Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Best Tiramisu


I've been using this recipe for years now, and it is by far the best Tiramisu recipe. People have ranted and raved over it. So, I've decided to spill the beans and pass it on. I ate it after some lasagna, asparagus with olive oil and garlic and lemon juice, a loaf of good crusty garlic bread, and a nice chianti (insert noise like Hannibal Lecture on "Silence of the Lambs").

Tiramisu

3 eggs, separated
2 cups mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 T vanilla sugar (who really has vanilla sugar on hand?? I use sugar and vanilla extract which does not interfere with the integrity of the dessert)
3/4 cup cold, very strong black coffee (I either brew some espresso in the machine, but since it's on the fritz, I've used instant espresso, just follow the directions on the jar)
1/2 cup Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur
18 savoiardi (Italian lady fingers)
sifted cocoa powder and grated bittersweet chocolate, to finish

Put the egg whites in a grease-free bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Put aside.

Mix the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla and egg yolks in a separate large bowl and whisk with the electric mixer until evenly combined. Fold in the egg whites, then put a few spoonfuls of the mixture in the bottom of a large serving bowl (I use a 9x9 glass baking dish with lid which is very pretty) and spread out evenly.

Combine the coffee and liqueur in a shallow dish. Dip ladyfinger in the mixture, turn it quickly so that it becomes saturated but not mushy, and place it on top of the mascarpone in the bowl. Keep adding the dipped ladyfingers side-by-side till you cover one layer.

Spoon in about one-third of the remaining mixture and spread it out. Make more layers in the same way, ending with mascarpone. Level the surface, then sift cocoa powder all over. Cover and chill overnight. Before serving, sprinkle with cocoa and grated chocolate. Serves 6-8 or less if people ask for seconds!

I always have dessert with coffee, and this one is superb with the hints of coffee and it's not very sweet at all other than the ladyfingers. Great to take to a friend's house for dinner!

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