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!

14 comments:

  1. dear maya, I do consider you a food blogger, that is how i met you :) and till today I really never knew you have posted so many recipes till I clicked the Recipes button on the top of your blog. Well done, your creations are inspirational!

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    1. Hey Demi, thank you so much for your kind words! I'm glad you like the recipes. I learned so much about food while I explored different cuisines, and I fell in love with fresh, Asian flavours :))

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  2. Oops I do not like Chinese cuisene, but there are plenty of interesting dishes here in your list, I'll read more. :)

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    1. Chinese cuisine is very varied, so maybe there are dishes you'd like? I'm not a fan of what you get in Chinese restaurants, though :) If I had to rank my favourite cuisines, it would go:

      1. Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese*
      2. Malaysian, Italian
      3. Balkan, Greek
      4. Chinese, Indian
      5. French, Middle Eastern
      6. British, Mexican, American

      *although I haven't tried a lot of Vietnamese, what I did try I really loved)

      What are your favourite world cuisines?

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    2. I love spicy dishes, I've tried mexican and really missed it <3, I love cevapcice that I tried in Serbia, I've visited some Middle East type of restaurants but tried some dishes that are common in greek cuisine... I've made indian but I'd like to try more...:-) italian cuisine is similar to Greek... So all mediterranean cuisines have aome things in common...but Greek is the best/healthier and more tasty. So I prefer dishes and tastes similar to my national cuisine, I don't like to eat smth we don't eat here :-)

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    3. You're lucky because you live in Greece so you have all the locally grown produce, which makes your Greek dishes much tastier. I fell in love with Asian food while I lived in Australia, because we could grow all the ingredients locally, but veggies they grow in UK didn't do to well there. I try here, I grow eggplant in a greenhouse, and it's not bad, but only a few varieties do well. I tried growing tomatoes, no way, and yet on my island in the Adriatic, the tomatoes were awesome. So I think living around the world influenced my preferences, depending on what was locally most available :)

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    4. I am lucky and proud to be Greek, not only because of the climate :-) 💖

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    5. As you should be, Greece is a gorgeous country with an amazing history! I have struggled a lot with a sense of belonging since everything that happened to my country. It was very difficult watching the propaganda against my people and watching how all that badly affected the entire world, made me very cynical and sceptical. Besides, what's left to love about my country? Traumatised and depressed population? Uranium? Almost certain self destrutction? Sometimes it hurts so bad to think about the way we were, and what could have been. I hope Greece never lets anything like that happen it.

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  3. Best veggies are grown in Greece we have the best climate.
    I tried some fruits and vegetables while in Serbia and there was no taste like the greek ones, it was like eating smth else:-) not bad but different... It is because of the different types of soil, water, climate...e.t.c :-)
    I grow redcurrants and blaccurants now.

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    1. You're absolutely right, so much of the flavour depends on the soil and air and amount of sunshine, that's why it's best to figure out what tastes best locally. In Serbia, the best flavours (I find) of fresh fruit and veg are found in Å umadija (south Serbia), it's very sunny there, but winters are very snowy, and they have wonderful plums, watermelon, maize, apples, quinces, pears, all kinds of berries and currants, stuff like that.
      We inherited an old blackcurrant bush, we use it to make blackcurrant cordial :) Haven't tried growing redcurrants yet. I started growing blueberries, but they are tricky because you have to pick them as they ripen, so unless there are several bushes, you don't get a lot of fruit in one go.

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    2. It's a nice hobby anyway :)
      What is cordial?

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    3. Cordial, or squash, is like a sirup, thick, sweet fruit concentrate that you add water to make juice. Here in UK we have Ribena, which is a blackcurrant cordial, and home made tastes exactly the same. Kids love it!

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  4. I love Ribena blackcuuurant juice, but it is not like a sirup, it is just juice. I can't wait for my blackcuurants to grow and make interesting recipes. <3 Thanx for always replying, how kind of you.

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    1. My pleasure, thank you for taking an interest in my recipes! :))

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