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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To Tiramisu, With Love

I have, for quite some time, wanted to make Tiramisu, but never did.   It stayed in the back of my mind as something I needed to make a go of.  Easter was approaching, so I decided this would be the time to do it.  I have had a general understanding of what is needed for it, but wasn't completely sure.  I knew I needed mascarpone and lady fingers.  I knew I needed coffee and/or a booze of some kind.  So I started to look for recipes in books and online.  And as is often the case, I took what I liked from several different recipes and went from there.

A lot of recipes call for dark rum, but Kahlua makes more sense to me.  You need strong coffee anyway so why not coffee liqueur?  Some recipes called for whipping egg whites while others used whipped cream.  But just about all start out with egg yolks and sugar so that's where I'm starting.  Take six (yes, 6) egg yolks only and put them in a double boiler.  You can of course, use a bowl over a pan of boiling water, which is what I do.  Just make sure you can hold on to this bowl or that it's secure because you will have to stir constantly and you don't want the bowl to fall out of the pan.  The water should be shallow and at a simmer/light boil. Add 1 cup of sugar to the eggs and stir. 

Stir and stir and stir and stir.  Stir while the water lightly simmers for about 10 minutes.  

While you're doing this, you should have the bowl you plan on whipping your cream in, in the freezer getting super cold, along with the beaters for the mixer you plan on using.  It would really come in handy if you have two Kitchen Aid stand mixers when making this, which I do. But if you don't, you can whip the cream with a hand mixer, no problem.

Once the eggs and sugar have cooked for 10 minutes, transfer the mixture to the mixers bowl and beat the eggs and sugar until it gets thick.  I had some concerns making this that the sugar never fully dissolved and thought my Tiramisu would have a grainy texture.   If this happens to you, don't worry.  The end product was not grainy at all.

Once the egg/sugar mixture has thickened and cooled some from the beating it's taking, add two cups of softened mascarpone cheese.  They come in one cup tubs, so you'll need two of them.  

Beat until fully combined and it becomes a whole lot of sweet eggy mascarpony deliciousness.

To this you will add your whipped cream.  Which is why having dueling Kitchen Aid's comes in handy here.  But if not, just set the egg mixture aside for a few minutes while you whip the cream.

You will need two cups of heavy whipping cream whipped to stiff peaks.  Be careful not to over beat though or you will end up with butter.  Gently fold the whipped cream into the egg yolk mixture.

Gently, slowly.  Do this in increments, a little at a time.  You want this mixture to be light and airy when it's all combined.  

Now it's time for assembly.  You can make lady fingers if you're feeling adventurous.  I would venture to say that sometime I will most likely try doing that.  This time though I used store bought lady fingers.  And since I generally don't drink anymore, buying a whole bottle of Kahlua seemed like a waste to me, instead I bought three small bottles, the size you'd find on a mini bar.  I mixed it with about a cup of dark coffee.

Take the lady fingers and dunk them fully into the Kahlua/coffee mixture and make one layer of them on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.  Dunk them quickly.  Even if they still seem hard, they won't be.  They suck up that liquid quick!

Once you have that first layer of lady fingers in place, take half of your cream mixture and spread it over the top of them.  Then start the process all over again, dunking the lady fingers and placing them on top of the cream.

Spread the rest of the cream over the top of the lady fingers and then dust with cocoa powder.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or preferably, overnight.  Looking back it seems like a lot of steps but this really was one of the easiest things I have ever made and it is absolutely delicious.

Buon Cibo mia Amici.

Ingredient list

6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 cups mascarpone cheese, softened
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 pkg lady fingers
1 cup dark coffee
3/4 cup Kahlua
cocoa powder for dusting


Kesseret Steeplechase said...

when you said dueling kitchen aids I starting humming....

I love tiramisu. My husband uses no booze just strong coffee - but i could do with the kahlua.

cath said...

by the time I got to the end of this I was drooling...I think it looks delicious...even though I don't like coffee or kahlua I would give it a try!
~cath :D