I love Tiramisu.
One of the first places I tried it was at the San Genaro Festival, which they hold in the last remnants of Little Italy in NYC. It was a perfect amalgamation of cookie, cream, coffee and alcohol - and they sold it by the cup so you didn't feel too guilty after scarfing it down.
Ever since I tried it those many years ago, I've made it on particular occasions. Something about Tiramisu begs for an occasions to bring it out - it's a festive, wonderfully decadent dessert and while there is no real "baking" involved, I feel that it deserved a shout out on my woefully neglected blog.
So this time around, the festive occasion was Mother's Day! And since we were planning an Italian inspired early supper, what better to end it than with a wonderful tiramisu. I trolled my favorite online cookbook, Epicurious and found the following recipe:
Tiramisu (adapted from Epicurious.com)
3 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-oz) container mascarpone cheese (1 scant cup)
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
2 cups very strong brewed coffee or brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (I used Starbucks brand here)
18 Ladyfingers (the crunchy variety)
2 tablespoons good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Beat in mascarpone until just combined.
Beat whites with a pinch of cream of tartar in another bowl with cleaned beaters until they just hold soft peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, then continue to beat whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat cream in another bowl with cleaned beaters until it just holds soft peaks. Fold cream into mascarpone mixture gently but thoroughly, then fold in whites.
Stir together coffee and coffee liqueur in a shallow bowl. Dip 1 ladyfinger in coffee mixture, soaking it about 4 seconds on each side, and transfer to an 8-inch glass baking dish (2-quart capacity). Repeat with 8 more ladyfingers and arrange in bottom of dish, trimming as needed to fit snugly.
Spread half of mascarpone mixture evenly over ladyfingers. Make another layer in same manner with remaining ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture. Chill tiramisu, covered, at least 6 hours.
Just before serving, sprinkle with cocoa powder. And voila - Tiramisu!
Come to think of it, I might have to make this again especially with the weather becoming warmer and warmer (hot as hades here in the NYC) and oven-prohibitive!