1.5.11

tiramisu

Apparently, the meaning of the name of this cake is literally a "pick me up" because it is said to invigorate, wake up and cheer up anyone who eats it.


Tiramisu is probably the most famous Italian cake, and I have been making it for at least 15 years.
Two things all tiramisu versions have in common - it contains mascarpone cheese and coffee-dunked lady finger biscuits, and everyone has their own, and of course "the best", recipe :D

I have changed my way of making tiramisu god knows how many times, from a very simple recipe with uncooked egg cream, more cream less cheese, the other way around, some would turn out with cream too soft, some too sweet, and even though all the versions were excellent, it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I spoke to a friend who was concerned about using uncooked eggs, that I made this version and I never looked back.
So with no false modesty, I assure you, this is the best tiramisu recipe there is :D

Ingredients

4 egg yolks
100g sugar
splash vanilla extract
250g mascarpone cheese
500ml whipping cream
2 packs lady finger biscuits (approx 400g)
300ml strong black unsweetened coffee
good splash of rum (as strong as you like)
dark chocolate for grating

Preparation

Mix egg yolks and sugar with some vanilla extract until light yellow and thick. Cook on the steam (boil up some water in a large pan into which you can partially immerse the small saucepan with this egg mixture, that will cook it without burning it on the bottom).
Stir continuously and cook until the mixture becomes glossy, hot and thick (about 10 minutes).
Leave aside to cool (it won't take more than 10 minutes until it is room temperature).

Start whipping the cream using electric mixer on low speed. This will take some time, but don't rush it because you don't want to over whip and turn it to butter.
After a few minutes of whipping, the cream won't be liquid anymore but it will be still runny. Add mascarpone now and continue mixing until combined. Still the mix is quite runny. Now you can probably add the egg mixture (if cool enough), continue to mix on low speed until all combined. Most likely your mixture is still too soft to be used as cake topping.
Now you can turn up the speed and mix until you start to get quite a firm smooth mixture. This will take not very long, probably 1-3 minutes. Once the peaks can form without losing shape (this you can easily check by dipping a finger into it), the cream is firm and ready.

This whipping process has to be monitored. It overall takes about 5-7 minutes in total, but it is important to be there every step of the way, and to dip your finger into the mixture every so often to ensure perfect consistency.

Now you are ready to assemble tiramisu.

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I make mine in a big clear trifle bowl because it is deep and makes for a very nice tall dessert, but you can use any container.
Make coffee using as much instant coffee (or decaf) as you wish - to the coffee granules add boiling water, some cold water so that it is not too hot, and a good splash of rum.
Dip the biscuits one by one and arrange a half of total number on the bottom of the bowl.
Spoon half the the cream mixture on top and spread evenly.
Repeat the process again, gently placing coffee dipped biscuits on top of the cream and top off with leftover cream.
Smooth with a spatula and grate a bit of dark chocolate on top for decoration.

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Leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours so that all the tastes mesh together.

Serve wedges of tiramisu with some fresh coffee.

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Bon appétit!

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