Every time I serve tiramisu. People are literally flying with joy. Tiramisu is one mysterious dessert that costs a lot in a restaurant, but in fact takes no hassle to make at home. I guess the pricey mascarpone cheese is the reason why tiramisu is expensive, although other ingredients are quite inexpensive. However, if you attempt to give it a try, you will have to stick with the best quality mascarpone cheese, of which the irreplaceable luscious taste comes from.
Tiramisu is all about layering. A layer of espresso-soaked sponge fingers, then another layer of rich mascarpone filling, a sprinkle of cocoa powder, then ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese and cocoa powder. That’s all. You could do it without alcohol. But if you need a hit of booze, you could try Kahlua, Marsala or other coffee liquor.
Ingredients (8-inch square cake):
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Kahlua
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy cream
24 to 28 ladyfingers
2 cup freshly brewed strong coffee or espresso, cooled slightly
1/4 cup cocoa powder
In a large heatproof bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, Kahlua and salt. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until well mixed. Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Beat on high speed until the mixture is thick and hot to touch, about 8 minutes.
Remove from heat. Let mixture cool completely. Stir occasionally.
Beat mascarpone cheese and heavy cream on medium speed until smooth in a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Increase speed to high, and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Fold the whipped mascarpone mixture into the cooled egg mixture a third at a time until combined and smooth.
To assemble, dip ladyfingers, one at a time, into the espresso and arrange in a single layer on the bottom of a 8×8-inch pan. Spread half of the mascarpone filling over the ladyfingers. Dust half of the cocoa powder on top. Repeat with the second layer of ladyfingers, mascarpone filling and cocoa powder.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.