Tiramisu…

Tiramisu is a great dessert, a classic. It’s my girlfriend’s favorite so it was only fitting to make it for Valentine’s Day. And sure I can go to the store and buy Italian ladyfingers for $2.50 a package, but I’d much rather make them from scratch.

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Ladyfingers are light cookies. The lightness comes from the whipped egg whites.  Above is what I’d call “soft peaks” when people refer to whipping whites. The peak forms but flops over.

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Depending on how firm you want your peaks, this can be “stiff peak”.  It actually held for about 10 seconds before I got the camera out then flopped over.

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It should look almost like whipped cream.

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I put them in a plastic bag and snipped the corner off, a cheap DIY pastry bag.

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Notice they’re not too puffy, yet they’re soft on the inside. These are much better than the hard ones bought in the store.

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Of course, tiramisu needs coffee liqueur to brush or soak your ladyfingers in. Kahlua is the most popular of course. Tia Maria has a better taste, as does Kamora.  This bottle of Cafe Granita is a cheap knock-off of Kahlua, even in labeling, but has the same strong flavor. Because it was cheaper than Tia Maria by quite a bit, I went with this. After all, they’re all made in Mexico anyways.

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Whipped cream, another necessity for the tiramisu filling. To get the best results, chill your bowl in the freezer (or let ice water sit in it for a bit) and use COLD whipping cream.  You’ll be done in under 2 minutes guaranteed.

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Layer the ladyfingers, but don’t eat any yet!

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I put two layers of the ladyfingers, two of the filling, then topped with grated chocolate for serving. It was divine.

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It went well with our fondue!

Ladyfingers

4 eggs, separated
2 T + 2/3 c sugar
1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Beat the egg whites on medium to high speed in your mixer until you reach soft peaks. Add 2 T sugar slowly and continue to beat to stiff peaks.

In another bowl, beat yolks with sugar and beat it until it’s thickened and pale.

Mix flour and baking powder.

Fold in 1/2 of the whites into the yolk mixture, fold in flour, then the other 1/2 of the whites. Be sure to fold gently as to keep the whites fluffy as opposed to mixing it together into thin paste. Fill a pastry bag or zipper bag, pipe them using a 1/2″ tip or hole onto greased sheets, and bake for 8-10 minutes, until browned.

Tiramisu

6 egg yolks
1 c sugar
1 c marscapone cheese
1 3/4 c whipping cream
24 ladyfingers (or however many it takes to fill your container)
1/3 c coffee liqueur

Combine yolks and sugar in stainless bowl and heat over simmering water.  Whisk continuously to thicken. Add marscapone and whisk in. Remove from heat and cool.

Whip your cream with a mixer on medium high to firm peaks. Watch carefully, soon after this stage it becomes butter. Gently fold into yolk mixture once yolk is cool.

Line your pan with ladyfingers.  Brush the tops with liqueur. You can soak it as well, but I don’t like a soggy tiramisu.

Spoon half of the filling onto the ladyfingers. Repeat layering one more time.

Set pan in the refrigerator to set ideally overnight, but you can get away with 5-6 hours.

Top with cocoa powder or shaved chocolate.

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