Tiramisu, to me, is one of those desserts that you can have anytime, throughout the whole year. It’s a bit of a contradiction in itself- the alcohol in it is warming during the colder months and the chilled mascarpone is refreshing during the warmer months. I, for one, am in love with the combination of chocolate, coffee and light and airy mascarpone. Before I started baking, I always felt that tiramisu would be really hard to make, and admired anyone who could make one. Little did I know how easy it actually is!
I tried many different recipes before deciding that this one was my favourite, but I can’t remember its origin! One thing I learnt (from Soy) is that the alcohol you use for your tiramisu is really quite important in building its flavour. I’m actually quite liberal in the amount of alcohol I use, but trust me, it goes a long way. Once it infuses for a few days, the tiramisu is just divine! Here are the usual suspects: Kahlua, Cointreau and a tiramisu liquer from Flaschengeist we got as a gift. I only started using the tiramisu liquer last year, but it basically tastes like the Kahlua-Cointreau combination, just a little sweeter.
Assembling the tiramisu is always fun. And it took me a couple of tries before knowing how long to soak the savioardi fingers in the coffee and liquer mixture for. It really is a matter of seconds. Too long and I got crumbled fingers, too quick and my sponge fingers tended to be a bit too dry in the completed tiramisu. I also add grated dark chocolate between the layers for more chocolatey flavour.
Tiramisu is actually great for beginning bakers cos there is no actual baking to be done, and there is little room for error. And assembling the layers is quite a fun job! I love this recipe for its light and airy yet creamy mascarpone layers and the coffee and liquer spiked sponge. The flavour really does develop and get better over time, so you will have to exercise all self-restraint and leave your tiramisu to chill in the fridge overnight before eating.
makes 2 medium glass rectangle dishes’ worth
2 cups strong black coffee, at room temperature
1/2 cup Kahlua
1/4 cup Cointreau (or any other liquer you would like, to taste)
3 eggs, separated
1/3 cup caster sugar
300ml cream, lightly whipped
1 large packet savioardi biscuits
cocoa for dusting
chocolate for grating
Pour coffee and liquers into a shallow dish and set aside.
Beat egg yolks and sugar until very pale and thick (about 10 min). Add mascarpone and whipped cream, mixing gently until just combined.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into mascarpone mixture.
Dip biscuits into coffee and liquer and line the bottom of a glass dish (or you can make individual serves). Cover the biscuits with 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture. Grate chocolate over the top of the mascarpone. Continue with layers of coffee-dipped biscuits, mascarpone and grated chocolate, ending with a layer of mascarpone. Cover and keep overnight (or at least 2 hrs) in the fridge for the flavours to develop.
Serve thick slices grated with chocolate and dusted with cocoa powder.