Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tiramisu for You!

Without a doubt, one of my all-time favorite Italian desserts is tiramisu.  Translated, tiramisu means "pick-me-up", which is an apt description of this delightful dessert!  I'm sure you may have had it before at Italian restaurants.  I know it used to be my "go-to" dessert whenever I was out with friends, but it wasn't until I was in Italy that I found out that it is REALLY easy to make!

There are multiple recipes for tiramisu, but this is one that is considered the most traditional.  It only has 6 ingredients and requires no cooking whatsoever, which makes it great for the summertime when the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven or the stove!

Yes, it has eggs in it.  Yes, they aren't cooked.  If you're scared of raw eggs, don't be.  Make sure they're fresh and you should be fine.  I haven't gotten sick from using raw eggs yet.

Knock on wood.

Seriously though, you should be fine.  If you are still wigged out over it, look for pasteurized eggs and go with them.

Now, on with the show!

You'll need these:

Plus unsweetened cocoa powder, which I completely forgot to include in the picture.  (oops!)

So, the list of ingredients is:
3 fresh eggs
250 grams mascarpone 
50 grams white sugar
savoiardi (ladyfingers) - I use about 18-20 of them
strong coffee - you can brew it or use instant like I did because I didn't feel like pulling out the moka pot.  Just make sure it's fairly strong and you'll need about 1 1/2 cups worth, maybe a bit more.  I didn't measure, but if you use instant, it's easy to make more quickly!  Oh, and it needs to be tepid or cool when you use it.
unsweetened cocoa powder - enough for dusting.  Maybe a few tablespoons worth.

First thing you are going to want to do is to separate the eggs.

Beautiful bright orange yolks!  I love super-fresh eggs!
Then measure out your mascarpone...

The package I had was 500 grams, so half.  Which means I can make tiramisu TWICE!

...and your sugar.

So, you'll end up with this:

There's the cocoa!!  :)
Ok, so let's get started.

With a fork, beat the sugar into the egg yolks until it's light and fluffy.

Then, add the mascarpone and do the same until it's a nice creamy consistency, like this:

Next, beat the egg whites until they're fairly stiff.  If you have an electric mixer or hand beater, I suggest using it.  It takes a lot of elbow grease to use a whisk!

Is the coffee ready?  Good.  Add a little sugar to it and get ready to dunk some savoiardi (ladyfingers)!

Coffee, coffee, coffee!!!

Now as far as dishes are concerned, you can use a small baking dish or you could use a bowl...completely up to you.  I happened to have a disposable aluminum pan that was the perfect size, so I used that.

Ok, back to the recipe.

QUICKLY dip the cookies into the coffee.  You don't want to let them soak because they will get too mushy.  As long as they are quickly submerged and pulled out, you'll be fine.  Savoiardi are a bit drier than the ladyfingers that I've had in the US and they really soaked up the coffee fast, so just see how things go with the ones that you use.  I just quickly dunk them and put them in the pan in a layer.

Once you have a layer of the dipped cookies, place half of the mascarpone/egg mixture on top.

Starting to layer the mascarpone!

Once you have the cookies covered with a layer of the mascarpone mixture, sprinkle a little cocoa powder on top.

Place another layer of the cookies dipped in the coffee, and another layer of the mascarpone mixture.  Then give it a good sprinkling of cocoa powder, making sure that you get it all nicely and evenly covered.

Stick it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. I know, it's hard to wait that long.  Try making it before you have to go somewhere so that you aren't tempted.  That's what I did.

Cut into pieces to serve.

Try not to eat the entire pan in one sitting!

Here's the recipe in standard format:

(serves 6)

6 eggs, divided
50 grams white sugar
250 grams mascarpone
strong coffee, cooled and sweetened with a little sugar (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
18 - 20 savoiardi or ladyfinger cookies
unsweetened cocoa powder

Beat the sugar into the egg yolks with a fork until light and fluffy.  Add the mascarpone and beat until smooth and creamy.  Beat the egg whites until they are fairly stiff, then mix in with the mascarpone mixture.

Quickly dip the savoiardi into the coffee and layer into the bottom of a pan.  Top with half of the mascarpone mixture and lightly sprinkle with cocoa powder.  Make another layer of dipped savoiardi, and finish with the rest of the mascarpone.  Sprinkle evenly on top with cocoa powder.  Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.