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Chocolate Tiramisu Cake: because having to decide between chocolate cake and tiramisu is hard.

If you can, make this a day in advance so the flavors can really combine

Step 1: Ingredients

Cake:

2 c. sugar

1 3/4 c. all purpose flour

3/4 c. cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

1 c. milk

1/2 c. veg oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 c. fresh, hot espresso (or really strong coffee)

Tiramisu filling:

6 egg yolks

3/4 c. sugar

2/3 c. milk

16 oz mascarpone cheese

2 tsp instant espresso powder *

*(can sub instant coffee for any espresso powder if desired)

Frosting:

4 c. confectioners sugar

1/2 c. unsalted butter

8 oz cream cheese

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 c. cocoa powder

2 tsp instant espresso powder

4-ish tbsp heavy cream or milk

-OR-

2 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

3/4 c. confectioners sugars

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp espresso powder

Step 2: The Cake:

Preheat your oven to 350°F

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Add all the liquid, except the hot espresso - Mix until well combined

Carefully add in the hot espresso, and mix again until combined.

This batter is suppose to be super liquidy, so don't panic

Divide batter into 2 prepared cake pans. (because this batter is so thin, don't use springform pans untill you really trust them not to leak)

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes before removing them from their pans.

Set these aside to cool completely!

Step 3: Filling:

Separate your eggs and put the 6 yolks in a medium pot. Add 3/4 c. sugar. Mix well.

Add in your 2/3 c. milk.

Cook this over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once it starts to bubble, boil it for 1 full minute, continuing to stir constantly.

Take it off the heat, and run it through a mesh strainer. This just prevents any cooked egg pieces from sneaking into your cake. - cover this with plastic wrap touching the surface, and place in the fridge until it's completely cold. If you want this to go faster, you can put it in something like a pie pan to spread it thinner.

While that cools, take your mascarpone cheese out to soften.

When your custard is cool, mix in the mascarpone and 2 tsp espresso powder. If your mascarpone is soft enough, this can be made smooth by hand. However, if yours still has some chunks in it - you can pulse the whole mixture in a food processor until smooth.

Step 4: Frosting And/or Whipped Cream

For the frosting:

Cream together your softened butter and softened cream cheese.

Add your cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla extract

Slowly add your confectioners sugar, alternating with your cream, until your frosting is the consistency you want.

For the whipped cream:

Make sure your cream is really cold. Whip until it starts to thicken. Gradually add sugar, vanilla, and espresso powder.

Continue to whip until you have stiff peaks

Step 5: Assemble!

Cut each of your cake layers in half, creating 4 layers of cake.

On the first cake layer, spread half of your tiramisu mixture. Top with another cake layer.

For the middle, add either frosting or whipped cream, depending on which you chose to use.

That should be followed with another cake layer, the last half of your tiramisu mix, and finally the last layer of cake.

Let this cool in the fridge to set up some before trying to frost. If you're worried about it drying out, you can wrap it with plastic wrap.

Step 6: Final Touches

Frost your cake!

A crumb coat really helps with this, not just to hold in any crumbs, but because it sort of holds all the custard in place.

Next, throw some extra chocolate things at it, and maybe add some ladyfingers (because I think it's a rule somewhere that tiramisu cakes have to be surrounded with ladyfingers) - I just added mini Hershey bars and a big handful of chocolate covered espresso beans!

This cake is good when eaten right away, BUT if you wait a day or so, OH MY GOD IT'S SO MUCH BETTER.

** If you're planning on taking this cake somewhere, I suggest using frosting instead of whipped cream (unless you live somewhere cold and/or have successfully transported whipped cream covered things in the past) - because whipped cream is very sensitive to melting and making your entire cake slide. BUT it is delicious and really adds to the 'tiramisu' taste of this cake.

<p>Looks super yummy!</p>
<p>I think I'll use this recipe for tiramisu cupcakes.</p>
<p>Great Creation! </p>
<p>This looks SOOOO good! :)</p><p>Two of my favorite desserts combined into one? Wow!! : D</p>

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