So I didn’t win the dessert contest, but I did have a lot of fun making and serving my tiramisu, so I’d like to share my recipe! Here we go!
The recipe actually came from Emeril Live’s Tiramisu Recipe, with just a couple of slight modifications.
Classic tiramisu consists of ladyfingers soaked in espresso and rum (or some other flavored liqueur) then layered with mascarpone cream. I chose to use sponge cake, which is fluffier and more likely to absorb the espresso and rum. However, the problem with using sponge cake is that you’ll have a more difficult time with layering and setting the cream.
Making a tiramisu takes a lot of time and effort, but it will definitely be super rewarding, and of course your friends will love you a lot. So try it, and send me pictures! I would love to see them (and post them here)!
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp butter
1+1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1+1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolk
1/2 cup+2 tbsp espresso (or very strong, concentrated instant coffee. I’ve used Starbucks Via, Italian Roast)
1/2 cup+2 tbsp hot water
3 tbsp rum (or other flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier)
1 cup (8oz) Mascarpone cheese
2 tbsp rum (or other flavored liqueur such as Marsala wine)
3 eggs, separated
6 tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
Preparation of the ingredients
Directions for the sponge cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper (use the butter to stick the paper to the bottom of the pan). Grease and lightly flour the parchment paper. Alternatively, if you wish to make a rectangular tiramisu, you can use a 9x13in baking pan.
3. Heat the milk and butter until the butter melts. Keep the heat low so that the milky film won’t form.
4. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder.
5. Set the eggs, sugar, and egg yolks in a large bowl over a hot water bath. Whisk (using a mixer) on slow speed until the color becomes very light, and the volume of the mixture more than triples. This step is crucial for the sponge cake to rise. It may take a while, but please be patient. (See photo).
6. Remove the egg mixture from heat. Sift the flour mixture over the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
7. Fold in the milk mixture.
8. Divide the batter between the two pans. Tilt the pan so that the batter runs all the way around the edge of the pan – this will ensure even rising.
9. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cake has risen. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean, and the cake should spring back when pressed lightly. Cool on a wire rack.
Top: Texture, volume, and color of the egg mixture after it has been whisked over the water bath. Bottom: Sponge cakes.
Directions for the espresso mixture and mascarpone cream:
1. Combine the espresso, hot water, and 3 tbsp of rum, and set aside.
2. Combine the mascarpone cream and 2 tbsp of rum in a large bowl, and beat until smooth.
3. Combine the egg yolks and 3 tbsp of sugar, and beat until smooth. Set the egg yolk mixture over a hot water bath and beat until the mixture is light and foamy.
4. Remove the egg yolk mixture from heat, and without waiting, beat into the mascarpone mixture. Set aside.
5. Whip the heavy cream until it holds a firm shape.
6. Fold into the heavy cream the vanilla extract.
7. In two small additions, fold 1/2 of the mascarpone cream into the whipped cream.
8. Then, fold the whipped cream back into the mascarpone cream. This ensures even mixing. Set this aside.
9. Beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed until light and foamy (soft peaks).
10. Add 3 tbsps of sugar, then beat on high speed until glossy, but not dry (hard peaks should form). This is basically the process of making meringue*.
11. Fold the egg whites, all at once, into the mascarpone cream mixture.
Top: Meringue. Bottom: Mascarpone cream before addition of meringue in large mixing bowl; meringue in small bowl.
Now, you are ready to assemble your tiramisu!
Directions for assembly:
1. Moisten one of the cakes with the espresso mixture.
2. Top the cake with half of the mascarpone cream, spreading it evenly.
3. Sift cocoa powder and powdered sugar over the cream.
4. Top with the second cake. Moisten with the espresso mixture.
5. Top with the remaining mascarpone cream.
6. Sift cocoa powder and powdered sugar.
7. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 2 hours before serving. (The cream needs to set.)
You may wish to decorate with additional elements such as chocolate curls, mini chocolate chips, etc. I would recommend decorating with all these things – and even sprinkling with cocoa powder – after the cream has set in the fridge.
The final product!