Baking and cooking from scratch has largely gone away in the modern kitchen.  Most people depend on pre-packaged meals, especially desserts.  I buy a cake mix now and then, nothing wrong with that, but there is simply nothing better than a dessert prepared from scratch. And they are not hard to make, you just have to pay attention to measurements, oven temperature and method.

Here is a dessert that I have just learned how to make.  It all depends on an old fashioned sponge cake.  I call it Chocolate-Coffee Tiramisu. Instead of the traditional vanilla/coffee flavored dessert that you may have already heard of or tasted it is a bit heavier, creamier and easier than a traditional tiramisu which entails cooking egg yolks and blending them with the cheese.

The first step is to make the sponge cake.
Sponge cake is an old kind of cake, and has lots of little cavities and holes in it to absorb all the sweet juices, creams and syrups you could ever want to put on a cake.  This recipe is not a feather-light sponge cake, it does not have beaten egg whites folded in.  But it is very light and just right for this dessert because you need a lightly dry cake for it. The coffee you will use later will make the cake moist.

After you make the sponge cake you will make a creamy filling from either cream or mascarpone cheese, cocoa and powdered sugar. Be sure the cheese is at room temperature.

The only other ingredient you will need is some strong coffee, just about 1/2 cup.

Sponge Cake

Preheat oven to 350* F

11 beaten egg yolks
2 cups sugar
1 cup scalded milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups sifted cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup melted butter

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until they are light, fluffy and pale yellow in color. Add the slightly cooled milk and vanilla.
Sift the flour and baking powder three times. Add it to the egg mixture and then fold in the butter.
Grease bottom only of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 40 minutes. Cool.

Creamy Filling

16 ounces of cream cheese or mascarpone cheese at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup to 1 cup heavy cream

Sift the powdered sugar with the cocoa powder, stir in the instant coffee.
Beat the softened cheese with the sugar mixture and vanilla til its completely blended, smooth and fluffy.
Add heavy cream a little at a time until the mixture is of spreading consistency and very fluffy.

Now cut the sponge cake into fingers. Lady Finger cakes are what is used traditionally in this dessert, but you can cut the sponge cake into lengths of about 4 inches and widths of 1 inch.

Using a spoon, drizzle about 1/2 tablespoon of brewed coffee onto two sides of each cut piece of sponge cake.

Now you will layer the cake and cream filling into a bowl, sort of like making a trifle.


Finish with a dusting of cocoa powder. Refrigerate covered until time to serve.