This simple yet classic Italian dessert is easy to make and taste just like your Italian grandmother or local Italian restaurant made this sensational dessert. This is one of my all time favorite desserts, so much that no matter where or what restaurant I am at, if I see Tiramisu on the menu I am ordering it. I have only come across one particular brand sold at “Trader Joes” that is so close to tasting authentic.
Tiramisu literally means “pick me up” or “lift me up” as this dessert is known as an Italian Trifle that takes ladyfingers, soaked in coffee, spirits, and layered with a rich custard made from egg yolks and mascarpone cheese. A dusting of cocoa powder and shavings of decadent dark or semisweet chocolate on top adds a rustic, yet elegant finish to this sinfully rich dessert.
There are countless variations for Tiramisu . Some use other cakes or sweet, yeasted breads, such as panettone, in place of ladyfingers. Other cheese mixtures as well, some containing raw eggs, and others containing no eggs at all.
Marsala wine has been added to the recipe, but other liquors are often substituted for it in both the coffee and the cheese mixture, including dark rum, Madeira, port, brandy or Irish Cream such as Bailey’s. My version has both coffee and dark rum, which balances the richness out.
There is one ingredients that you may have difficulty finding at your local supermarket, and that is Mascarpone cheese. An 8 oz container of Mascarpone cheese i’ve seen priced at $5.99 and up, unless your lucky enough to find it cheaper or on sale. But have no fear if you can’t find Mascarpone cheese, I have a substitute equal, that I included with this recipe.
So the next time you have “Italian cuisine” for dinner, add this dessert to your menu, as this really is a simple and A delicious delight to serve, anyone, anytime….
16 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
4 small egg yolks
1/4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup espresso or extra strong coffee, cooled
2-3 Tbsp tablespoons dark rum or brandy, depending on how strong of rum or brandy you wish.
2-3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder to dust over the top of your tiramisu
Chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)
Mascarpone Substitute Ingredients:
12 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 Tbsp. sour cream.
Remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator and allow it to warm to room temperature. Then using a hand mixer on low-med speed combine ingredients in a medium bowl thoroughly, as this will give a nice smooth velvety consistency.
Using a wire whisk, add to a bowl the egg yolks, sugar and half of the brandy. Whisk the mixture fast to thicken. Fold in the mascarpone spoon by spoon.
The mixture should look smooth and thick. If it isn’t thick or is runny, use a hand blender/mixer with whipping blades and blend until thick.
Gather the ladyfingers and Mix espresso and the rest of the brandy in shallow dish. “Very important Do not over soak the lady fingers” Over soaking will cause your ladyfingers to crumble from being too soft and fall apart.
What I do, is give a quick dip on both sides then layer the ladyfingers, then using a squirt bottle with half of the coffee/liqueur mixture I squeeze over any spots I may have missed.
Once you have the first layer of ladyfingers laid out on your serving dish, very slowly pour over the top of them about 1/3 of the cheese mixture.
Then repeat and top with the rest of mascarpone.
Cover the Tiramisu and allow it to set in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours. You can make this a few days in advance and after the tiramisu has set, it can be moved to the freezer. Just take it out and place in the fridge 2 hours before serving.
Before serving, sprinkle cocoa and chocolate shavings on top.
Originally posted on November 13, 2012