Who cares if it’s the quintessential 1990s dessert. (What will be the quintessential dessert of the new millennium, I wonder?) It’s still one of the most die-and-go-to-heaven treats there is, and, more to the point, I’ve never blogged the recipe.
I thought about adapting the recent Cook’s Illustrated version, but they skip the zabaglione step and use raw egg yolks. RAW EGG YOLKS! What am I, Rocky? (Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky, not Bullwinkle’s.) So I went back to a more traditional, and admittedly more labor intensive recipe.
Below the cut: Tiramisu, the Photo Blog.
I’ve adapted the recipe from Cooking for Engineers, where Michael Chu has also photo blogged tiramisu. I do things a little bit different from Michael, but the recipes are nearly identical.
First, the mise en place:
You’ll need 8 to 12 ounces of espresso, four large egg yolks, 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine (mine’s dry; I don’t think it makes much difference), coffee liqueur, 1 cup of heavy cream, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, ONE pound cake (yeah, I thought I would need two), 16 ounces (2 packages) of mascarpone cheese, cocoa powder, and a hunk of semisweet chocolate for grating.
Traditionally, you would use lady fingers instead of pound cake. I’ve used lady fingers, angel food cake, and pound cake. They all work fairly well.
This recipe is designed for a 12 inch by 8 inch pan of tiramisu. I like to use my 8 by 8 inch glass dish because I have an air-tight top for it. Since I had leftover ingredients, I made a couple extra “individual size” tiramisus in ramekins. You’ll see that in a moment.
Let’s get to work.
1. Brew your espresso. For 12 ounces of espresso, I added 2 tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of coffee liqueur, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Stir to dissolve sugar and let this cool in the fridge.
2. Whip the four egg yolks until they look creamy and begin to turn pale. Do this in a sauce pan that can fit over a stock pot, like a double boiler. Now add the 1/2 cup of wine and the 1/2 cup of granulate sugar, and continue whipping until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Continue whisking this over simmering water . . .
. . . until the zabaglione sauce thickens. This will be obvious. Continue whisking off the heat until the underside of the sauce pot is cool enough to touch. Put the zabaglione sauce in the fridge.
3. Whip the 1 cup of cream to the soft peak stage.
4. Whip the 16 ounces of mascarpone cheese until it is fluffy. Do NOT even dream of substituting regular cream cheese here. Sure, it’s cheaper, but the flavor is all wrong.
5. Add the zabaglione sauce to the mascarpone cheese and continue beating or whipping until the two are well mixed. Now fold in the whipped cream.
6. Fill the bottom of your glass dish with slices of pound cake. I cut slices about 1/3 inch thick.
7. Here’s where I got lazy. I poured the espresso mixture over the cake layer, and then poured off the excess. You’re supposed to dip the slices individually, but why hassle with that? I would have to do it that way for the second layer anyway.
8. Spoon a bit less than half of the mascarpone/whipped cream/zabaglione over the cake layer. If you’re making this in a 12 by 8 dish, you would use a full half of the mixture. Spread it out. Put on another layer of cake slices. This time, you’ll need to dip the slices in the coffee mixture; I poured espresso onto a dish, and then put my slices onto the dish, flipping once before adding each slice to the tiramisu. Once I had tiled in the second layer of cake, I added the rest (mostly) of the mascarpone mixture. Spread THAT out, and you’re almost done.
9. This is when I realized I had leftovers of everything, so I made two ramekins of tiramisu. Then I powdered everything with cocoa powder.
10. And because you can never have too much chocolate, I shaved semisweet chocolate over the tops of everything. Et voila!
11. Chill for four hours or longer in the refrigerator. The mascarpone layer should firm up nicely, but slicing can be a little challenging.
That order again, from bottom to top:
Once, I added about four ounces of chocolate to the zabaglione and made chocolate tiramisu. The cheese layer was heavier than usual, thanks to the chocolate, and it was richer, of course. I suspect there are all manner of variations out there, but these are the only two I’ve made.
Live blogging tonight, hopefully at eight.