Gin and tonic, Pina colada, Espresso martini are flavours many of us like in drink form, but you can translate them into cakes and desserts as well. Tiramisu is a good example of a boozy cake that took Ireland by storm in the 90s.
It is a handy one to make as it is a no-bake dessert, it just needs some assembly time. You can make many variations on the original, although that statement may make an Italian reader squirm. I once heard an Italian friend of mine sharply pull up an enthusiastic young cook who in her eyes was messing about with a recipe for carbonara by adding cream and garlic. It may be a nice dinner, she commented, but it is not carbonara. The same would be said of this strawberry tiramisu — it is simply a nod to the original.
Coffee and chocolate are two flavours that are very well matched. Espresso martini has become an extremely popular choice on most cocktail lists, it is believed to have been first created in the early 80s in London and its popularity spread from there. It is a great pick-me-up with the combination of alcohol and coffee. Any liqueur will be baked off in the cake itself but the icing also has alcohol in it, so like the others this is a dessert for grown-ups.
Espresso martini chocolate cake
This cocktail-inspired cake is the ideal end to a celebratory dinner
Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time1 hours 20 mins
Total Time1 hours 40 mins
For the cake:
200g chocolate, broken into small even-sized pieces
200g butter, cubed
60ml strong coffee
65ml Kahlua or another coffee liqueur
170g self-raising flour
180g muscovado sugar
180g caster sugar
25g cocoa powder
For the icing:
200g soft butter
400g icing sugar
40 ml cold strong coffee
20 ml coffee liqueur
Preheat the oven to 140°C and line a 9-inch tin with parchment.
Melt the chocolate, butter, coffee and liqueur together in a heavy-based saucepan. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients.
Mix the flour, two sugars and the cocoa powder together and set aside.
Beat the buttermilk and eggs together. Mix this with the other ingredients.
Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin.
Beat the ingredients for the icing together until light and fluffy.
Cut the cake into three discs and top two of the discs with icing and sandwich them together. Ice the top of the cake.
Sponge with piña colada cream
With a generous splash of white rum, this sponge turns your favourite tropical drink into a dessert. Perfect for long summer nights
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
For the sponge:
140g golden caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
For the filling:
1 small fresh pineapple, peeled and the centre removed then the outside flesh chopped into small cubes
2 tbsp white rum, such as Bacardi
50ml coconut cream
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line the base of two 7-inch sponge tins with parchment. Grease the edges.
Whisk the eggs and sugar until very light and fluffy. This may take a bit of time, but it is worth it.
Sieve the flour into the mixture and fold it in gently so that the mixture does not lose its volume.
Pour into the prepared tins and bake for about 20 minutes until it has risen and is nice and golden. Set aside until cool enough to handle then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Toss the pineapple in the rum and allow to soak.
Whip the cream to stiff peaks and fold in the coconut cream and the desiccated coconut.
When you are ready for the cake spread the coconut cream on the top of one of the sponges then spread some of the soaked pineapple on top. Sit the other sponge on top and sieve with icing sugar or sprinkle with some coconut.
Strawberries in the style of tiramisu
Fresh, vibrant strawberries are the star of this light, fruity take on a traditional tiramisu
Preparation Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
200ml orange juice
175g sponge fingers
2 tbsp honey
Blitz about 50 grams of the strawberries with the Cointreau and orange juice until you have a juice like texture. Soak the sponge fingers in the liquid. You can add a little more Cointreau if you wish.
Whisk the cream, Mascarpone and honey until it forms peaks.
Slice the remaining strawberries.
Layer up the sponge with the Mascarpone mixture and the strawberries. You can either make individual desserts or do this in a large dish and spoon it out when serving.
Place into the fridge and preferably serve that day.