Who needs carbs? This tira misu cake is every bit as good as its traditional full-carb cousin; just in cake form! It’s perfect for diabetics or those on a ketogenic diet, & couldn’t be simpler to make!
I haven’t put a pudding on this blog yet, so I was determined to go for one of my favourites. This recipe is incredibly morish. Because it’s make with almonds, it has that rich, moist, heavy denseness, which is decadent & indulgent; but also gratifying & filling.
And the cherry on the cake? No carbs! It’s amazing to think you can eat this kind of thing on a diet! The ketogenic diabetic can also dig in without guilt. A true winner!
So how to do it?
The cake-base is best made the day before (unless you have a long leisurely day ahead of you). Quantities can also be doubled to make a larger cake.
Cream 4oz of unsalted butter and 4oz Xylitol sweetener in a mixing-bowl. Two comments to make here: firstly, Xylitol. This is the only sweetener I have found which is 100% natural, doesn’t lose its sweetness through cooking & behaves exactly like sugar in cakes. It is granulated, so creams exactly the way a traditional caster sugar would. I cannot praise it enough!
Second comment? Always use your hands for making cakes. The only part where you need a utensil is when folding in the dry-ingredients. The warmth of your hands makes the butter so much more workable and it is the only way to truly ‘feel’ for lumps. Your hands are nature’s whisk. Use them!
So once the butter & sugar are light & fluffy, incorporate 2 beaten eggs with vanilla extract mixed in. Don’t worry if the mixture curdles slightly; if it does, I have still never made a bad cake through that happening! Once the mix is as smooth and aerated as you can get it, fold in 4oz of ground almonds.
Into a lined cake tin it goes, to bake in a moderate oven until lightly golden and firm on top. I have a Rayburn / Aga; so cooking time is less essential than in a fan or gas oven. I should imagine gas mark 4, or 180 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Take out of the oven and leave to cool until it is ‘convincingly’ room-temperature.
To make the topping, boil a little water and add circa 2 table-spoons of Xylitol / sweetener into a mixing bowl. Pour on the same quantity of hot water so that the sugar loses its graininess (nothing worse than icing with a bite!). Add to this a tablespoon of orange-liqueur or brandy (this is where your only real carbs will come from), 2 table-spoons of mascapone & the same volume of whipping-cream by eye. Whisk up with a strong elbow, until the mix is stiff and spreadable. You can use an electric whisk / blender, but please note: I consider that cheating! Check the taste to adjust the sweetness / booziness to your preference.
If you have a larger cake (or lots of patience) you can slice the cake horizontally to put filling in the middle. This does look a lot more ‘sumptuous’ but beware; almond cakes are far crumblier than their flour counterparts. Be prepared for a bit of cracking and re-sticking if you attempt this! Because it’s a Monday night, and mine is only a 4oz cake; I have chosen to just put the icing on top.
Whichever route you take, the cake-layers will require addition of coffee & liqueur. With a sharp knife, spear the cake so that the liquid has plenty of holes to run into. With a soup-spoon, ladle on coffee (strong instant or espresso) then your liqueur. Volume is to preference. I like it strong, but this will equally affect the texture. If you wish for a drier cake, then add less liquid. As a guide, I used about 8 tablespoons of coffee & 4 tablespoons of liqueur.
Once the cake is ‘dowsed’, spread the icing in as generous proportions as you can get away with, without being gratuitous. Place cocoa powder into a sieve or tea-strainer and give the finished article a thick and luxurious dusting.
The only thing left to say… Enjoy!
Thank you for reading,