Tiramisu

Tiramisu is dessert perfection (in my humble opinion). Layers of espresso-soaked ladyfingers are surrounded by a rich, creamy mascarpone custard, and dusted with bitter cocoa powder. A few simple ingredients combined make this a delightful world-class treat.

Tiramisu

Tiramisu. Just the mere mention of it causes me to lose focus on anything else and to start drooling uncontrollably.

I didn’t actually discover it until I was in high school, believe it or not. Up until that point, my all-time favorite dessert was Boston Creme Pie.

My friend Michelle (with whom I’ve since lost touch, sadly) had her own car and on Friday nights, we’d go out for dinner and then either go out to a movie or go to her house and watch movies. Or see the occasional concert.

We alternated between TGI Friday’s, where I learned to love Cheddar and Bacon-topped Potato Skins, and The Olive Garden, which is where I first met Tiramisu. It was love at first bite.

And while it’s not any more complicated to make than a trifle or an icebox cake, I’ve only made actual, real Tiramisu twice here at home.

I’ve made plenty of other things with the flavors of Tiramisu. But Tiramisu itself, a whopping two times.

I picked up some mascarpone with the notion of making Tiramisu. I’d bought some ladyfingers the last time we were in Sioux Falls, and had been saving them for just such an occasion.

So last weekend, I used the last of my espresso, and I made myself some Tiramisu.

Tiramisu

And oh, it was SO worth it. The bambino didn’t recall ever having it, and Jay doesn’t go nuts for it the way I do, but they both asked for second pieces. I polished off the rest myself (over the course of a couple days).

Traditionally, Tiramisu is made with raw eggs, and that is how I made this recipe. To cut down on the skeeviness of consuming raw eggs, I used pasteurized ones, from Davidson’s Safest Choice:

Davidson's Safest Choice Eggs

If you can’t find these in your store, or you’re just not keen on consuming raw eggs, there are other recipes for Tiramisu that are made with whipped cream or a cooked zabaglione. I figure that I eat enough raw cookie dough, cake batter and brownie batter, so I’d be fine. I chose the pasteurized eggs more for the sake of the bambino, and I warned him ahead of time what the dessert contained.

Tiramisu

And as I already mentioned, he liked it enough, he had seconds! If I had my way, I would’ve kept the entire dessert for myself.

Yield: 9

Tiramisu

Tiramisu
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 C espresso
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp + 1/2 C Amaretto liqueur, divided
  • 8 oz. mascarpone
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 7oz. package ladyfingers
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine the 3 egg yolks, 1 Tbsp. of espresso, sugar, and the 2 Tbsp. of Amaretto. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add the mascarpone, and beat 5 more minutes, or until the mixture is smooth.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites with the cream of tartar. Whip until soft peaks form.* Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.

In a small bowl, combine the rest of the espresso with the 1/2 C of Amaretto (this should come close to being 3/4 C of liquid). Quickly dip each ladyfinger into the espresso mixture, then place it in the bottom of a 9x9-inch baking dish, breaking if needed to fit.

Top the ladyfingers with half the mascarpone mixture, then repeat the layers. Dust the top with cocoa powder. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, to allow the ladyfingers to soften and the other flavors to meld.

Notes

*Because of using pasteurized eggs, they may not whip to stiff peaks, even with the addition of the cream of tartar. Recipe source: Belgioioso.com