My dear readers, Dessert time and it is the wonderful, mysterious Tiramisu!
Tiramisu makes any dessert special and it was the perfect choice for the Captain and I on Christmas Eve.
The steps are easy and the fridge does all the work for you.
Well, almost all the work. You see, it only takes about 30 minutes to prepare, before popping into the fridge.
So what makes this dessert so mysterious, you might ask?
Perhaps we should start with a little background on this dessert that has many people touting it’s praises.
You see, this Tiramisu was most likely invented in the late 1960/1970 time frame! And it is believed that it did indeed originate in Italy, only not quite the same recipe that is popular today.
There are many trains of thought as to the ingredients for Tiramisu and to the traditional recipe. I have heard the following dialog when discussing Tiramisu recipes:
Use Rum, don’t use rum! Use Ladyfingers, No use sponge cake! Use raw egg whites beaten to soft peaks, No, use heavy cream! Use Mascarpone Cheese, No, Cream Cheese works just as well! Use Cocoa powder, No, grated chocolate is best with a sprinkle of powdered sugar!
And then there is the Espresso….some people like the bitter coffee flavor, as it contrasts with the sweetness of the Marscapone and egg whites or heavy cream,…or both! While others say…. just use whatever coffee you have made for your morning drink.
My dear readers….the only ingredients that matter are the ones you prefer. I choose to use heavy cream instead of the egg whites and I prefer to use my own brand of coffee over Espresso and I prefer to use grated chocolate rather than cocoa powder. As far as the wine or liquor go….that depends on my mood, but I do prefer Amaretto because it gives a bit of almond flavor to my Tiramisu.
But that is me….you choose the ingredients of your choice.
So once you solve the mystery of what you want to put into your modern day Tiramisu….than it is just a matter of assembling the ingredients.
Now, it is time to prepare this dessert!
Steps: chill the coffee mixture, make the custard, beat the heavy cream and fold into the custard, dip the lady fingers quickly and only the edge,… into the chilled coffee mixture, arrange in serving dish, top with layer of custard and sprinkle of cocoa or chocolate, repeat…chill for several hours and serve!
How simple is that?
Below is the handy dandy printable recipe…..
Hugs from our house to yours!
- 4 egg yolks,
- *1/2 cup Amaretto (you can use sweet Marsala Wine if desired, I personally like the almond flavor of the Amaretto)
- 16 ounces Mascarpone cheese
- 12 ounces espresso or coffee from your pot
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used grated dark chocolate)
- **1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Lady fingers to layer a 12x8 inch pan twice (40).
- Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar to the Espresso (or coffee) and chill in the fridge
- Whisk the egg yolks along with the remaining sugar and Amaretto in a heat proof bowl or double boiler
- Keep whisking until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken
- Remove the custard from the heat and add the vanilla before setting aside
- Using a mixer, start whipping the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks and then set aside (not stiff peaks or it is over-beaten)
- Beat the softened Marscarpone until smooth and creamy
- Add the Marscarpone to the custard mixture and combine until smooth and creamy
- Fold the whipped cream gently into the custard and marscarpone mixture (do not over mix)
- To assemble the Tiramisu, remove the coffee/Amaretto from the fridge and dip the lady fingers into the dark liquid... but only for a second (the ladyfinger should not be completely submerged as they fall apart easily and you don't want soggy ladyfingers) and place in your serving dish
- Spread half of the Marscarpone custard mixture over the top of the ladyfingers and sprinkle with the grated chocolate or cocoa powder
- Repeat the layer process by dipping the second layer of ladyfingers and topping with the custard
- At this point, sprinkle the top of the Marscarpone custard with either cocoa powder or grated chocolate (I used the chocolate, finely grated) and a bit of powdered sugar if desired
- Cover with plastic wrap and place the Tiramisu in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours before serving
- I also like to let the Tiramisu sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes before serving
- This recipe will fill an 8X8 or a 9X13 serving dish, depending on how many lady fingers you have and how you arrange them. The ladyfingers should be enough for two layers with the custard in between the layers and on top.
- Since I made four small trifle dishes...I cut back on the lady fingers and the custard. The custard is great all by itself and I saved it for another dessert and another day! The Tiramisu and custard will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge
- I also grated my chocolate with my nutmeg grater/rasp for a finer texture
- *You can substitute any liquor such as brandy or dark rum....rum is traditional, but it is a little strong for me OR you can eliminate the wine or liquor completely
- **I prefer the heavy cream to the egg whites, but you can use 3 egg whites instead,
- Some say the chocolate or cocoa seeps too much into the Tiramisu after assembling so they advise to add the chocolate just before serving. I have never had that happen so I use the chocolate in the assembly process.
Good morning Kari, I am sure your Tiramisu tasted as good as it looked.
When we were in Italy we used to use the Pavesi finger biscuits..(as kids we called them dog biscuits due to their crispness and shape) very much like the ladyfingers.. Mum used the rum/espresso – never measured which meant it was highly alcoholic..
Tiramisu was always on my “dinner menu” – I even kept a “guest menu diary” in the early days… to ensure I didn’t repeat the menu for the same guests… Ah seems so long ago now… hehehe
Didn’t make one this year… seems too many people are now “dairy/cream” intolerant… Also, my recipes use raw eggs so if you have a pregnant daughter its off the menu for a while, but I like the way you cooked your custard which avoids the risk, so I’ll be tucking it away in my “must try” file.
Another dessert that used to be a favorite in the dinner menu diary was the “Lemon syllabub” very impressively simple. Some foods go out of fashion and I think the syllabub fell from grace at some point…
Hugs from across the pond..
Lemon syllabub sounds intriguing….do you have the recipe? If it fell out of fashion, I think it should be revised don’t you think? OR as that famous line from the movie “Dirty Dancing”…no one puts baby in the corner….lemon syllabub included!