Friday, May 1, 2009

Tiramisù for Two and Two for Tiramisù - More like 14 But Whose Counting?

I love Tiramisù, real Tiramisù that is. I have had it in WAY too many restaurants (Even Italian ones) that "claim" traditional Tiramisù on their dessert menu. I get all excited and then 'blech'!!! whipped cream between espresso soaked layers of squishy lady fingers or worse, made with rum or brandy instead of Marsala.. And the best one... Chocolate flavored cream cheese smeared on what appeared to be Melba toast that had been soaked in something like MJB coffee... (shudder)

So I decided to take matters into my own hands several years ago. I did A LOT of research on various recipes all over the internet and arrived at this conglomeration. Granted, the presentation isn't traditional, it's my own spin on it, but I have it on good authority that the flavor is correct. When my boss, Gio, was leaving the company, I made it for his "going away" party. He had thirds. I think that means I "done did good" since he was from Piemonte.

I must confess, though, that this is not my original version. The original recipe contains raw egg, as this is traditionally how it is made. Personally, I do not have an issue with this myself. Yes, I know it's a crap shoot and eventually my number will come up. But I began pasteurizing the yolks and whites after the birth of my godson, as more than 1 person in our circle of friends has requested this at their Birthday dinner. In my attempts to make it safe for a child to consume, I came up with this process. Now, I make it this way all the time.

Granted, this was 6 years ago, pasteurized eggs are much more common now, than they were back then. The choice is yours, you can start with raw eggs and use the method explained here for pasteurization, or simply skip those steps and use pre-Pasteurized eggs.

If you really want to make this authentic, skip the spring form pan, and simply layer it in a baking dish.


21 oz (600g) Lady Fingers (French) or Savoiardi in (Italian)

For Dipping the Lady Fingers/Savoiardi:
1 1/4 cups Espresso
1/3 Cup Sweet Marsala Wine

(Please be sure you have the right one, as I made this mistake the first time I made it, cause I had made Chicken Marsala several times, which uses DRY Marsala; Tiramisù requires SWEET Marsala)

12 large eggs or 10 extra large eggs (Separated)
1 cup Super Fine or 1 cup + 1 1/2 TB Bakers sugar (Divided)
4 cups Mascarpone Cheese; Softened (4 - 8oz tubs)
2 cups Heavy Cream
Cocoa Powder for Dusting

Brew strong Coffee (preferably espresso) and let it cool.

Separate the Eggs.

In a bowl over simmering water, beat egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar until pale (If you wish to pasteurize, bring the mixture to 140 degrees)

Remove from heat and pour into a different bowl to stop cooking and let yolks cool.
Once cool, fold the yolks into softened Mascarpone until homogeneous.
In a chilled stainless steel bowl, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks.
Fold whipped cream into the yolk mixture, then cover on the surface with plastic and refrigerate.

Beat egg whites over barely simmering water until warm, add remaining sugar and a pinch of salt continue beating, on low, until egg whites reach 135 degrees. (Please be sure that your thermometer is accurate, as the albumin in the egg whites begins cooking around 140; yolks are a little more forgiving, beginning to gel at 174)

Remove from heat and beat to stiff glossy peaks. (This is basically a Swiss meringue - Be careful, in this case you can easily over beat and the whites will squeeze all the water out of the foam)

Gently fold egg whites into Yolk/Cheese mixture.

In a low sided dish, mix the Espresso and Marsala.

Lay out a few savoiardi and sprinkle with cocoa powder.

Grab a 10 inch Spring form pan.

Dip the bottom side of each savoiardi in espresso mixture and place upright against the inside of a 10-inch spring form pan rounded side out.

Continue in the fashion until the inside rim is lined with Savoiardi. (This is the hardest part as they like to fall down, once the bottom layer of Savoiardi is down, they will stand without assistance)

Dip both sides of the savoiardi and line the bottom of the pan.

Spread 1/3 of the Cheese/Cream/Egg mixture over the savoiardi

then dust with cocoa powder.

Dip more Savoiardi in espresso mixture and lay down another layer.

Spread 1/2 of the remaining Cheese/Cream/Egg over the savoiardi and dust with more cocoa.

Complete a third layer of dipped savoiardi

and spread the remaining Cheese/Cream/Egg mixture over.

WAIT to sprinkle with cocoa until right before serving or it will bleed while chilling.

Cover with plastic and chill for 12 hours or overnight.
Before serving, sprinkle the top with cocoa powder.
Loosen spring form and gently work the ring over the top.

The savoiardi around the outside not only hold everything in place like a cake, but also aids in portioning.
Serves about 14 in 2 Savoiardi portions

This recipe can easily be cut down to 1/4th the amount (which serves about 6 with this presentation) and presented simply with some dipped savoiardi broken into a cocktail glass, filled with cream with a couple more dipped savoiardi sticking out. Then dust the whole thing with cocoa right before serving.

Tiramisu on Foodista


Ciao Chow Linda said...

I love tiramisu - what a gorgeous presentation yours is!

courtney said...

Looks great, love both ways!

Bob said...

Oh man. That looks so frigging good. I love tiramisu but haven't been able to get up the guts to make it.

Unknown said...

did you put the food fax on the back burner or what? looks great!!

Max Wood said...

I would only make this for someone I REALLY love.

Where IS that mirror....

Thanks for another great turn on an old fave....