The little brother turned 15 last weekend (okay, maybe not so little anymore) and I told him that he could have whatever cake he wanted for his birthday. A Rootbeer Tiramisu cake, that's what he decided he absolutely had to have - I suppose boys will be boys.
I had heard of a beeramisu (thanks to an episode of Australian Masterchef) but ROOT-beer tiramisu seemed just a little too strange in my book. Still, I'd promised him he could have whatever his almost-15-year-old heart desired so the rootbeer cake it was.
Adapted from Mitch's Rootbeer Tiramisu
250 g soft cheese (cream cheese)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 egg white
1 packet ladies fingers
1 can root beer
In a large bowl, mix soft cheese, vanilla and brown sugar - mix well.
In another bowl, whip egg yolk until stiff peaks form.
Fold egg white into the soft cheese mixture.
Cover the bottom and sides of a 9 inch, square cake tin with a layer of ladies fingers.
Pour some rootbeer onto the layer on the bottom of the tin until the ladies fingers become soft.
Spread a layer of cheese mixture on top of the layer of ladies fingers.
Sprinkle a generous amount of grated chocolate onto the cheese mixture.
Add another layer of ladies fingers and repeat the process.
Pop into the fridge and leave in there overnight.
The original recipe called for whipped cream but after a little bit of a disaster involving the whipped cream (trying to whip cream in the middle of the day in Malaysia is not a good idea), we decided to do away with the cream, take a chance, and just go with only the cream cheese.
All fears about the strangeness of the flavour combinations were put to rest as soon as the rootbeer hit the sponge fingers. There's a slight fizzing before the delicious aroma hits you - and you know that you've got something good to look forward to. Once you let the fridge work its magic, the sponge fingers turn into a soft, light, rootbeer-tinged sponge cake which seems to go just perfectly with the cream cheese.
I'd say the experiment was a success - this recipe is definitely a keeper (the quirkiness is a bit of a crowd pleaser too).
Judging from the big smile on the birthday boys face, I'm willing to bet that he was more than happy with the outcome too.