Week 4 on Great British Bake Off will go down in history for one thing and one thing only and that one thing is not tiramisu. Iain Watters vs Diana Beard in the saga that became known as #bingate might be what people are talking about right now, but it’s important to see the bigger picture. Whether or not Iain’s ice cream or Iain himself had the biggest meltdown of the day is obviously a critically important question, but we need to gain some perspective, people! There were other important questions at play on Wednesday evening. Namely, just how delicious did Mary’s tiramisu cake look?
This week’s Great British Bake Off technical challenge was Bezza’s anglicised version of a tiramisu, requiring tempered chocolate decorations and some serious knife skills. The main issues for the contestants seemed to be in getting Mary’s fatless sponge to rise and then in neatly slicing it horizontally afterwards. The trick with a fatless sponge is to fold the flour in with a metal spoon in a slicing action. This prevents all the air being knocked out of the mixture. If the sponge has risen properly, the horizontal slicing becomes less of an issue, but it is still a tricky endeavour, requiring a steady hand and practice rather than specialist knowledge.
For my simplified version, I have forgone the tempered chocolate decorations. As pretty as they looked on Mary’s big cake, I think it would be over egging the pudding on these little ones. If you fancy trying your hand at a little chocolate work, don’t be scared off. You can find my tips for a perfect temper in my recipe for gluten-free Florentines.
My mini tiramisu cakes require no horizontal slicing, so there’s no risk of ending up with a pile of perfectly baked crumbs. I never add cream to a tiramisu usually – the eggs and Mascarpone add enough richness on their own – but this is a version of Mary’s cake, so I dutifully added the whipped cream her recipe stipulates. I didn’t bow down to the doyenne’s choice of tipple though. I left the brandy in the drinks’ cabinet, in favour of sweet Marsala wine and dark rum.
If you don’t have little square moulds (60 x 60 x 35), this recipe will work just as well in individual dishes or, you can try your hand at the tiramuffins in my latest book, Baking Mash-Up.
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