1. Start with pre-heating the oven to 180C (170C with fan). Coat a 23 cm round cake pan, line the pan with parchment paper (optional). Sift the baking powder with the flour and set aside.
2. In a bowl, set above simmering and steaming water, mix together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, honey and lemon zest until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then whisk the mixture with a mixer on high speed for about 10 minutes – until the mixture is mousse-like and tripled in size. Add the flour to this mixture and carefully mix them with a spatula, to avoid clumps.
3. Pour the batter to the cake pan and bake it in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. Check by inserting a toothpick. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 5 mins. Release the cake from the pan by running a knife around the edges and remove the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool for additional 10 minutes before removing the pan base with parchment paper and putting it on the cooling rack. Cool completely by putting the cake in the fridge. After it’s cooled, cut the cake horizontally into three equal sheets.
4. For the coffee syrup, pour all the listed ingredients together and mix it until sugar dissolves completely.
5. For the cream, whisk mascarpone cheese in a bowl until it’s fluffy and soft and set aside. In a separate bowl whip the cream until it’s fluffy and whipped, then add the prepared mascarpone, sugar, vanilla extract, liquor and chocolate, if you’re adding it. Whisk everything together until well combined.
6. Start assembling the cake by placing your first cake layer on a plate and pour 1/3 of the coffee syrup on it. Spread 1/3 of the cream on the cake layer. Repeat the process with the 2nd and 3rd layers. With the last 3rd of the cream, spread some of it on the sides and even everything out. Decorate the cake by dusting the cocoa powder or sprinkling the chocolate on top. Refrigerate for at least one night before serving. Enjoy!
7. Notes: Use high-quality coffee. The more aroma your coffee has, the tastier your cake will be. Instead of Marsala wine or Amaretto, I used brandy, but one should use a bit less brandy than listed in the ingredients. I decided to omit adding the alcohol to the cream this time. I did not add any chocolate to the cream as well, but sprinkled it on the cream with each layer. The finished product was a very delicious and not overly-sweet cake.