A friend of mine celebrated her birthday the other week, but I rather shamefully only got round to baking her a cake a few days ago. I hoped the fact that it combined two of her favourite things (as much chocolate as humanly possible and tiramisu) would persuade her to forget its belatedness.
This was actually a little bit of an experiment – I’ve been meaning to make BBC Good Food’s brownie cake for bloody ages (a massive brownie??? Genius, I say!), and only made ‘normal’ tiramisu (albeit with a white chocolate spin) a few weeks ago. I do love the combination of coffee, chocolate and almonds, but just don’t seem to indulge in it that often!
Anyway. I followed the Good Food recipe pretty much to the letter, but tweaked it a bit to add a dash of coffee to the mix. I can’t say I really tasted the coffee in the brownie, but that was ok, because the icing very definitely had a distinctive coffee flavour.
This was more of my own concoction – mascarpone, amaretto, very strong coffee and a mixture of brown and icing sugar. It did end up a little wet and had soaked through the brownie cake after a day or so, but I don’t think that was a turn-off for the recipient! However, next time I make this (and there WILL be a next time) I’ll make the icing more like a buttercream so it’s a little more stiff and doesn’t seep through the cake.
All in all, this was a HEAVENLY cake. The brownie cake was dense, chocolatey and decadent, and the coffee mascarpone icing was just mmmnfgh. It really was. Apart from adding more icing sugar to the icing and maybe sprinkling over some flaked almonds as a finishing touch, I don’t think any major changes are needed to the actual flavours. Huzzah.
For the brownie base, follow the recipe on BBC Good Food here – you can add some instant coffee granules to the mix if you like: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3431/chocolate-brownie-cake
While the cake is cooling, make the icing by beating together the following until smooth:
- 250g mascarpone
- 50ml very strong coffee, cooled
- 3 tbsp light brown soft sugar
- 2 tbsp amaretto (or a teaspoon of almond extract)
- 3 tbsp icing sugar (I would recommend adding a lot more and omitting the brown sugar if you want a drier icing)
Spread the icing in one deliciously thick layer on top of the cooled cake and sift a little cocoa powder over the top. I decorated my cake with edible silver balls, but flaked almonds and/or grated white chocolate would also work well.