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Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Tiramisu (Italian: tiramisù; Venetian: tiramesù [tirameˈsu]; literally "lift me up") is one of the most popular Italian cakes. It is a layered dessert, consisting of alternating layers of coffee-soaked Savoiardi biscuits and sweet mixture of mascarpone cheese and eggs and sugar. Cocoa powder is sifted on top (and sometimes between layers) as both a garnish and a bitter counterpoint to the sweetened cheese mixture.

To prepare the biscuit layer, Savoiardi (light, finger-sized sponge cakes, commonly known as ladyfingers in the United States) are soaked in espresso or strong coffee, often with an addition of a flavorful liquor such as sweet Marsala wine or dark rum.
For the Mascarpone cheese layer, a mixture of egg yolks and sugar is first prepared: egg yolks are mixed with sugar to form a thick cream to which the Mascarpone cheese is added, then the egg whites are beaten stiff and folded in to the Mascarpone/egg cream. This mixture is spread over the coffee-soaked biscuits (often a liquor such as Rum or cognac will be added to the coffee for soaking the biscuits). The layer is then topped with a dusting of cocoa powder, and more layers are added.
Countless variations for tiramisu exist. Some cooks use other cakes or sweet, yeasted breads, such as panettone, in place of ladyfingers. Other cheese mixtures are used as well, some containing raw eggs, and others containing no eggs at all. Other liquors are frequently substituted for the traditional Marsala wine in both the coffee and the cheese mixture, including dark rum, Madeira, port, brandy and cognac.

Here is how I make it:


* 8 egg yolks

* 1/2 cup whole milk or evaporated milk

* 2 1/2 cup granulated sugar (up to you how sweet you want you can add 1/2 cup more or less

* Four 8 oz containers of Mascarpone cheese

* Two 8 oz packs of cream cheese

* 1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 2 cups heavy cream

* 48 ladyfingers

* 3 cups cold espresso

* 1/2 cup Kahlua

* 2 to 4 tablespoon cocoa powder

* 2 tables spoon of instant coffee powder


* Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring it to a boil over medium/high heat, then reduce the heat so that the water is simmering.

* Whisk egg yolks, milk and sugar together in a medium metal bowl, then place the bowl on top of the saucepan.

* Stir the mixture often for 20 minutes or until the mixture thickens.

* Remove the bowl from the heat, let it cool

* Whisk cream cheese and Mascarpone cheese with vanilla, mix with electric mixer until creamy

* Add egg yolk mixture to cheese mixture and mix until well combined.

* In a separate bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer until thick.

* Slowly fold the whipped cream into the Mascarpone mixture until it's completely incorporated, but don't over mix or it will lose its fluff and flatten out.

* Combine the espresso and Kahlua in a large, shallow bowl.

* One-by-one, quickly dip each ladyfinger in the espresso.

* The ladyfinger will soak up the espresso like a sponge, so dip quickly.

* Arrange half of the dipped ladyfingers side-by-side on the bottom of an 9 x 13 inch serving dish or baking pan.

* Spoon about half of the cheese mixture over the ladyfingers, then add another layer of soaked ladyfingers on top of the cheese mixture.

* Spoon the remaining cheese mixture over the second layer of ladyfingers and spread it evenly.

* Put the cocoa powder and coffee powder in a tight-mesh strainer and gently tap the side of the strainer to add an even dusting of cocoa powder over the top of the dessert.

* Cover and chill for several hours.

* Sprinkle rest of the cocoa powder on the set Tiramisu.

* To serve, slice the dessert across and down creating even portions.

Note: This recipe yields 18 servings.

Recipe modified by Surekha from a recipe at: Courtly, Wakarusa, Indiana Recipe #278117.

Photographs by Surekha.

Tiramisu description source:

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