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Gluten free almond tirimasu cake thingy!

Not sure if this is the place to discuss recipes and baking or not? However, I'm trying to come up with my own twist on a combination of a tirimasu I make (which my wife loves!) and an almond cake, which I wheel out for most birthday cakes as a starting point, as its naturally gluten free, required for my Mum.

This is the almond cake:

If this were tirimasu, I'd soak the sponge fingers in a combination of freshly brewed coffee and Mr Black coffee liqueur. 

I worry here that it would make this cake too sogy though, as soonge fingers have a different texture. Thoughts? 

I pondered mixing Nutella or similar with the the coffee liqueur to make a sort of thinner paste I could almost pour/spread over the almond cake 

I thought putting anything coffee *into* the almond mix might make it too wet and not work

I'm okay on the filling between the two layers - I'd use my tirimasu cream type stuff I make, and probably similar for the top.

So yeah, suggestions most welcome. 

Sadly I've sort of ran out of time to experiment much! 


  • FairyPrincessk
    FairyPrincessk Posts: 2,439 Forumite
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    You have a few options here--coming from someone who is GF and misses Tiramisu so learned how to make a GF version!

    The time saver option is to use your almond cake as a base but use a lot less of the coffee/liqueur mixture, closer to what you'd use when making a trifle. Instead of dipping/soaking, you put the cake in the bowl/ramekin and pour/spoon a little over.  Easiest is to do a single layer, but you can use the same method for the second layer if it is close fitting and cut to fit the bowl/ramekin.  HOWEVER, this is going to be denser, richer and more filling than tiramisu and you may not like the texture (although the flavour should be nice).

    Option number two is to buy or bake a GF sponge. Bonne Maman makes GF madeleines that would work for this. They'd need a very quick dip in the coffee and then you could layer as you would. Any basic GF sponge recipe should work for this, if you have some GF flour and want to make your own, but you may find it crumbles quite a lot and is hard to keep neat--hence the suggestion of the madeleines, which would stay together.

    Finally--perhaps the most time consuming and/or expensive suggestion is that you can buy and or make GF ladyfingers. Schar makes some that are GF, although they aren't usually sold in the UK. You can order them from Italy though--if you ever want to get really decadent. I did this one year for Xmas as I don't like Xmas pud. They make a very authentic GF Tiramisu. I haven't yet gotten around to trying to make GF lady fingers, but there are recipes out there.
  • Emmia
    Emmia Posts: 3,147 Forumite
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    When I've made coffee cake in the past, I've found using a strong instant coffee (nescafe alta rica or similar, dissolved in a small amount of water) had the best effect - the flavour doesn't come through super strongly once baked. Using granules straight into the dry ingredients may also work, but you'd need to crush them first so the coffee is a powder, and I'm not sure on quantities.

    Could you mix instant coffee granules with a tiny bit of water, and put that into the almond mix to flavour the cake part, then douse the cake, with just the liqueur or a  liqueur / freshly brewed coffee mix, with less freshly brewed coffee?
  • FairyPrincessk
    FairyPrincessk Posts: 2,439 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    p.s. if you go with option one, take a toothpick and poke holes in your cake layer before you spoon the liquer on. I haven't made that particular almond cake, but a lot of them get a nice thin sort of  'crust' on top that may mean the liquid just slides off.
  • -taff
    -taff Posts: 14,484 Forumite
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    edited 19 March 2023 at 11:48AM
    powdered barista espresso type coffee.The instant type and add to the base cake mix, it will wet up with whatever else you have for wetting in there. That is an idea not a sure fire thing though...
    Shampoo? No thanks, I'll have real poo...
  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,083 Forumite
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    I wonder if I could grind the beans as you would for making a normal expresso in a machine? Grind setting to the finest..? 
  • ChilliBob
    ChilliBob Posts: 2,083 Forumite
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    Sorry, not really with it today and didn't see all the other replies!

    Many thanks all, @FairyPrincessk its a decent and simple recipe that one, there's lots of similar ones online too. 

    Nice tip on the pricking the cake business. 

    I'm torn now between coffee ground as fine as I can get it, into the mix, or spooning on my mix, or both! 
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