Something special to give away without spending a fortune.
Serves 8 to 10
For the chiffon cake
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoons coffee powder
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
For the syrup
1 1/3 tablespoons granulated instant coffee
1 1/3 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup water
1/3 cup rum
For the filling
1/2 bar cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons ground espresso
1 Line 2 (9-inch) cake pans with baking paper. You can also grease and flour the bottom of the pan but not the sides. (How to line and grease a pan? Click here.)
2 Whip the vegetable oil and the egg yolks together just until combined. Stir in the water, vanilla extract and coffee powder.
3 Sift together the cake flour, 1/3 of the sugar, the baking powder, and the salt. Stir this into the egg yolk mixture then whip at high speed for 1 minute. Set aside.
4 Whip the egg whites to a foam. Gradually add the remaining sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
5 Carefully fold the meringue into the reserved batter. Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
6 Bake at 375°F for approximately 25 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center.
7 Invert the pans on a rack and allow the cakes to cool in the pans before unmolding.
8 Make the syrup. Dissolve coffee powder and white sugar in 1/3 cup warm water. Add the remaining water and rum. Mix well and set aside.
9 Make the filling by beating the softened cream cheese, sugar and egg yolks until thick and creamy, about 10 minutes in a mixer on medium speed.
10 In a separate mixing bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Gradually add the cream cheese mixture until well incorporated. Be careful not to over mix.
11 To assemble: Split each cake in half. Brush one cake with coffee syrup then spread about 1/2 cup filling. Repeat this procedure until all the cake layers have been used up and covered with the filling. Spread remaining filling to cover the sides of the cake. Sift ground espresso powder on top and decorate with coffee beans.
Chef Aileen’s tips:
• Most tiramisu recipes call for coffee liquor, but a bottle of rum is a great and cheaper alternative.
• To save time, you can use ladyfingers instead of making chiffon cake from scratch, or you can buy ready-made chiffon slices from your favorite bakeshop.
Photography by David Hanson and Miguel Nacianceno
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