Tiramisu

Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert that combines rich mascarpone cream with lady finger cakes soaked in espresso coffee. It is a truly decadent dessert that is sure to impress anyone you make it for. The name tiramisu translated from Italian literally means “pick me up.” This dessert is definitely supposed to make you happy. It is unclear whether the happy feeling is intended to come from the amount of caffeine in the espresso, the little bit of wine in the cream part of the dessert, or simply the amazing taste of the tiramisu. Regardless, tiramisu will definitely serve as a pick me up any day. While the taste of tiramisu is rather complicated and rich, the actual construction of the Italian dessert is much easier than one would think. Tiramisu is a no-bake dessert that can be made way ahead of time. In fact, you only need two mixing bowls, a whisk, a spatula, and something to hold the espresso after it is made. Only needing 5 utensils makes for very easy clean-up. Who would have thought something so amazingly tasty could really be so simple?

This recipe calls for the use of an espresso maker. If you do not own or have access to an espresso maker, it is perfectly fine to substitute exceptionally strong coffee or espresso flavored syrup for the three cups of espresso. You can also substitute brandy or any similarly flavored wine for the masala, if desired.

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs (separated) 16 ounces of mascarpone cream
  • ¼ cup of sugar ¼ cup of masala wine
  • 1 teaspoon of heavy whipping cream pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extracts 3 cups of espresso coffee
  • Cocoa powder to taste 2 (3 ounce) packages of lady fingers

Directions:

First, separate the egg yolks using an egg-separator. Place the yolks in a different mixing bowl. Refrigerate the bowl with the egg whites in it. It is very important to be sure the eggs are completely separated.

Whisk the egg yolks until they are well blended. Then whisk the sugar, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla extracts into the eggs. Next, add the mascarpone cream into the mixture. Mix the ingredients until they are smooth. Add in the masala wine into the mixture and whisk until everything is well blended.

In the separate mixing bowl, add salt to the refrigerated egg whites. Beat the egg whites with a clean whisk until peaks form and the mixture is firm.

Fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture until the cream is smooth. Make sure the cream is completely smooth. Unmixed egg whites will not make the cream very appetizing. Place the bowl of cream into the refrigerator while making the espresso.

Using an espresso machine, make 3 cups of espresso coffee. Let the espresso cool before layering the tiramisu. (If you do not have an espresso machine then substitute espresso syrup or strong coffee.)

Next, dip the lady fingers into the espresso. Do not soak them too long or they will become soggy. A two second soak should be sufficient. Make sure your hands are clean.

Layering instructions:

Step one: Using a spatula, spread an even layer of the mascarpone cream onto the bottom of a plate. Layering the cream on the bottom ensure that the dessert will remain in one place and not shift around on the plate.

Step two: Starting from the outside and working in, place a layer of espresso-soaked lady fingers on top of the cream. It is fine to break the lady fingers into sections if it necessary to make them fit. Try not to overlap the lady fingers.

Step three: Use the spatula to spread a layer of cream on top of the lady fingers. Be careful not to move the lady fingers around as you spread the cream.

Step four: Place a second layer of lady fingers on top of the cream. Remember that it is fine to break the lady fingers apart to make them fit.

Step five: Add a top layer of cream to the final layer of lady fingers. Make the cream as even as possible. This is the top of your dessert.

Step six: Place lady fingers around the outside edge of the layered tiramisu.

Sprinkle cocoa powder on top of the layered tiramisu. You can use as much or as little as you like.

Chill the tiramisu in the refrigerator for at least 4 to 6 hours before serving.

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