Tiramisu is a popular Italian dessert which when literally translated means “pick me up”…probably due to the jolt you get after eating alcohol and coffee bathed ladyfingers. It’s also called as an Italian trifle because it has layers; ladyfingers (Italian: savoiardi) dipped in coffee and alcohol (brandy, rum or Marsala), layered with a whipped mixture of mascarpone, eggs and sugar. And then it’s garnished with shaved semi-sweet chocolate and a dusting of cocoa powder.
When I used to read blog posts by fellow bloggers on home-made Tiramisu using home-made mascarpone, I used to be all white-knuckled. I wouldn’t read further than the title because I always had this pre-conceived notion that it’s going to be difficult to make. So why bother read, ya?
Anyway…couple of days back I mustered the courage and did some reading on Tiramisu and realised it’s not difficult. Not one bit. Atleast not when you’ve got the difficult ingredients picked up from the store shelves. 🙂 So to make my Tiramisu, I used store-bought lady fingers and mascarpone cheese. Like really, why would I bother making ladyfingers or mascarpone cheese when the best from around the world is available at a store closest to me. Why challenge the best?? But having said that… I love the store-bought ladyfingers because they have got a good crunch and texture which is good for absorbing the coffee mix without crumbling, tastes good and ofcourse it’s a real time-saver.
Indulge in this Italian specialty and it will surely warm your heart and soul as it enters your mouth and into your stomach. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and you’ll feel on top of the world. Promise.
- Whipped Cream – 1 cup
- Fresh Mascarpone Cheese – 8 oz or 225 grams or 1 1/2 Cup at room temperature
- Brandy – 1 tablespoon (optional but surely recommended)
- Coffee – 1 cup (brew the coffee by mixing 1 cup hot water to 4 teaspoon coffee powder)
- Salt – a pinch
- Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
- Brown sugar – 1/2 cup (80 g)
- Eggs – 2 large, separated
- Ladyfingers – 15-18 nos.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – 3 teaspoons for dusting
- Semi-sweet chocolate – 3 squares
Brew the dark coffee by mixing 1 cup hot water to 4 teaspoon coffee powder. Once it cools down to room temperature, add 1 tablespoon brandy. Keep aside.
In a bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they get stiff. Add half the brown sugar and beat for a couple of minutes. Keep scrapping the sides.
In another bowl, beat the egg yolks till it gets fluffy. Add the remaining sugar and beat again. Now, add the mascarpone cheese and the whipped cream and beat again till you get a consistent mixture. Keep scrapping the sides every now and then.
Now, mix the ingredients of both the bowls, add the vanilla essence and beat again till it all gets well incorporated. Stir
To prepare Tiramisu bowls/glasses : Dip the ladyfinger into the coffee-brandy mixture for about 2 seconds till it gets soaked completely. Break it in half and put it inside your serving bowl/glass. Now take about 3-4 spoonfuls of the mascarpone mix and layer on top of the ladyfingers. Take another lady finger/s and dip in the coffee again and layer it on the mascarpone. Top this with some more mascarpone. (The number of layers will depend on how tall your glass or bowl is , your preference of the ladyfinger to mascarpone ratio. Also, the amount of finger biscuits you need to make a layer will depend on how the bowl is. ). Approx. you’ll need about 3 ladyfingers per bowl.
Now on top of the mascarpone mix, grate some generous amount of chocolate and refrigerate for atleast 6 hours. Or best overnight. And when you’re ready to serve, sprinkle some cocoa powder on top of each bowl.
Enjoy this amazing liqueur dessert of obvious distinction.!