Tiramisu

Tiramisu is an Italian coffee flavored dessert. It is made with layers of lady fingers dipped in coffee and the egg and mascarpone mixture topped with chocolate. This is a simple dessert that you can whip up easily. Really wow your family, guests and they will think you are the most amazing chef…

You will need Italian lady fingers. I believe it is a must and you can buy it fairly easily. I got mine at Whole Foods but you can even get it on Amazon or make it yourself. (In Europe, people always have a package of lady fingers at home).

Traditionally, raw eggs are used to make tiramisu. I use fresh, local eggs but you can use heavy whipping cream and cook the egg yolk as a substitute so you do not need to worry about raw egg issue. In Europe, eggs are not a problem but in the US, eggs are processed differently and might not be fresh. Of course, the cream will make it heavier and richer. If you decide to use eggs, here is the egg test. When you immerse your egg in a pot of cold water, it should lie flat on the bottom. If it goes to the top or even one side starts moving up, do not use the egg. You can only use eggs that are fresh here. I will have instructions for both versions, the only raw egg version and the alternative version using cream and cooked egg yolk.

What kitchen equipments do you need? 1 medium sized dish for whipping the whites or the cream, 1 larger, medium sized dish for the egg yolk/mascarpone, one 2 Qt sized deep dish for the tiramisu. 1 double boiler if cooking the egg yolk. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can use a metal bowl that fits on the top of a the bottom pot securely but does not touch the bottom of the pot. 1 whisk, 1 plastic scraper, 1 sieve. Optional but nice if you already have them: coffee maker, handheld mixer and food processor. Plastic wrap for refrigeration.

Separating the egg white from the yolk can be a bit tricky if you are new to baking. When cracking the egg, tap the egg on a flat surface. Taping on the edge of the counter can push the shells in and then you end up with egg shells inside your egg. Also, I like to put the egg white individually into a separate smaller bowl first to make sure the egg is not addled and no yolk is mixed in. Then you can pour it into a bigger dish that is suitable for whipping the whites and collect the rest of the eggs whites. My daughter uses a plastic bottle and scoops out the yolk to separate the whites from thenyolks. Of course, the egg yolk can go into a medium sized bowl that will be used to mix egg yolk and mascarpone.

Another key ingredient is mascrapone. Yes it is expensive! … but it is the main ingredient and is worth it! So what is mascarpone anyway? It is like cream cheese but is creamier and has a higher fat content as it is obtained from cream and not from milk; cream cheese has 35% while mascarpone has 70% fat.

The recipe uses alcohol. I used dark rum. In my opinion, it suits this rich dessert better but the light rum is fine as well. Amoretto works well too. If you don’t want to use alcohol, simply use vanilla or almond extract instead.

To assemble mascapone, you will need a deeper dish that is 2Qt in size (I used a rectangular dish that is 11.5x8x2inches). But you can use anything even circular dishes. Sometimes I use ice cream serving dishes and make tiramisu individually. Just make sure that lady fingers are tightly laid down.

Coffee gives tiramisu the distinctive, interesting flavor, so yes you will need a good strong Italian espresso. The lady fingers are dipped in the espresso so make sure you make a good strong brew. 1 1/2 cup of espresso should be enough for dipping. (If you have left overs, you can drink it or pour it on your plants). For 1 1/2 cups of water, I used 1/3 cup of coffee beans that is 2 1/2 Tbsp ground coffee. If you don’t have a coffee grinder, purchase the coffee already ground. If you have an espresso machine, great! If you don’t, no worries! We have a simple Italian coffee press that works well. If you don’t have either just use a pot and a sieve and make it like a tea.

This dish is definatelly a make ahead dessert. It needs to be refrigerated for at least 6 hours but one whole day is even better … but honestly, I think it tastes the best after 2 days … although that might be too long to wait … Otherwise, if you use fresh eggs, it should be consumed within a few days (5-6 days) and if you use cream and cook the yolk, you can keep it for a week in the refrigerator.

RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups of strong espresso at room temperature (1/3 cup of coffee beans or 2 1/2 Tbsp ground coffee)
  • 28 lady fingers, might need more
  • 6 (divided) Tbsp of rum/amoretto/vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs (whites and yolks separated) at room temperature
  • 16 oz COLD mascarpone
  • 2 cups COLD heavy whipping cream (if not using egg whites)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 sugar
  • coco powder
  • shaved chocolate for decoration, optional

Directions for the raw eggs version (If you can’t use raw eggs please use directions below).

  • Take the eggs out of the refrigerator. They need to be at room temperature.
  • The mascarpone needs to be cold so keep it in the fridge until you need it.
  • Make the espresso. Pour it into a shallow dish with a flat bottom along with the 3 Tbsp of rum. Coffee needs to be at room temperature.
  • Dip the lady fingers in the coffee quickly one at a time for a few seconds. Lay the dipped lady finger in a dish nice and snug.

  • Making the tiramisu sauce. Seperate the eggs.
  • Add 1/2 cup of sugar to the yolk with a pinch of salt and mix for 6-10 minute or until you get a nice creamy consistency. Keep checking, do not over-beat. You want to get a nice creamy, pudding like consistency. Here we are adding air to the yolks to increase volume.

  • Add the 3 Tbsp of rum and mascarpone to the egg yolk. You can use a whisker or a hand held machine on low speed. Beat until just combined and smooth.
  • Whip up the egg whites until the whites are solid for about 2-3 minutes. When you turn the bowl upside down, it should not fall out of the bowl. You can use a food processor, electric mixer or you can do it by hand. Do not over beat. Keep checking.
  • Add the egg whites to the egg/mascarpone mixture. Don’t mix but gently fold it in. You just need to incorporate it into the yolk mixture keeping its fluffiness. Make sure to scrape from the bottom of the bowl to catch any hidden pockets of flour.
  • Pour half of this mixture on the lady fingers that are already in the dish.
  • Put another layer of the coffee dipped lady fingers on top of this mixture.
  • Pour the other half of the tiramisu mixture on the lady fingers.
  • Gently sprinkle some coco powder on the top through a sieve.
  • Cover the dish with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or 2 full days.
  • Serve with shaved chocolate, optional.

Direction for the cream and cooked egg yolks version

  • Take the eggs out of the refrigerator. They need to be at room temperature.
  • Mascarpone and cream need to be cold. Keep them in the fridge until you are ready to use them.
  • Make the coffee. Pour it into a shallow dish with a flat bottom along with 3 Tbsp of rum. Coffee needs to be at room temperature.
  • Dip the lady fingers in the coffee quickly one at a time for a few seconds. Lay the dipped lady finger in a dish nice and snug.
  • Making the tiramisu sauce. Seperate the eggs.
  • Prepare the double boiler by bringing some water to a simmer in the bottom pot.
  • Add 1/2 cup of sugar to the yolk with a pinch of salt in a pot or metal bowl that would fit the bottom pot and mix with a whisker for 8-10minutes over low heat or until you get a nice creamy custard consistency. Keep stirring continuously. Here we are adding air to the yolks to increase volume.

  • Add the 3 Tbsp of rum and the mascarpone to the egg yolks. Beat until just combined and smooth.
  • Whip the chilled cream for about 2-3 minutes or until it is solid. When you turn the bowl upside down, it should not fall out of the bowl. You can use a food processor, electric mixer or you can do it by hand. Do not over-beat.
  • Add the cream to the egg/mascarpone mixture. Don’t mix but gently fold it in with a plastic spatula. You just need to incorporate it into the yolk mixture keeping its fluffiness. Make sure to scrape from the bottom of the bowl to catch any hidden pockets of flour.
  • Pour half of this mixture on the lady fingers that are already in the dish.
  • Put another layer of the coffee dipped lady fingers on top of this mixture.
  • Pour the other half of the tiramisu mixture on the lady fingers.
  • Gently sprinkle some coco powder through a sieve on the top.
  • Cover the dish with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or 2 days.
  • Serve with shaved chocolate, optional.

enjoy!

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