I’ve never been much of a dessert person. When eating out I will almost always order an appetizer followed by an entree and skip dessert, whereas my husband would prefer to skip the appetizer and have the entree followed by dessert. When everybody shares nice that sometimes works out perfectly but that doesn’t always happen! :) The exception to this “rule” is when the dessert menu features tiramisu–I can’t resist it! I will pretty much order tiramisu without fail every time (if it’s homemade and not bought in anyway). Unless there are also cannoli’s, then it takes me some time to decide between the two but still, I think tiramisu will usually edge out a cannoli–tough call though! Cannoli’s are another favorite and will be showing up on this blog at some future date. But I digress! Back to the tiramisu–I’d never made it myself before and when grocery shopping the other day I saw a display of lady fingers and thought–why not? There are not really a lot of ingredients in a classic tiramisu, nor is it difficult to make.
What you will need:
- 1 Package of lady fingers
- 1 1/2 cups brewed/cooled espresso
- 1lb container mascarpone cheese
- 4 eggs separated
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tbl sugar
- 2 Tbl unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 oz dark chocolate, grated
Beat 3 egg yolks (discard the fourth) and 1/2 cup sugar for about 2 minutes or until fluffy. Add Mascarpone and beat for another 2 minutes. Set aside.
Beat 4 egg whites until soft peaks form. Sprinkle with 1 Tbl sugar, beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold one-fourth of the egg whites into Mascarpone mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites.
Pour espresso in a shallow bowl and dip ladyfingers into it removing them quickly (they will disintegrate into mush if you leave them in more than a second or two) and covering the bottom of a 9-inch square dish. Spread half the Mascarpone mixture on top. Sift 1 Tbl cocoa powder over Mascarpone. Repeat layers again. Sprinkle top with grated chocolate. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.
If you don’t have 12 hours to wait, you can do what I did for the photos and layer them in individual portions on small dessert plates. They were delicious even without chilling but the flavors will be even better tomorrow I’m sure.
1. You can also add alcohol to the espresso mixture–traditionally Frangelico or Ameretto would be used but even Grand Marnier would be delicious to introduce an orange element (and pretty garnished with orange zest). Approximately 1/4 cup of alcohol for a recipe of this quantity.
2. Be aware that this recipe contains raw eggs. I didn’t really think about it until I was actually making it and realized the eggs would never get cooked. Use the freshest eggs possible and wash the shells thoroughly to reduce your risk of Salmonella. (It was so delicious I think it was worth the risk but I did refrain from giving any to my four year old and made him something different as a treat instead just to be on the safe side)
Once you’ve mastered the classic, you can really make a lot of variations of this by replacing the espresso liquid with any other flavoring instead. I’m mulling over a few for future reference–something with lemon curd and berries, maybe a maple syrup and bacon or sausage breakfast version, and a savory fig version using balsamic syrup and maybe just a hint of blue cheese mixed into the (unsweetened) mascarpone mixture. Of course if I do it you’ll be reading about it here so stay tuned! Let me know if you make this or a version of it and how it comes out!