I don’t want my parents to feel too bad or anything, but I am seriously debating whether or not I was a deprived child. You see, desserts were never as important as I believed they should have been. Had they been, there is one dessert, that would have been a ‘must have;’ instead, it was not even mentioned…ever.
Which one, you’re asking? Tiramisu, that heavenly Italian creation, takes me to a very happy place that I never knew of as a child. The word ‘tiramisu’ means ‘pick me up’ in Italian. This is probably because of the coffee used in the recipe, but for me, I think the name works beautifully because it picks my spirits right up each and every time I think of it.
Ladyfingers, which on their own are not really fab to nosh on; are transformed, once they are dunked into a soaking syrup of sugar, coffee and Kahlua. The ladyfingers are layered between a sabayon filling that is to die for. After all, what could be bad about egg yolks, coffee and sugar all whipped together for 14 minutes and then folded together with whipped mascarpone/whipping cream? I can’t think of a single thing.
The magical layering takes place and the top is covered with grated chocolate before getting wrapped up and refrigerated to allow the flavors to really blend together. The end result is a decadent treat of creaminess that you just can’t pass up.
For those of you about to celebrate Passover, there’s great news. They now make Pesadich (Kosher for Passover) ladyfingers and they work perfectly with this recipe.
Now there isn’t a reason in the world to pass on tiramisu. Believe me when I tell you, your children will appreciate this, if not now, then definitely down the road. Or, put another way, you will never have to feel the same guilt over depriving your children that I just know my parents are feeling right now!!!
- Soaking syrup:
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2½ cups brewed coffee
- ½ cup Kahlua liqueur
- Sabayon filling:
- ¼ cup brewed coffee, cold
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 pound mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 30-33 ladyfingers
- 1 ounce chocolate chips, semisweet or bittersweet
- For the soaking syrup:
- Dissolve the sugar into the coffee. Add the Kahlua. Refrigerate until needed.
- For the sabayon:
- Whisk the cold brewed coffee with egg yolks in a medium size metal mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the sugar and whisk until well blended.
- Place a dishtowel next to the stove. Fill a medium saucepan with 2” of water. Bring the water to a simmer and place metal mixing bowl over, like a double boiler. Hold the side of the mixing bowl with an oven mitt to avoid burning your hands and also to keep the bowl steady. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed for 3 minutes. Increase the speed to high and beat 4 minutes more, beating the sides and middle of the eggs mixture.
- Remove the mixing bowl from the stove and place onto the dishtowel. Continue to beat on high speed for 7 minutes, until the mixture cools. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl of an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone and whipping cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Start on low speed and then build up to medium speed or you will be wearing mascarpone and whipping cream.
- Fold the egg mixture into the mascarpone in two or three additions. Set aside.
- For the cake:
- Set aside a 7½” x 12” rectangular pan.
- Pour the soaking syrup into a rectangular container that will allow you to dunk the ladyfingers without causing them to break. Place this container next to the rectangular pan.
- To assemble the cake, you will need 15 ladyfingers for the bottom layer and 15-17 for the top.
- One at a time, place a ladyfinger into the soaking syrup. Submerge for a few seconds. Place in the pan. Repeat until you have a layer of tightly placed ladyfingers on the bottom.
- Pour ½ of the sabayon over the layer of ladyfingers. Repeat the layers one more time, finishing with the remaining sabayon. If the sabayon goes above the edge of the pan, don’t worry about it. Use a small spatula to shape the sides evenly and smooth out the top.
- Grate the chocolate over the top of the tiramisu. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
- Serve cold.
- Betsy's tidbits:
- I take the time to layout the ladyfingers on the bottom of the pan, just to get an idea of how they will be placed once soaked.
- The soaking syrup may be made a day before using.
- Sabayon is also known as zabaione and zabaglione.
- I use a Pyrex pan when putting together my Tiramisu. The bottom of the dish is slightly curved which is why fewer ladyfingers are used for the bottom layer.
- This recipe will work for a 7½” x 12” or up to a 9” x 13” pan. Remember, if you use a larger pan, you will need more ladyfingers.