I love chocolate. I really do. Chocolate chip cookies, chocolate milk, chocolate bars, chocolate anything. Cover it in chocolate and I’ll give it a try. And I’ll probably like it too. A lot.
Tiramisu is a favorite in my house. It’s enjoyed by everyone because it’s got a little of everything for everyone to enjoy. The adults like the strong coffee flavor, or the creaminess of the mascarpone and whipped cream, or the light texture of the soaked ladyfingers, and I, of course, delight in the chocolate toppings. Tiramisu has actually replaced the standard birthday cake for birthdays in my family.
There’s actually very little chocolate involved in tiramisu, though, just a light dusting of cocoa powder with little pieces of shaved chocolate sprinkled on top. What really makes tiramisu stand out is the combination of coffee with the chocolate, complementing the bitter-sweet flavor of the chocolate; so, what seems like a little chocolate actually goes a long way in terms of flavor.
Tiramisu, from Gastronomer’s Guide
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
16 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 and a half cups brewed coffee
1/2 cup coffee liqueur
40 store-bought ladyfingers
1 cup heavy cream
1. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and cup of sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in mascarpone until incorporated.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold in beaten egg whites into mascarpone mixture.
3. In a small bowl combine coffee and coffee liqueur. Dip ladyfingers one-by-one into coffee and liqueur mixture and lay in rows in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch dish. Spread half of the mascarpone cream on top. Make one more layer of ladyfingers and the remaining mascarpone cream.
4. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat heavy cream and tablespoon of sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream on top.
5. Dust with cocoa powder and garnish with grated and/or shaved bittersweet chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Yield: 10 to 12 slices.
I didn’t have a beater so I used a wire whisk to beat both the eggs and heavy cream into whipped cream. It helps if you use a metal bowl and wire whisk that have been sitting in the freezer or refrigerator until it’s cold for whipping the cream. If uncooked eggs are not your fancy, whisking the eggs over a double boiler will cook the eggs as it’s being whipped so that should solve any fear of bacteria.
I also didn’t use coffee liquer because I didn’t have access to any but the overall taste of the tiramisu was still delicious — the tang of the liquer would have definitely added to the dessert, though. I also found that using one pack of lady fingers was just enough for an 8 by 8 inch glass dish. I don’t know if it was because I dipped my ladyfingers in too much coffee or not but I found that the tiramisu had a better consistency if you cut a little piece out of it before chilling it in the refrigerator overnight; it seems to help let the extra coffee evaporate and the ladyfingers firm up.