Lekker: Traditional Tiramisu

I can't imagine a better way to cap off this series of Italian recipes than with my favourite dessert of all time: the Italian classic tiramisu.

Back home in Florida, Publix Supermarkets (the holy grail of all supermarkets) makes the best tiramisu that requires all of my willpower to avoid. I've never attempted to make it myself, but Chef Andrea made it look so easy I have no doubt this will become a regular fixture on my dessert menu.

I was surprised to find no alcohol or liqueur in the preparation, but Chef Andrea proclaimed that any Italian bakery worth its sugar makes their tiramisu from scratch every day--alcohol is a preservative and is only used in sub-par cakes.

So, here we go!

Traditional Tiramisu
serves 6-8 people depending on how many sweettooths you have

What You Need
4 eggs
4 T confectioner's sugar
Pinch of fine salt
250 grams marscapone cheese (most supermarkets now carry this sweet, mild imported Italian cheese; it's the same stuff that goes into cheesecake)
Ladyfinger cookies (You can usually find these tucked away on a top or bottom shelf of the cookie aisle, since I've never met anyone who actually eats these just as-is.)
~2 cups espresso coffee (or just really really strongly brewed coffee)
Cocoa powder and/or grated or shaved chocolate to decorate the top

What You Do
1. To make the cream mixture, separate the egg yolks and the whites into two large bowls. Beat only the whites with 2 tablespoons of the confectioner's sugar and a small pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks.

2. In the second bowl, beat the egg yolks with the other 2 tablespoons of confectioner's sugar until the mixture is very thick and light in colour. Then use a rubber spatula to stir in the marscapone cheese until smooth and well incorporated.

3. Combine the egg yolk cream into the egg whites, folding gently with the spatula from the bottom to the top until well incorporated.

3. To assemble the tiramisu, dip half of the ladyfingers one at a time into the coffee mixture and line them along the bottom of a rectangular or square flat serving dish. (You may want to practice making them fit beforehand so you have an idea of how it'll work.) Spoon half of the cream mixture over them, and then repeat with a second layer of ladyfingers and the second half of the cream mixture.

4. Cover the top of the whole thing with sifted cocoa powder and/or finely grated or shaved chocolate to decorate the top. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. This dish can be made the day before and left in the fridge overnight, but in that case wait until just before serving to add the cocoa powder and shaved chocolate.

Posted on May 15, 2015 .