Sunday, October 31, 2010

Homemade Tiramisu

You've got your mascarpone cheese ready?  If not, please see my previous post and you'll learn just how easy it is to make this delicious Italian cheese.  It is native to the Lombardy region of Italy and is used in dessert dishes like this tiramisu recipe, or in savory foods, as I did with the crostini recipe in the mascaropone cheese post.
This is a pretty simple recipe, and you know you always order it when you eat at an Italian restaurant, right?  My daughter wanted me to buy a whole tiramisu at the store the other day.  I decided then and there we were going to make one and know the nature of the ingredients in our dessert!


  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 (12 ounce) packages ladyfingers
  • 1/2 cup coffee flavored liqueur like Kahlua
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
  • 1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate
  1. Place egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler.  As with making your mascarpone, you can create a double boiler by placing a stainless steel bowl over a pan of water, just make sure the bottom of the pan touches the boiling water.
  2. Over low heat whisk constantly for 10 to 15 minutes until they reach 160F.  You'll know the eggs are ready because they'll begin to thicken.  Remove from the heat and whip the yolks until they are thick and bright yellow.
  3. Add your freshly made mascarpone cheese, whipping until well mixed.  
  4. In a separate bowl whip the cream into stiff peaks.
  5. Blend yolk mixture into the whipped cream.
  6. Split the lady fingers and decide if you're making individual desserts or a large dish for presentation.  Brush the ladyfingers with the Kahlua (or amaretto if you don't like coffee). Place at the bottom of the dish, spoon part of the cream mixture on top, place another layer of brushed lady fingers, and more cream. Layer as necessary.
  7. Sprinkle the top with cocoa powder and chocolate. I have a cheese knife that I use to do this, but other people grate their chocolate, or make more ornate curls with a vegetable peeler.
  8. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
Do not soak the ladyfingers in the liquor, they will become a very soggy mess.
You can use any liquor you desire.  Some people make their tiramisu with Amaretto or Grand Marnier.  Try different ones until you find your favorite.  Mine's probably the traditional coffee liqueur, but I'm open to suggestion.  Guess that means I'll be making several varieties of tiramisu in the upcoming weeks. 

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