While we were on vacation in Hawaii last month, I found this awesome tool! And I had to buy it! It's meant for making pan sushi, which is basically made of ingredients that you would normally roll up in sushi, but spread out in layers inside a pan instead (and usually made with a layer of furikake instead of nori/seaweed paper), and then cut in squares to serve.
So what was the first thing I made with this tool? I made a Hello Kitty tiramisu cake! We were going to celebrate my mom's birthday a few weeks early since my brother was going to be in town, and since her favorite dessert is tiramisu I had been planning to make her tiramisu cake. And while I was unpacking all the goodies I had bought on vacation, I suddenly realized that I could use the pan sushi mold make the tiramisu instead!
So I found a tiramisu cake recipe in my copy of Dorie Greenspan's book "Baking: From My Home to Yours". The cake layer was a sponge cake, which I baked in two 9-inch pans. While the cakes were in the oven, I used the mold to trace and cut out Hello Kitty on a cake board, which I then covered in foil.
Then once the cakes were baked and cooled, I again used the mold to cut Hello Kitty out of the cake. I ended up using only one of the cakes, cut in half horizontally to make two layers, since both of the cakes together plus the filling would be taller than the mold itself.
Next, I prepared all the components I would need to assemble my tiramisu cake - I made espresso extract, espresso kahlua syrup (which uses the espresso extract), and freshly whipped cream to lighten a mascarpone filling (which also uses the espresso extract, as well as a bit of kahlua for extra flavor). Once all of the components were ready, I placed my prepared cake board inside the Hello Kitty mold, followed by the first layer of cake.
Next, I the brushed the cake with some of the espresso syrup.
Then came a layer of the mascarpone filling, and then a dusting of cocoa powder (or you can use chopped chocolate).
Next came the second layer of cake, brushed with more of the espresso syrup (on both sides). And then another layer of the mascarpone filling. This would be the top of the cake, so I made sure to smooth it out evenly with an offset spatula.
And then the final touch - one last dusting of cocoa powder, using a Hello Kitty stencil, in order to bring Hello Kitty to life!
The cake turned out light and moist, and full of tiramisu flavor.
I think the kids liked the cake even more than my mom! Happy birthday, Mom!
The cake was pretty simple to make, and we liked it so much that I made it again the following weekend for my friend Diana's belated birthday (since we were on vacation during her actual birthday!).
I hope she liked it as well! Happy birthday, Diana!