Saturday April 13th, 2024
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Tirami-So Sweet: Cloud Bakery Kakaw is the Declared Land of Tiramisu

The tiramisu made by this Cairo-based cloud bakery is the Belle of the tirami-ball.

Layla Raik

The faint taste of coffee, soft ladyfingers, a thick layer of mascarpone cream and a light drizzle of cocoa powder, or what we call ‘Kakaw’, set the simple tiramisu apart from all the other desserts on display. Somehow, despite its layered simplicity, the dessert has managed to have populations in a chokehold. There’s just something about it.

Well, besides us foodies being obsessed with it, a certain baker has developed a similar fascination with what it is that makes a tiramisu great. So much so that his entire cloud bakery has been steadfastly pointed towards the dessert, further perfecting it dish by dish. As intrigued as he was, we decided to cut right through the thick cream exterior and find out the core quality of tiramisu.

“I can’t say there’s a specific place in which I learned how to cook,” Ibrahim Mohamed, the founder and chef behind Kakaw, tells SceneEats. “It’s more of a culmination of my entire lived experience. My travelling, specifically, contributed a lot to what I did in the kitchen.”

Mohamed’s inspiration for tiramisu, however, was a little unorthodox. “When it came to tiramisu, I experienced the dessert in more than four countries,” he says. “I got digging to find out the differences between the tiramisus I tried, and, in the process, found that no bakeries in Egypt specialised in authentic tiramisu.”

Having just moved to Cairo from Alexandria, Mohamed found enough time on his hands to steer his knack in the kitchen more professionally towards an online bakery and thought, “If not now, then when? If not tiramisu, then what?”

It’s simple, it’s a classic and it’s hard to hate. Mohamed found that his long-term dream of running his own fully-fledged walk-in coffee shop and bakery could only start with a specialisation in one of his favourites: tiramisu. He plans to introduce more flavours of the classic dessert in the coming month, and teases a special Ramadan release soon.

The reason Mohamed is, so far, directing his energy towards only tiramisu is primarily quality control. Starting a business, especially a part-time bakery as a student, is a big change. “I make only tiramisu because I believe that if I direct my focus towards only one product, I’ll be able to give it all I have,” he explains.

And give it all he did. Kakaw makes tiramisu the Italian way (minus the rum) with the generosity of an Egyptian spirit. “All the ingredients we use are very high quality, to preserve the integrity of an Italian recipe. Besides that, I spent a lot of time ensuring our packaging is entirely reusable. In classic Egyptian tradition, Kakaw boxes can be reused and passed around long after they are freed of the original tiramisu.”

Kakaw’s tiramisu walks the difficult line of soft but not soggy lady fingers, covered in a hefty layer of cream that is just the right shade of mascarpone, and covered in a generous layer of its namesake, Kakaw.

“The main thing about tiramisu is cocoa, so the name ‘Kakaw’ just represents the brand in a way that touches the Egyptian consumer,” Mohamed says. “It represents the warm ambience of Egyptian kitchens.”

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