Chef YvesPaul's Installment: Tiramisu

>> Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When I first came to the States, I bought a piece of Tiramisu in celebration to my friend's birthday. I was very uncultured back then and I didn't even know what Tiramisu was. I thought it was something Japanese related given the alternate vowel and consonant in the name. The light, creamy, chocolatey, coffee piece of fluffy heaven that is Tiramisu is pretty much my go-to crowd pleaser. I have yet to meet anyone that doesn't like it. Though I'm surprised that after making it so many times, I've failed to take a picture of the end product.

The recipe I use is from a Williams-Sonoma series of cookbook I purchased with minor tweak on the sweetness level. I love this recipe because it's simple and quick. Quick, meaning I don't have to work on it for a long time. It still requires a bit of refrigeration time but there's absolutely no baking involved.


Coffee Mixture:

2 Cups of Espresso, freshly brewed or made from instant powder
1/2 Cup of Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Dark Rum


6 Large Egg Yolks
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1 1/2 Cups of Mascarpone Cheese
1 1/2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract

1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream, Chilled

4 Dozens of Ladyfingers
2 (1.55 oz) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bars


First mix the ingredients in the coffee mixture together until sugar is well dissolved and let cool.

In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar for 2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is light yellow. Place the bowl on top of a saucepan with simmering water or a double boiler. Using a electric mixer, beat mixture on medium speed until egg yolk mixture becomes very thick, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. When it cools, mix mascarpone and vanilla extract into the egg yolk mixture until smooth and blended

In another bowl beat heavy cream with electric mixer until stiff peak forms. Gently fold whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture with a spatula.

To assemble, use a deep 9-inch square cake pan or a big bowl. First, lightly dip the ladyfingers into the coffee mixture and arrange them in the bottom of the container in one whole layer. spread one-third of the mascarpone mixture on top and spread evenly. Repeat alternatively with another layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers and half of the remaining mascarpone mixture. Then another layer of ladyfingers and the remaining mascarpone. When finished, you can dust cocoa powder on top but I prefer to use a vegetable peeler on warm chocolate bars to make curls and decorate the top with them.

Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

The end product will taste a little bit like ice cream with the most tender of cakes. The dipping of ladyfingers into the coffee mixture is the key here, if you dip for too long, the cake will end up soggy and terrible. Also avoid over heating when beating the eggs on the double-boiler, you don't want to end up putting scrambled eggs int what's supposed to be a light custard cream. Since the recipe used raw eggs, people who's pregnant women or with compromised immune system should avoid eating this, so are the people with alcoholism.

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