All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Do it yourself Tiramisu, really!

Tiramisu is one of those desserts that has been gaining in popularity in recent years. My first experience with this coffee infused, creamy delight was from a vendor at Italy, at Disney World's Epcot. Once tasted, I was hooked. It was heavenly.

But could I make it myself? Why not?

You will need a double boiler and approx. 3 quart size spring form pan or Trifle type glass bowl. You could also do it individually in pretty stemmed glasses.

Here is the recipe* I used, along with my comments in italics.

Classic Tiramisu ~ Serves 10 - 12

The Ingredients:
6 egg yolks (you may freeze and save the egg whites for future desserts such as Schaum Torte)
1 1/4 C sugar
1/1/4 C mascarpone cheese**
1 3/4 C heavy whipping cream - I used 2 Cups (1 pint) total of regular pasteurized, NOT ULTRA pasteurized, saving some for garnish.
2 packages of Lady Fingers - 6 oz total
1/3 C coffee liqueur - I used 1 T coffee liqueur + brewed espresso to make 1/2 cup total liquid
Sweetened whipped cream for garnish
Unsweetened cocoa powder for garnish
Chocolate curls for garnish

The Procedure:
  1. Place bowl you plan to whip the cream in, in the refrigerator. A chilled bowl and beaters (you will put those in later) are essential for whipping cream successfully!
  2. Combine the egg yolks and sugar and whip until thick and lemon colored, about 1 minute.
  3. Place sugar/egg mixture in the top of a double boiler over boiling water.
  4. Reduce the heat to low immediately and cook 8 - 10 minutes, while stirring constantly! I use a silicone rubber scraper to stir, that way you completely scrape the bottom of the pan with each swipe.
  5. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
  6. Add the mascarpone cheese and beat well.
  7. Wash off beaters and place in refrigerator to chill a bit.
  8. Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over-whip or you will make butter. Having the cream, bowl and beaters very cold helps prevent this. Save about 1 1/4 Cups of the whipped cream for garnish.
  9. Fold the majority of the whipped cream into the cooled egg yolk mixture and set aside. I usually first put a little whipped cream into the yolks/cheese and fold to soften the mixture, then fold in the rest of the whipped cream.
  10. Add about 1 to 2 Tablespoons of confectioners sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla to the reserved whipped cream and whip just until mixed. Refrigerate and save this for the garnish.
Assembling the Tiramisu:
  1. Open the lady finger packages and split the fingers apart.
  2. Line the bottom and sides of a 3-quart bowl or spring form with the ladyfingers, uncut side out.
  3. Brush cut edges of ladyfingers with the coffee mixture
  4. Spoon half of the egg yolk/cream mixture into the ladyfinger pan/bowl.
  5. Repeat, placing more ladyfingers on top of the 1st layer of egg/cream, espresso, and remaining egg/cream mixture. Smooth out top surface.
  6. Put unsweetened cocoa into a small sieve and evenly sprinkle on top of Tiramisu.
  7. Pile the sweetened whipped cream in the center or in dollops on each individual serving. Garnish with chocolate curls if desired. I like Dove brand dark chocolate bars for this. Curls work better when chocolate is at room temperature. Use a potato peeler to run down edge of chocolate bar.
  8. Cover loosely with plastic wrap (don't let wrap touch top) and put into refrigerator.
Serving Tiramisu:
Some people slice it like a cheesecake; some spoon it like a Trifle. It is rather dependent on which type of pan/bowl you assemble it in. If you have stemware, it could be assembled for individual servings in goblets.

We found out the Tiramisu was actually better the next day. The ladyfingers soaked up the moisture and developed a melt in your mouth texture. If delaying serving, you may wish to wait to garnish with the whipped cream and sprinkle with the cocoa and choc. shavings until the day of serving.

So give Tiramisu a try. I have made it twice. It usually commands a high price when at a restaurant and frankly, it is still pretty expensive to make at home. The mascarpone cheese is pricey, about $8.00, as are the ladyfingers. But considering the cost per slice at a restaurant runs $5 - $8, making it yourself is still cheaper. (I purchased the mascarapone cheese and ladyfingers at Grasch Foods. Once I even found the cheese at ALDI!)

Cost saving measures:
The ladyfinger package I purchased also included a do it yourself mascarpone cheese substitute recipe, but I have not tried it. It calls for 1 8oz package of cream cheese, 1/4 C sour cream and 2 Tablespoons of whipping cream. Mix until blended and fluffy. If I ever try the homemade, I will try to post a review.

For an alternative for ladyfingers, I'm thinking you could make your own sponge cake, bake in a jelly roll pan, and slice up into strips? Maybe it could be baked in round cake pans and layered as a torte? There is an easy recipe in Betty Crocker for a sponge cake cake roll. I think that would work great. A Tiramisu cake roll? Maybe next time!

Buon Appetito!

*I looked on the Internet, found a recipe, and purchased the ingredients. But when I really read through the recipe, it seemed a bit out of order. It called for whipping the egg yolks after cooking! How would that work? Must be a mistake.

There was a recipe on the ladyfinger package that affirmed my suspicions--the Internet recipe was incorrect. (I would have made the ladyfingers too but was pressed for time.) The ingredients were identical to the Internet version, just the procedure was different.

Links: Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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