Thursday, January 3, 2013

Gluten-free Tiramisu Birthday Cake

My sweet girl was turning 15 (how did that happen?!) and requested tiramisu for her birthday cake. She has pretty sophisticated tastes for a kid and since her latest juvenile arthritis flare up has her confined to a wheelchair, I was inclined to do what I could to grant her request.

The bad thing about being gluten free is that you can't just go pick up something at the store. The good thing is that with a little work, you can make just about anything gluten free, and if you do it right, no one can tell the difference.

The first thing I do when looking for a new gluten-free recipe is to see what I've pinned on Pinterest. And then I Google. I don't know what people did before Google. It might be my best friend. I had several gluten-free tiramisu recipes open on my screen and I was looking through all of them. I didn't want to find gluten-free lady fingers, so I needed a sponge recipe. And I didn't want to use half a dozen different kind of flours.

So as usual, I ended up combining a couple of recipes and making it my own.

I started here with the recipe for the sponge cake. I made the cakes and while they were cooking I started on the filling. For that I used this recipe.

I made the zabaglione while the cakes were cooking. Egg yokes, marsala wine, and sugar cooked over a double boiler. Talk about rich! Resist the urge to taste it, though. It's hot! Ask me how I know.

Since it was getting on to be about 10 o'clock at night and the zabaglione needed to cool, as well as the cakes, I put the zabaglione in the fridge and the cakes in the microwave. I didn't turn the microwave on, it just seemed like a good place to store the cakes without the cats helping themselves to a snack in the middle of the night. Don't laugh. They like cornbread too!

The next morning I finished up the recipe by making whipped cream, adding mascarpone to it, then adding the zabaglione mixture. I decided not to add more marsala to the espresso syrup since I was serving this to teens and didn't like the idea of serving food with alcohol in it that hadn't cooked off.

I soaked the layers in the espresso syrup, plopped on the rich and creamy zabaglione/whipped cream/mascarpone mixture and frosted the whole thing with it.

Then I cut out a heart shape from wax paper and put it on the top layer. Using a fine-meshed strainer, I sprinkled cocoa powder over the whole thing. Carefully, I lifted off the heart.

Being that I live in Michigan and this was December, my car often doubles as my refrigerator. So off the finished cake went into the car until party time. I know, I don't have a proper cake plate. I did at one time. Long story.

The tiramisu tasted amazing! The birthday girl was happy, and the cake actually held together for a few days until it was all eaten up.


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