Tuesday, September 13, 2011


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Here is another recipe typed up from my sister. We both love tiramisù. I remember the summer I spent in Italy, I ordered tiramisù while out to dinner with my cousin and her friend while visiting Milan. The waiter, who had been friendly and joking with us American girls, stood behind me and, putting his arms around me, picked me up. I was confused. He then explained to us that, in Italian, tiramisù, literally means "pick me up." Don't worry if you find this dessert a bit runny, authentic Italian tiramisù should be that way. It's an involved recipe that takes a bit more effort to make, but in the end it's worth the extra work.

Also, sorry about the crappy photos. I forgot to take my camera flash to Philly, so the photos didn't turn out well. But don't worry, it still tasted amazing.

And now onto my lovely sister for the recipe.....

Tiramisù is one of my favorite desserts. I’ve started with Williams-Sonoma’s recipe and found it made WAY too much, so after many experimentations, I came up with these ingredient proportions that make just the right amount for me. This recipe is a commitment; however, even with using an electric mixer to perform the whisking, be prepared to use a lot of cooking bowls and utensils (for those more along the lines of being culinary neophytes, although it may be tempting to just reuse your whisk(s) and bowls between steps, remember the cream and egg whites (separately) should be whisked in a clean bowl with a clean whisk. Get a sink full of soapy water and wash things in between steps (running under cold water for the final rinse) if needed.

So yes, afterward you may find yourself surrounded by a mound of accouterments, but since this delectable treat won’t be ready for 4 hours, this can be time well-spent.

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4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
¾ lb mascarpone cheese, softened
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp rum
½ tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp + 3 ½ cups espresso
3-4 egg whites
30 full lady fingers (or 60 halves – it depends how the store packages them, or if you want to slice them length-wise)
Cocoa powder (optional) for dusting on top

*Note: Dish for the finished dessert. This recipe will fill a 9x13 pan. You can also use a deep 8x8 or 9x9, which will affect how many lady fingers you need. I’ve experimented with this recipe several times and have adapted it to the way I like my tiramisu. For a smaller dish, you could use 3 egg yolks, a little less than 1/3c sugar, ½ lb mascarpone cheese, 3 egg whites, and about 20 full lady fingers)

Put 1 medium mixing bowl in the freezer or refrigerator to chill (you’ll need this for whipping the cream.) Technically you could skip this step, but I found a chilled bowl helps whip the cream faster.

Use another medium mixing bowl that will fit in a sauce pan, but won’t touch the bottom. Add some water to the sauce pan, bring to a boil, then turn down to simmering.

In the mixing bowl over (but not touching) simmering water, whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Eggs should turn a place yellow and thick ribbons should fall from whish (about 4-5 minutes).

Transfer to mixing bowl with mascarpone cheese (since the bowl with the egg/sugar mixture gets hot from being over the simmering water, I will use a different bowl. I’m not sure if it makes a difference). Beat until smooth, about 2-3 minutes

Using the chilled mixing bowl, whisk the cream to stiff peaks. Add rum, vanilla, 1 Tbsp of espresso (*on this step, sometimes I add some Kahlua and/or Bailey’s Irish cream – about ½-1 Tbsp total*).

Using a rubber spatula, fold the cheese into the whipped cream until blended and smooth.

Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks (invert the whisk and peak should hold its shape). Add about half the egg whites to the cheese/cream mixture and blend gently. Add the rest of the egg whites, folding gently until smooth and blended.

Pour espresso into a long, shallow dish/bowl. (Lady fingers can get very soggy very quickly, so this step can get messy). I usually quickly dip a few ladyfingers in at once (one brand I buy had them connected on the sides) then immediately place them in the serving dish. Another option is to add some rum/Kahlua/Bailey’s to the espresso.

Cover the bottom of your serving dish in a layer of lady fingers. Spread ½ the mascarpone cheese mixture to even layer.

Add another layer of lady fingers. Top with remaining mascarpone mixture. Dust with cocoa powder to create a rich, dark topping.

Refrigerate 4 hours before serving.


Source: adapted from Williams-Sonoma

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Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love Tiramisu! I have yet to make it yet, but I'll have to give it a try!

Haley @ The Girly Girl Cooks

claire said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

i would just LOVE to be in italy... with a serving of this right in front of me!

Mary said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This really looks delicious. I love this dessert and could eat it any time any where. This is my first visit to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts.I'm so glad I did that. I really love the food and recipes you share with your readers. You've created a great spot to visit and I really enjoyed the time I spent here. I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

No matter how elegant you present a tiramisu... The best way to have it is scooped out right from the fridge... (finish one recipe on my own anytime- guilty) This recipe sounds traditional. unlike the recent ones that can be done in 10 minutes... :)

MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

O wow, that story and picture just made me smile! Tiramisu really reminds me of my Mom, I may have to make this for her :-)

Wanna Be A Country Cleaver said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I've never had a proper tirimisu and I know I'm the worse for it. I guess that just means I have to get a move on and make this bad boy!! It's beautiful :)

Sarah said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Yum, this looks perfect! My mum lived in Italy for a while and she's quite the tiramisu expert... so if I can make this for her she'll be impressed! Thanks for the recipe!

Garima Pal said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates


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