Tiramisu, or “Tuscan Trifle” is a rich layered dish of sponge cake, Marsala wine, coffee. chocolate and Mascarpone cream. The name Tiramisu translates as “Cheer me up” or “Pick me up”. So, when the challenge from the Great British Baking Show technical was for a tiramisu I decided to go my own route and make a “Cheer-amisu”: layers of sponge cake, mango and passion fruit syrup, Mascarpone cream, fresh fruit and bourbon (optional).
This is a fun cake to make. The components are all relatively simple and the assembly leaves room for creativity. You make the design you like on top!
First, make the fruit syrup.
Mango seeds and peels join lemon rinds in a bowl with sugar.
That’s it. Cover it up and let it sit on the counter overnight. Give it a stir once or twice if you like.
In the morning, pour everything through a sieve, pushing on the fruit peels to get out any lingering juices. There might be some undissolved sugar in the bottom of the bowl. Scrape that out and add it to the syrup and give it a stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Cut some passion fruit in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp into the sieve. Push the juice through the sieve with a spatula and add the juice to the mango syrup.
If you want to add some bourbon to the syrup you can. Two tablespoons per cup of syrup is about right. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks or more.
Make a sponge cake. Eggs, butter, sugar, flour and vanilla. You will find the recipe on my blog here After baking the sponge, turn it out and let it cool on a wire rack (no need to roll it for this cake!). I made mine the day before.
Line a square baking pan with parchment paper.
You are going to cut the sponge into two layers so you need to measure the baking pan and check to see if your sponge is big enough to cut it into two layers and then cut each layer in half so that you end up with four layers to put in the square pan. Mine didn’t so I ended up making two sponge cakes.
When the cake has cooled, make the Mascarpone cream. Mascarpone cheese, heavy cream and a little bit of icing sugar get whipped together until it is soft, creamy and spreadable.
Slice the mango into thin pieces.
And now the fun starts!
Assemble the cake.
Put a layer of sponge on the bottom and then brush ¼ of the fruit syrup all over it.
Spread ¼ of the cream on top of the layer.
Place mango slices on top of the Mascarpone Cream.
Now repeat that again two more times.
Put the final layer on top and brush it with the last of the syrup. Spread a thin layer of the cream on top to form a “crumb coat”. This will set the crumbs so that when you go over it with the rest of the cream you will get a nice, clean surface.
Once the final layer of Mascarpone cream is on the cake, go to town with your decorating skills. I like to lay out my design on a piece of parchment paper and then transfer it to the cake so I can edit it without messing up the cake.
You are almost finished. Cover the cake and place it in the refrigerator to set, at least four hours or even overnight.
When you are ready to serve the cake, use the edges of the parchment paper to lift it out of the pan on to a serving platter. Then carefully pull the paper out from underneath the cake.
Stunning and delicious and you made it!
MANGO PASSION FRUIT “Cheer-amisu” TIRAMISU CAKE
For the Mango Syrup
- 4-8 mangos
- 1 lemon
- 1 c sugar
- 4-6 passion fruit
- 1-2 tbsp bourbon optional
For the Sponge Cake
- 4 eggs
- ½ c sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 c self-rising flour
For the Mascarpone Cream
- 3 c mascarpone cheese
- 3 tbsp powdered sugar
- ½-1 c heavy cream
Make the mango syrup
- In the morning or the night before, start the mango syrup.
- Slice 4-8 mangos on both sides of the pit. Using a large spoon, scoop out the mango meat from the skins and reserve for later. Place the mango skins and seeds in a large bowl.
- Using a vegetable peeler or microplane grater, remove the zest from the lemon. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze out the juice. Reserve the zest and juice for another use. Add the lemon halves to the mango skins in the bowl.
- Add I cup of sugar to the fruit skins in the bowl and give it a good stir to mix it together. Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least four hours or overnight. Stir it once or twice as it sits.
- Pour the fruit skins and pits along with all the liquid and any remaining sugar into a strainer placed over a bowl. Use a spatula to press down on the fruit and get out any lingering juice. Scrape any undissolved sugar into the bowl with the liquid and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Remove the fruit peels from the strainer and replace the strainer back over the bowl. Cut the passion fruit in half and scoop out the fruit into the strainer. Press the passion fruit meat with a spatula so that the juice goes into the mango syrup below.
- Stir the passion fruit juice into the syrup. Stir in the bourbon if using. Refrigerate until needed.
Make the sponge cake (see note)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a half-sheet pan (10” x 14”) with parchment paper.
- Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer and beat it together for 2-4 minutes until it is thick and light in color.
- Sift the self-rising flour into the egg mixture and fold it in carefully until the flour is just incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared sheet pan and spread it into the corners. Bake for 20 minutes until cake is golden brown and springs back when touched.
- Cool in the pan for ten minutes and then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make mascarpone cream
- Put the mascarpone in the bowl of your mixer and beat on medium speed to soften. Beat in the powdered sugar. Slowly add ½ cup of cream and beat for one minute. Continue beating and add more cream as needed until the mixture is soft and spreadable.
Assemble the cake.
- Line a square cake tin with parchment paper, leaving the edges hanging over the sides.
- Slice the reserved mango into thin pieces.
- Cut the sponge horizontally in half, creating two layers. Cut each of those layers into two pieces so that you have four layers. (see note)
- Place one layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. Spoon or brush ¼ of the mango syrup over the layer. Spread ¼ of the mascarpone cream evenly over the layer. Arrange layers of the mango over the mascarpone cream. Place another layer of sponge on top of the mango and press down lightly with your hands.
- Repeat this process twice more ending with a layer of cake on top.
- For the top layer, brush with the remaining syrup and then use 2 tablespoons of the mascarpone cream to make a crumb coat. (A crumb coat is a thin layer of icing used to set the crumbs before finishing the cake).
- Finish the cake by spreading the remaining cream evenly over the top and decorating with fruit.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours before serving. The cake can be made the day before.
- To serve, lift the cake out of the pan using the edges of the parchment paper. Place it on a serving plate and carefully remove the paper from underneath it.
The number of mangoes needed depends on the type of mango you use. I like the smaller Champagne mangoes, so I used 8 mangoes. If you use one of the larger varieties you may not need as many.
The mango syrup will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks or more.
Measure the pan that you will use to assemble the tiramisu and check it against the size of your sheet pan. One half sheet pan will make two layers. You may be able to cut each of those layers in half and get four equal layers which will fit in your tiramisu pan. If not, double the recipe and make two sponges.