Tiramisù alla Cioccolato (Chocolate Tiramisu)

Makes 1 (8-inch) 3-layer cake. Reprinted with permission from “Authentic Italian Desserts” by Rosemary Molloy. Molloy writes: “My husband is the tiramisu lover in the family — he always requests this for his birthday and Christmas (I can’t say I blame him.) This is one of those cakes that just gets better and better with a couple of days in the fridge. … This cake makes the perfect guests-are-coming-for-dinner dessert. While this recipe is written to yield a cake with three layers, feel free to grease and flour three cake pans instead of cutting one cake into three layers.”

Cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour

⅓ cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

4 large eggs

¾ cup granulated sugar

Filling:

1¼ cups heavy cream or whipping cream

1¼ cups mascarpone cheese

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 large pasteurized egg (see note)

1 cup coffee (or more if desired or needed), divided

Chocolate curls or flakes, for garnishing

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F, then grease and flour an 8-inch springform pan.

2. To make the cake, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and cocoa powder in a medium bowl.

3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-low speed until thoroughly combined, about 5 minutes. Add the flour mixture a little at a time, beating continuously, until well mixed. Pour the batter into the springform pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

4. Let the cake cool completely, then remove from the pan. Slice the cake to make 3 layers.

5. While the cake is cooling, make the filling. In a large bowl beat together the heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, sugar and egg (if using), until very thick, about 2 to 3 minutes.

6. Place one layer of the cake (sliced-side up) on a large plate and spoon ⅓ cup of the coffee on top. Cover the cake with one-third of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat this process with the remaining layers. Frost the top of the cake with the remaining mascarpone mixture. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight). Top the cake with the chocolate curls or flakes before serving.

Note: An authentic Italian tiramisu always includes an egg in the filling (It makes it more flavorful and creamier). However, I recommend a pasteurized egg for safety reasons (but you can eliminate the egg altogether if you wish).