Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Because someone asked nicely.

One of you, whom I shan't out, in reviewing my answers to the recent food meme asked for my version of tiramisu.

So, because I am meant to be a force for all that is good and decent in turbulent times, here it is (with metrification for the rest of the world because I am, simply, a Hell of a guy):

This goes around to 8-10 people, so halve (or quarter!) as needed. Feel free to make it taller or shorter, it will taste the same. (Taller is posher, to some.) It is also an excellent opportunity to conscript any youngsters to assist. It is also a VERY easy dessert for said youngsters to make, requiring only modest whisking power and even more modest assembly skills. Some other variants have separated eggs which require whisking over double boilers, or whipping cream which demand either major appliances or serious muscle. Not here, as getting your 9 year old to start pitching in with food preparation is, to quote Eddie Izzard, A Good Thing.

Dipping

½ c. (125ml) cooled espresso coffee (or use REALLY strong coffee), sweetened or not as you prefer
¼ c. (65ml) amaretto liqueur (or use a scant ¾ c. espresso with a healthy shot of almond extract)
½ lb. (450gm) ladyfingers, or cut-into-planks sponge cake, toasted (if you don't toast it pretty dry, it will get seriously soggy)

Filling
1/3 c. (+/- 80ml) sugar
2 t. (?? ml) vanilla extract

1 lb. (450gm) mascarpone or cream cheese or neufchatel cheese (this last one is my favorite for "everyday" tiramisu, it's far less caloric than mascarpone, almost as good and way cheaper, even if you use some chi-chi organic stuff...I like Horizons Organic), softened to room temperature.

Finishing
Cocoa powder (I like Droste) or chocolate powder (sometimes called "ground chocolate" in which case I like Pernigotti's) chocolate shavings (I like Valrhona or Scharffenberger) for dusting the surface.


Put your espresso/amaretto fluid in a shallow tray. Lay a ladyfinger down flat for HALF A SECOND, flip it over another half second and remove. Place the duly dampened ladyfinger down flat in your vessel* of choice. Then repeat until you have one layer, making sure they almost, but not quite, touch.

For the filling, whip mascarpone (or cream cheese, or neufchatel) with sugar and vanilla until you no longer see sugar crystals and the cheese takes on a batter-like texture. Do not panic if it's runny, as it will firm up in the fridge.

Pour/spread just enough filling to cover the ladyfingers. Go do another layer's worth of the dipping/layering. Repeat until you are done. (You should wind up with a layer of filling on top)

Cover (I use a resealable plastic container, otherwise go with cling wrap) and refrigerate overnight -- willpower!! -- before serving. You need the time for the just damp ladyfingers to absorb the moisture from the mascarpone (which in turn "pushes" the espresso deeper into the ladyfinger, softening it while firming up the mascarpone further) and you need the filling to set up** to the correct firmness. Just prior to serving put cocoa/ in a fine strainer and shake a light coating on surface, or sprinkle chocolate shavings.

Serve to rapturous acclaim.

-J.

*
I like a Tupperware resealable container shaped like a loaf pan. If you want to be posh, you line it with buttered cling wrap so as to make a "sling" and put in a layer of filling FIRST, so that you may invert it. This is not necessary if it's to be served "family style." If you want it REALLY posh, you could also line them up VERTICALLY in some sort of fanciful glassware -- martini glass, tumbler, wineglass, whatever -- and really go frou-frou. I wouldn't bother.

** You can cheat with a bit of gelatin if you like it pretty firm or if you just want it to firm up faster.


Posted by Joke at 8:41 AM

4 Comments

  • Blogger Major Bedhead posted at 11:48 AM, September 09, 2008  
    Oh, man, I do love tiramisu. Not quite as much as I love cheesecake, but it's a very close second.

    I shall be saving this recipe to be made anon.
  • Blogger Frogdancer posted at 5:21 PM, September 09, 2008  
    Yes, you are a Hell of a guy....

    that looks scrumptious
  • Blogger Stomper Girl posted at 9:14 PM, September 09, 2008  
    Oh my, photos as well. It looks scrumptious.

    (I don't mind admitting it was me who begged you for this recipe.)
  • Blogger meggie posted at 3:54 AM, September 13, 2008  
    I am not usually a sweets lover. For this, I would make a serious diversion. I LOVE Coffee flavour.
    Now, all I have to do, is train the Grandson!
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