There are numerous variations of tiramisu, as with any other dish or dessert. It is hard to find one that I did not particularly like. But this recipe is easy and the best I have made, by far. Tiramisu is one classic, simple dessert you should make over and over.
Ladyfingers or Savoiardi, approximately 32 pieces (store-bought)
Cocoa powder, for dusting
Chocolate bar (optional topping)
For the coffee mixture:
2 cups espresso or strong brewed coffee
2 tablespoons Kahlúa (see note)
For the cream mixture:
6 egg yolks
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup Kahlúa (see note)
1 pound mascarpone cheese (see note)
1 ½ cups heavy cream
¼ cup powdered sugar (or 2 tablespoons granulated sugar)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
You may use Tia Maria, Marsala, brandy, rum, or dessert wines like madeira or port. Adjust according to taste.
Mascarpone is prone to curdling. It has to be cold when whipped together with heavy cream. The zabaglione has to cool completely to room temperature before mixing with mascarpone and whipped cream mixture.
1. Make the coffee mixture: In a bowl wide enough to dip the ladyfingers in, combine coffee and Kahlua. Set aside.
2. Make the Zabaglione + Mascarpone + Whipped Cream Mixture: Make the zabaglione by whisking together egg yolks, sugar, and Kahlúa in a heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of gently simmering water of about an inch. Make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue whisking until the mixture has thickened, doubled in volume, and is lighter in color. It should leave ribbons as you drag the whisk (see video). This will take 12-15 minutes. Take the bowl out of the heat and let it cool completely. In a separate bowl using an electric mixer, combine mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, and vanilla. Start on low speed and increase as you go along. Whip until smooth and thickened. With a spatula, add about a cup to the cooled zabaglione to lighten the mixture. Then fold the zabaglione and whipped mascarpone mixture together until incorporated.
3. Assemble: Use a 9×13 dish. Quickly dip the ladyfingers in the coffee mixture one at a time and arrange them in a single layer. Spread about half of the zabaglione-mascarpone-cream mixture evenly on top of it. Dust with cocoa powder. Repeat one more time.
4. Serve: Refrigerate for a few hours before serving. You can also freeze it and thaw for about one hour before serving. Top with chocolate shavings, as desired. Using a knife, shave or chop chocolate to little pieces.
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