(serves 8 )
This is your achetypal Italian dessert, made of sinful layers of sponge cake and custard cream. The authentic tiramisu is made with sabayon, which is a light custard made by double boiling egg yolks with Marsala wine. My version does away with that, allowing you to make your tiramisu trouble free, without a double boiler. In fact there isn’t any cooking involved at all.
- Eggs (3)
- Expresso (4/5 cup)
- Sugar (2T)
- Mascarpone (250g)
- Whipping Cream (300ml)
- Sponge Fingers (18)
- Honey (2t)
- Dark Rum (6T)
- Cocoa powder (4t)
- Take the mascarpone out of the fridge a few hours beforehand, so it can warm up and soften.
- Ideally you should have on hand a large (8 cup) rectangular Gladware
plastic container, as its breadth matches the length of a sponge finger and besides, this recipe is designed to match its volume. They are deep enough for you to have three layers of sponge, so you save space. They are also air tight, making it easier for you to keep the tiramisu in the fridge without drying it out.
- The first thing to make is your cup of expresso. You should make sure that the coffee being used is of the bitter (i.e. not sour) variety. If you don’t have an expresso machine, just use instant coffee, at double the normal concentration. Add 3T of rum to the coffee and allow it to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, mix 3 egg yolks (you won’t be using the egg whites), the sugar and anohter 3T of rum. Then mix in the mascarpone and mash all lumps with a large spoon. Mix in 2t honey to complete the mascarpone mix.
- Separately beat the cream until it holds stiff peaks and
then fold into the mascarpone mix.
- Now to assemble the tiramisu. Line the bottom of your container with a thin layer of the cheese cream. Position expresso soaked sponge fingers atop the cheese cream. You do this by spooning 3t of expresso evenly onto each finger (cover both sides) before positioning it. Put them in immediately as they become too soft to handle very soon after being wet. You should be able to fit in 6 fingers per layer. Spread one third of remaining cheese mixture over the layer of sponge fingers and sift half the cocoa powder over that.
- Add another layer of sponge fingers, again soaked with coffee and top with a second layer of cheese cream but without cocoa. Repeat a third time, ending with a final layer cheese cream on topfollowed by the remaining cocoa powder sifted over the top.
- Refrigerate covered overnight before serving. If you need the tiramisu faster, use more coffee and spoon 4t on each sponge finger instead of 3 – this will still require two hours in the fridge before serving. The 2 hour version should not be kept overnight as it will get very wet the next day.
- The easiest way to serve tiramisu is to scoop it into small bowls and redust cocao powder – as shown here.
- Purists would insist on using Savoiardi brand sponge fingers. I have found that while there is a quality difference when the sponge fingers are eaten by themselves, after being soaked in coffee and cream, it no longer matters what brand of fingers you use.
- Impress your guests with new tiramisu flavours on their second tasting. I have four exciting flavours in my Tiramisu II post.