Making tiramisu has been on my mind for a while now, but I was a little hesitant about it because I wanted to make it using the original ingredients rather than using substitutes. Ingredients like mascarpone cheese and ladyfinger biscuits are difficult to find here in my city, so I had to wait before I tried out the recipe. One can always use substitutes to make it at home, about which I shall discuss below. So, finally I managed to find mascarpone cheese and ladyfinger biscuits on an online hunt, links for which I shall provide below.
For those of you who have no idea what is the dish about, Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert prepared with lady finger biscuits dipped in liquored coffee concoction, these ladyfingers are then layered with mascarpone, egg and cream mixture. Well, still have a doubt what ladyfingers are? Lady fingers are egg based dry sponge biscuits which are shaped like fingers, hence the name. Also known as Savoiardi, these sponge like biscuits are most commonly used to prepare tiramisu. A lot of people use sponge cake instead but I highly recommend you to use lady finger biscuits whenever you try tiramisu. You can even make them at home easily. I once tried the lady finger biscuits (savoiardi) recipe from Archana’s Kitchen who has some amazing recipes on her blog. Also you can order them online, here is the link:
Another ingredient, which is pretty much the most essential ingredient of this dessert is mascarpone cheese. This is an Italian variety of cream cheese which most commonly used in tiramisu. Availability of mascarpone is scarce here in India, only select stores in major cities stock them. I luckily found it online on FOODESTO, they can always come to your rescue with any variety of international cheese. Thank you Foodesto for providing me with the IMPERO brand mascarpone!The literal meaning of tiramisu in Italian language is “pick me up”, the meaning remains incomplete without the use of liquored coffee concoction which gives the dessert a major push, the creamy taste of mascarpone blend and coffee will just take your heart away. I also add dark chocolate in my concoction as coffee goes really well with chocolate and lifts the taste of the dish overall. One major change that I’ve done in my recipe is that I have not used eggs. Traditionally eggs are used in the recipe, but I avoid eating raw egg whites so just skipped using eggs. I did use eggs while making the ladyfinger biscuits. Also, addition of alcohol is totally a choice, if you do not consume alcohol, you can add rum essence or simply skip the step. I add rum in my tiramisu which makes it taste so much better.
I had my first tiramisu on my visit to Italy and since then making it using the original ingredients was my heart’s desire. I did make it a lot of times but without using lady fingers and mascarpone. This time when I had the original ingredients with me, I finally decided to share it here for my readers and for myself as well so that the recipe remains documented. I hope you try it out and let me know how it came out. This recipe is a true winner and will for sure not disappoint you. For now, lets get started with the recipe.
- For the coffee concoction:
- Instant coffee powder - 4 tsp
- Water - 1cup
- Sugar - 3 tbsp
- Rum - ¼ cup
- Dark chocolate chunks/chips - 28 gms / 1 ounce
- Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
- Other Ingredients:
- Mascarpone cheese - 400 gms / 1¾ cups
- Heavy Whipping Cream - 1½ cups
- Condensed milk - ⅔ cup / as desired
- Lady fingers - 24 biscuits
- Cocoa powder - 3 tbsp (to garnish)
- Chocolate shavings - as desired (to garnish)
- For the coffee concoction, take water in a saucepan and heat it on a medium low flame.
- Now, add in instant coffee powder and sugar and bring the coffee mix to a boil.
- Reduce the flame and add in rum, dark chocolate chips, vanilla essence. Stir well.
- Keep on heating on low flame and wait until all the chocolate melts.
- Once the chocolate melts, mix well and keep the coffee concoction aside and let it cool down fully. You can also chill the coffee concoction for a while.
- For the mascarpone cream, in a mxing bowl beat the mascarpone cream until smooth.
- In another bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream until you get soft peaks.
- Fold in the soft peaked whipped cream in the beaten mascarpone and mix until well incoporated. You can use a spatula or an electric beater.
- Once well mixed, add condensed milk and mix well. I used the measurement given above, you can increase or decrease the sweetness according to your taste.
- Your mascarpone mixture is ready. Keep aside.
- Meanwhile line a deep, square glass baking pan. I used a borosil 1.6 litre square dish.
- Line the dish with a cling film properly so that when tiramisu sets, you can pull it out easily.
- When your coffee concoction chills, start assembling tiramisu.
- Quickly dip lady fingers one by one in the concoction and line them in the square dish in two rows. You will need approximately 12 lady fingers for the first layer.
- Don't soak the biscuits for too long and make it soggy, just dip and remove quickly.
- Once the first layer of lady fingers are lined, spread the prepared mascarpone cream evenly over the lined ladyfingers with an offset spatula. Do a thick layer and smoothen it from top.
- Now, repeat the process of dipping lady fingers in the concoction and line them in two rows again on top of the layered mascarpone cream.
- Finally, top with the last layer of mascarpone cream till the edge of the dish and level it with the offset spatula.
- Cover it with a cling wrap and refrigerate it for 3 hours atleast before serving. I kept it in the freezer so that it can be sliced nicely.
- If you have some mascarpone cream left after assembling like me, assemble individual servings of tiramisu in small dessert bowls or glasses.
- Before serving, sieve cocoa powder from top, also garnish with chocolate shavings.
- Slice and serve.
Appliances and things used: