Turn your favorite Italian restaurant treat into a spectacular cake, starting with a cake mix and coffee.
This is a great make-ahead recipe, since the cake tastes better the longer it sits.
FOR THE GENOISE CAKE
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sifted cake flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups hot water
- 2 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 2 1/2 tablespoons brandy
- 2 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar
FOR THE MASCARPONE FILLING
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup dry Marsala wine
- 16 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING
- 6 ounces cream cheese (the kind in a brick)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder (for garnish)
TO MAKE THE GENOISE LAYERS:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, mist three 8-inch diameter cake pans generously with non-stick spray, and line with circles cut from parchment.
- In a large mixing bowl, whip the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on high speed (with the whisk attachment) until pale, fluffy, and tripled in volume (about 10 to 12 minutes).
- Add a third of the cake flour, and fold carefully, taking care not to deflate air from the mixture. Repeat, until all the flour has been incorporated.
- Fold in the butter, and transfer the batter to the prepared pans.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely.
- Stir the hot water, instant espresso powder, brandy, and powdered sugar together in a small bowl.
- Place one layer of cooled genoise on a serving plate. Using a pastry brush, soak the cake with about 1/3 of the espresso mixture. Top with half the mascarpone filling.
- Repeat, then top with the last layer of cooled genoise and soak with the remaining espresso mixture.
- Frost with whipped cream frosting, dust with cocoa, and (using a piping bag and a large round tip) top with dollops of whipped cream frosting..
TO MAKE THE MASCARPONE FILLING:
- In a medium mixing bowl set over a pot of simmering water, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala wine together until pale, thick, and doubled in volume.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in the mascarpone.
- Whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks, then fold into the mascarpone mixture.
TO MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING:
- Place the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Fit the mixer with a whisk attachment, and whip on medium speed until the mixture is smooth.
- Turn the mixer down to medium-low speed and pour the heavy cream down the side of the bowl in a very slow and steady stream.
- When all the cream has been added, turn the mixer up to medium-high and whip until the frosting holds stiff peaks.