Every so often I have this sudden idea to whip up something I have never made before. This week, it was tiramisu. And boy if I have ever had a smart idea, this was definitely one of them.
I may have mentioned previously that I am quite fussy when it comes to dessert. Fussy as in I have a set taste – cake needs to be super moist or super light, cheesecake needs to be super creamy, and if possible there has to be chocolate or caramel, or chocolate caramel. Salted works well too. And anything coffee flavoured gets voted in.
Tiramisu is something I rarely go for, and this week I have been wondering why. It ticks all the boxes for me. Creamy, coffee flavoured, and the soaked biscuit base is right up my taste buds’ alley. I contemplated contacting my favourite Italian food specialists Enoteca Sileno for a sample of their finest savoiardi, but I just couldn’t wait. I had to make this pronto now that I had it in my head.
I looked online for a simple tiramisu recipe. I discovered there aren’t too many variations, I think it’s one of those dishes that is perfect as it is so why change it. You can use a variety of liqueur – Tia Maria, Kahlua, Amaretto – I used Baileys. You could even combine a couple of liqueur flavours, although I’m not sure how that goes with sticking with the Italian tradition. If you know what is the proper tradition, please let me know.
Preparing this dish took no time at all, less than half an hour in fact. Leaving it to set overnight was the hardest part, I contemplated getting up in the middle of the night to have a peek (translate: dig my finger into the bowl) but that would be a little obsessive and impatient. So we’ll just say that never happened.
Traditional tiramisu has cocoa powder dusted on top, but I went chocolate-hardcore and shaved chocolate on top instead. Chocolate and coffee combined is akin to the chocolate/caramel combination in my books. B-LISS! Digging a spoon through the layers to reveal the oh-so-deliciously coffee and Baileys soaked savoiardi and the velvety mascarpone topped with shavings of chocolate was just delightful. I unfortunately started photographing this before breakfast, needless to say my usual Sunday cooked breakfast didn’t get a look in. This dessert rightfully took over, it is pure delight.
Ingredients (serves… oh who cares, just dig in!):
1 cup freshly brewed espresso. You can use instant coffee if you don’t have a coffee machine.
1 cup Baileys (and no, you can’t sip while you’re baking. I don’t do that.)
400g savoiardi biscuits
4 large eggs, separated
4 tbsp caster sugar
Premium quality chocolate or cocoa powder for the top
Combine cooled coffee and liqueur in a shallow bowl. Dip the biscuits into the coffee/liqueur mixture coating all sides. You want them to be well soaked but not soggy. Line the base of a 22cm dish with a layer of soaked biscuits, leaving the remainder of the biscuits for the next layer.
Beat egg whites in a bowl until stiff peaks form.
In a separate bowl whisk yolks with sugar until creamy, for about 1 minute. Add mascarpone and combine well until smooth and creamy.
Gently fold egg whites into mascarpone mixture.
Pour half of the mascarpone mixture onto the layer of biscuits in the base of the dish.
Place a second layer of soaked biscuits on top of the mascarpone layer. Pour the remainder of the mascarpone mixture on top of the biscuits.
Cover and place into fridge to chill overnight. No midnight peeking/sampling!
Once chilled, shave good quality chocolate over the top before serving. Or if you want to make it more authentic dust the top with cocoa powder pushed through a sieve.
Do we really need to even serve this up? I think not, grab a spoon and dive in! Unless of course you have guests, then better keep the table manners at bay and plate it up. We don’t want to look like crazy dessert-obsessed animals that dig our fingers into chilling dessert in the fridge in the middle of the night.
Edwardian compote and vintage linen courtesy of The Vintage Table.