Tiramisu wedding cake

So this (not so little) cake was actually my first wedding cake order! I usually don’t do wedding cakes, since they take forever to make and the stress of delivering these while keeping them intact is a lot to handle, but I was asked by my friend Lily to do it for our mutual friend from high school, Ivy. Since we were three of maybe ten Taiwanese people at our high school, I just felt super obligated, since Taiwanese solidarity is a real thing, and they were the limited connection I had (beyond my parents) to my home country growing up here in the states. For Ivy, she mentioned that her and her husband-to-be’s favorite dessert was tiramisu, so that served as the basis for this cake. We have layers of chiffon cake soaked with a cold brew-amaretto-Ovaltine mixture, a light-as-air mascarpone mousse, a generous dusting of cocoa powder, and tempered dark chocolate hearts, just to finish off the whole cake with! This cake was definitely a massive undertaking, just because I usually don’t do really big cakes, but I was pretty proud of it, being my first ever wedding cake order! If you don’t want to make the entire wedding cake, I’d recommend scaling down the recipe to a third the ingredients, since I came up with this recipe by tripling my usual tiramisu layer cake recipe!

For the cake:
18 egg whites
12 egg yolks
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups canola oil
1 tspn vanilla extract
a pinch of cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
a pinch of salt

Whip egg whites with half of the sugar to stiff peaks. Whip egg yolks with the remaining sugar, canola oil, vanilla extract, and cinnamon until combined. Fold the egg whites, remaining ingredients, and egg yolk mixture together to form your batter. Pour between 2 lined half-sheet trays and spread into thin layers. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Cool down before removing from the pan. For the bottom tier, cut out 2 8-inch rings. For the middle, cut out 2 6-inch rings. For the top,2 4-inch rings. Reserve the scraps for a third layer of cake for each tier.

For the soak:
2 cups cold brew
1/4 cup Ovaltine powder
2 tbsp amaretto or franglico
a pinch of salt

Mix together until combined.

For the mascarpone mousse:
2 tspn gelatin powder + 2 tbsp cold water
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
a pinch of salt
2 tspn vanilla extract
16oz mascarpone cheese, kept at room temperature
2 cups heavy cream, whipped stiff

Mix the gelatin with cold water first. Then place into a pot with more water and sugar. Bring to a simmer. In another bowl, whip egg yolks with salt. Once the gelatin and sugar are dissolved into the water, pour into the egg yolks while whipping. Fold into that the mascarpone cheese first, then the heavy cream to finish.

For assembly:
Line 8-inch, 6-inch, and 4-inch ring molds with acetate. Place cake scraps down in each first to form the bottom layer in each tier. Pour in the soak, then spread on the mousse. Repeat with the remaining layers of cake, soak, and mousse. Freeze solid, at least 6 hours, before unmolding, keeping the acetate on for now.

For the tempered hearts and shards:
1 cup dark chocolate
a pinch of salt
1 tspn cocoa butter
edible gold powder

Melt chocolate, salt, and cocoa butter in a double boiler until it is half-melted. Take off heat and stir until fully melted and registering around 89 degrees F. Pour onto acetate and spread in a 1/8th-inch layer. Freeze for 2 to 3 minutes – you want the chocolate to still be pliable, but solid enough that it will not smear on your fingers. Press out heart shapes and return to the freezer until set, another 5 to 10 minutes. Brush with gold powder to finish.

To finish:
Cocoa powder

Keeping the acetate on each layer, stack each tier on top of one another. Dust the layers with cocoa powder then remove the acetate. Garnish with the hearts and shards on top to finish.

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