy to the touch and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then turn out to a wire rack.
- Mix the coffee and Marsala and brush on the cakes until it is soaked in. Do not saturate (you might not need to use it all). Leave them to cool completely before frosting.
- Whisk the yolks and sugar together in a small bowl over a pan of barely simmering water until light and creamy. Take care not to allow it to get too hot or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Beat the mascarpone and icing sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the padle attachment. Fold in the whisked eggs and crème fraîche until everything is well incorporated and the frosting holds firm peaks. See notes if frosting becomes too runny!
- Pipe the frosting over the cake layers and sandwich together. Add a thin layer of frosting over the top and sides of the cake and smooth using a palette knife and side scraper. Chill the cake in the fridge or freezer to seal the crump coating.
- Add a second layer of frosting over the cake smoothie the sides either to cover completely or to allow the sponge to show through for a naked cake effect.
- Pipe the remaining frosting on top of the cake using a large star tip. Dust lightly with cocoa powder.
- Keep chilled until you are ready to serve.
If the frosting becomes too runny you can rescue it by adding some gelatine. Sprinkle 1 tbsp powdered gelatine over 3 tbsp hot water and stir really well until dissolved. Allow it to cool. Mix in with the frosting and chill until it becomes firm enough to work with.
You can use Amaretto, Tia Maria or Kalhua instead of Marsala wine, although the taste will be different with each one (use your favourite).
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