Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tiramisu

Lovely Lily and I had a fabulous time making these Tiramisu cups.  I also made a large one - the kind you cut into squares... but the individuals ones are great for portion control!  For this recipe, I took a little creative license to do things my way - because that is the beauty of cooking at home.  For example, the traditional recipe calls for cold espresso; but who just happens to have that around the house?!  Not me.  So I made a small pot of triple strength coffee and chilled it.  It also calls for coffee flavored liqueur... I used amaretto instead.  The bottom line is, do it YOUR way, have fun, and enjoy your food.  You don't have to take it so seriously that you can't substitute something you prefer.

Click here for Printable Recipe 

Ingredients:
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla 
    • I prefer the clear Mexican vanilla
  • 2 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream 
  • 3 (12oz) packages Italian Lady Fingers 
    • probably less if you are just making one large dish
  • 1/2 cup cold triple strength strong coffee
  • 1/4 cup amaretto (optional)
  • 2 -3 Tbsp cocoa powder for dusting
  • Optional garnish
    • fresh strawberries
    • sliced almonds

Step-by-step:
Start by making the sabayon, the only "technical" part of the recipe.  This is just a sweet sauce made with egg yolks, sugar, and wine beaten together over heat till thick (although we will use vanilla, not wine).  Stay with me here!  We'll walk through it together.  After this, it's all just layering and fluffy stuff.  :)

Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler.  So let's do a poor-man double boiler with a pan set over a pot of simmering water.  
6 egg yolks.  (Save your egg whites in the fridge to make something else.)
Set over water.  Maybe a couple of inches worth.
1 cup granulated sugar


Now start heating up the water.  After the water comes up to a boil, reduce it to low, and cook the egg mixture for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  You will notice that it turns from a mustard yellow color to a very pale yellow color, and will be thicker with more volume.  This is what we want.  

 See the color and texture change?
The sauce should be thick enough so that it will support a ribbon of sauce trailing off the end of the spoon when lifted.  Note - Don't let the sabayon get too hot during cooking or it will become grainy: if it begins to feel warmer than body temperature, remove the pan briefly from the heat, beating continuously, until the mixture cools. Then return the pan to the heat and continue cooking.  Remove from the heat, and whisk in the vanilla.    
1/4 tsp vanilla

Add the mascarpone to the sabayon, and stir to combine.  Set it aside in the fridge while we work on the rest.  
2 cups mascarpone cheese

In a cold bowl, whip the heavy cream until you get stiff peaks. 
1 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream in a CHILLED BOWL. 

Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone/saybayon mixture, and then set this aside.  This is our yummy filling!


Now put it together!  
Into your dish, regardless of if you are doing it individually or in a large dish, set down a layer of ladyfingers.   This is where Lily started taking over the kitchen!
Most recipes have you dip the ladyfingers into the coffee/espresso really quickly, but if you linger too long, they fall apart.  Let's circumvent that by using a different technique.  Make the layer of ladyfingers, "paint" them with the amaretto, then drizzle the coffee over them.
1/4 - 1/2 cup amaretto.  Didn't truly measure that. 
Painting the cookies with the amaretto.
Drizzle the coffee over the cookies.  About 1 Tbsp each.
Layer some of the mascarpone filling over the lady fingers, then repeat the layers.  You want to end up with the filling on top.
About 1 rounded Tbsp each layer - if using a dessert cup. 
For the individual portions, I arranged the ladyfingers around the edges of the dessert cup after the first layer.  "Stick" them down into the cream.
I was only allowed to do one.  Lily claimed the others.
 
For the inside layers, she broke them into pieces.  For a large dish of tiramisu, this won't be necessary.

Now repeat the process - cookies, amaretto, coffee, cream filling... Repeat.... 
cookies
amaretto
coffee

Here she is painting the insides of the ladyfinger cookies with the amaretto to give them more moisture and more flavor.  You could also paint the insides with the coffee instead.  Its yours!


cream
another layer....

After the top layer of filling, dust the top of the dessert with cocoa powder.

 
These need to be refrigerated for several hours now - preferably overnight.  I garnished them with fresh strawberries, and a few sliced almonds to mirror the amaretto on the inside. 
 



Method:
Start by making the sabayon, the only "technical" part of the recipe.  This is just a sweet sauce made with egg yolks, sugar, and wine beaten together over heat till thick (although we will use vanilla, not wine).  Stay with me here!  We'll walk through it together.  After this, it's all just layering and fluffy stuff.  :)

Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler.  So let's do a poor-man double boiler with a pan set over a pot of simmering water.  After the water comes up to a boil, reduce it to low, and cook the egg mixture for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.   You will notice that it turns from a mustard yellow color to a very pale yellow color, and will be thicker with more volume.  This is what we want.  The sauce should be thick enough so that it will support a ribbon of sauce trailing off the end of the spoon when lifted.  Note - Don't let the sabayon get too hot during cooking or it will become grainy: if it begins to feel warmer than body temperature, remove the pan briefly from the heat, beating continuously, until the mixture cools. Then return the pan to the heat and continue cooking.  Remove from the heat, and whisk in the vanilla.    

Add the mascarpone to the sabayon, and stir to combine.  Set it aside in the fridge while we work on the rest.  In a cold bowl, whip the heavy cream until you get stiff peaks.  Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone/saybayon mixture, and then set this aside.  This is our yummy filling!

Now put it together!  Into your dish, regardless of if you are doing it individually or in a large dish, set down a layer of ladyfingers.  Most recipes have you dip the ladyfingers into the coffee/espresso really quickly, but if you linger too long, they fall apart.  Let's circumvent that by using a different technique.  Make the layer of ladyfingers, "paint" them with the amaretto, then drizzle the coffee over them.  Layer some of the mascarpone filling over the lady fingers, then repeat the layers.  You want to end up with the filling on top.  If you are making them individually, I arranged the ladyfingers around the edges of the dessert cup after the first layer.  After the top layer of filling, dust the top of the dessert with cocoa powder.  These need to be refrigerated for several hours now - preferably overnight.  I garnished them with fresh strawberries, and a few sliced almonds to mirror the amaretto on the inside.

The boring "regular" way - 
Ladyfingers, cream filling.  Darn it!  I forgot the amaretto and coffee on this first layer!
Repeat... ladyfingers, AMARETTO!
Coffee....
Cream filling....

Keep layering as many times as you wish.  (at least two layers of ladyfingers)  End up with the mascarpone cream on top.
Cream filling top
Finally... the cocoa at the very top!
Cocoa powder
Now refrigerate until you are ready to serve.  Garnish, and enjoy! 

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