Gluten-free Tiramisu Cake
For the sponge:
A little softened butter/dairy-free for greasing
4 large eggs
100g caster sugar
100g gluten-free self-raising flour
1/4 tspn Xanthum gum (if your flour mix doesn't contain it already)
For the filling:
I tbsp instant coffee granules
150mls boiling water
3 x 250g tubs of full-fat marscapone cheese
300mls double cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
75g dark chocolate, grated
Alternative dairy - free filling:
3 x 250g dairy-free cream cheese
300mls fresh soya cream
75g pure vegetable fat (e.g. Trex)
1/4 tsp Xantham Gum
3 tbsp icing sugar
100g dark (70%) chocolate / dairy-free dark chocolate
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1. Preheat the oven to 160C.
2. Grease a 38cmx 25cm swiss roll tin and line with baking parchment
3. For the sponge, place the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and, using an electric hand-held mixer, whisk together for about five minutes, or until the mixture is very pale and thick. The mixture should leave a light trail on the surface when the whisk is lifted.
4. Sift the flour and fold in gently. Pour the mixture into the tin and tilt the tin to spread it evenly accross the tin. Resist smoothing it with a spoon as this knocks the air out of the mixture. You'll have to slice this sponge in two later - you want it to rise!
5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until risen, golden-brown and springy to the touch. Cool in the tin for five minutes then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
7. When the sponge is cold, carefully slice the cake in half horizontally, so you have two thin sponges of equal depth. I recommend using a serrated knife for this, a bread knife is good.
8. Using the loose base of a square cake tin as a guide, cut two 18cm/7in squares from each sponge. You'll have some sponge trimmings from the edges - very important to taste these for quality control, or they could be used for a trifle....you've eaten them already haven't you?
(For the dairy-free version of the creamy filling , put the soya cream and vegetable fat in a bowl over simmering water and mix until the vegetable fat melts, transfer the bowl to an ice bath and mix continuously until they are fully combined. Once the mixture has cooled, add a pinch of Xantham gum at a time and stir until you reach the right consistency - similar to whipped cream. Now combine this mixture with the cream cheese and icing sugar).
*You've done all the hard work in preparing all your components, now comes the fun part - layering up your cake! Before you start layering up your cake, it helps to divide up your coffee/brandy mixture and your marscapone cream into four different portions of each - that way you will know you are dividing both of these ingredients equally between the layers*
13. Place the fourth sponge on top and spoon over the remaining coffee mixture. Using a palette knife spread a very thin layer of the remaining frosting over the top of the cake – this is called a ‘crumb coat’ and will seal in any loose crumbs of sponge.
13. Wipe the palette knife and spread the rest of the frosting in a thicker layer over the top of the cake. Chill for at least one hour in the fridge before turning out.
14. While the cake is chilling, melt half of the chopped chocolate in a small bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. (Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water.) Gently stir the chocolate until it reaches a melting temperature of 53C/127F.
17. Dust the top of the cooled cake with cocoa powder, then using the overhanging baking parchment to lift the cake out of the tin (and give yourself a pat on the back for the beautiful layers of cake and cream). Decorate with your cooled chocolate shapes.