I learned 2 things while making this tiramisu, my first ever traditional tiramisu. First, truly authentic tiramisu calls for some ingredients that are a pain in the butt to find in small towns. Second, I suspect restaurants have been making inauthentic tiramisu for forever, because my tiramisu tasted spot on for what I have been eating in various restaurants my whole life. So someday I hope to feature another tiramisu on this blog, one made with marsala wine and proper lady fingers, etc. But for now let’s call this my Small Town Tiramisu.
I made this for that same supper club party as the Italian bread (which is why I did not have time to go to Jungle Jim’s and get marsala wine, Italian ladyfingers, etc). I got a lot of compliments for the fact that the tiramisu was not soggy–the ladyfingers I found were pathetically soft (a true Italian ladyfinger should be quite crisp), so I only brushed the espresso syrup onto them, instead of dipping the entire ladyfinger. In *my* ideal world, I would increase (maybe 1.5X) the mascarpone part of the recipe, because I like a cream heavy tiramisu. But this is personal preference-the recipe as it is written below does not include extra of the mascarpone-cream layer.
One note about the photos: the tiramisu seems to have 3 layers because it was unclear whether the dumb ladyfingers I bought needed to have 2 cookies to form 1 ladyfinger (just trust me). I decided after it should have been 1, not 2. In creating this recipe, I worked from a recipe from Giada de Laurentiis and another recipe from Gourmet.
- 1/2 cup kahlua
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 3 T espresso powder
- 2 T sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- 4 T sugar
- 2 T sherry
- 1 lb mascarpone room temperature
- 1 cup heavy cream softly whipped
- ladyfingers-how many depends on size of the ladyfinger they will need to cover 2 layers of a 9 X 13 pan (I used around 36)
- unsweetened natural cocoa powder
Bring the Kahlua, water and espresso powder to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Prepare the whipped cream–do not overwhip, you want it softly whipped. Set aside.
Beat the egg yolks, sherry and sugar in a double boiler or heat safe bowl over barely simmering water. Beat until pale and tripled in volume, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat, and slowly beat in the mascarpone, a dollop at a time. Once the mascarpone is incorporated, fold the whipped cream in until they are combined completely.
If you are using crisp ladyfingers, dip each one completely in the Kahlua mixture, shake it off gently, and place it in the bottom of a 9 X 13 baking dish. If your ladyfingers are soft, as mine were, lay the ladyfingers out in the pan until the entire layer is covered. Brush the Kahlua mixture over the ladyfingers. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Repeat, ending with the rest of the mascarpone mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours. Sprinkle the top with cocoa powder before serving.
MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College says
My Mom LOVES tiramisu and I think she would die if I made her one, this recipe looks so great! She may be getting this for her birthday 🙂
Tiramisu is my husband's all time favorite dessert. I usually make Emeril's recipe and it is better than what you find at most restaurants! A lot of work, but worth the reward of the smiling faces!
This looks like heaven on earth and absolutely delicious.
singh from dominos india says
Ah!! All your tiramisu seriously look amazing!
Given what was available, you did an AWESOME job! I do love me some tiramisu and this looks fantastic!
All That's Left Are The Crumbs says
I love how you were able to improvise and make an amazing tiramisu, even if it is "small town". I feel your pain as I sometimes have a hard time finding ingredients here too (for example Meyer Lemons).
Hester aka The Chef Doc says
Hooray for making tiramisu! I could totally use a "pick me up" right about now 🙂
I LOVE tiramisu. ANd I havent had it in so long. This post reminds me that I need to make a dish soon. Thanks so much for sharing. Cheers.
authentic tiramisu is indeed a pain to make, but the result is so superior and impressive. nice post!
delicious looking tiramisu
Ive never had a tiramisu, authentic or otherwise – but this does look lovely and makes me want to try a bite 🙂