I remember falling in love with this heavenly dessert called Tiramisu somewhere in my early 20s. That first bite I took of this soft, creamy goodness sealed the deal in bumping this dessert up to my top favorites. Ever since, I’ve ordered Tiramisu’s at as many restaurants as I possibly could and to be honest, not many impressed. This one place in Singapore, The Coffee Connoisseur, stood out to me as the restaurant with the best Tiramisu. It had the perfect light, fluffy and creamy mascarpone texture with the best blend of rum/coffee liquor. I have tried Tiramisu’s after that but loved none as much.
Now, I’m not a Tiramisu expert so I wouldn’t know if that was the authentic flavor but imagine my delight when the recipe I picked from Food Network’s Tyler Florence gave me the same heavenly taste as the one from The Coffee Connoisseur. My eyes literally had hearts dancing in them, much like the cartoons we see.
I loved the recipe even more because it didn’t have any raw egg whites to make it fluffy. It may have been lighter with the egg whites, but I don’t care. I have a pet peeve in the kitchen – I don’t like working with raw eggs. I like my eggs processed in some way or the other. Yes, I know the Tiramisu’s I’ve eaten at restaurants most likely contained raw egg whites but, as long as I’m oblivious, I’m fine.
One thing I would change about this recipe next time is making my own ladyfingers. The ones I got from the store were not really good but, I didn’t have the patience to go hunting for good, authentic ladyfingers. In the end, it was scrumptious nevertheless, after sitting in the refrigerator for more than a day and soaking up moisture from the mascarpone cream. The fact that the hubby and I finished a big bowl in two days is testament to that.
(adapted from Tyler Florence/Food Network)
Ingredients and instructions
- 7 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup Kahlua, plus 2 tablespoons
- 8 ounces mascarpone, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup brewed espresso coffee
- 1 ounce dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup rum (you can reduce this amount if you like it milder)
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
- 48 ladyfingers
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Cream together egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Add 1/3 cup of the Kahlua and continue to whisk until mixture is thick and doubled in volume. This is basically a zabaglione. Remove from heat. Stir in the mascarpone until completely blended.
In a chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture, to lighten.
In a small saucepan, combine espresso, chocolate, rum, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons Kahlua. Heat gently, and stir to dissolve the chocolate. Then, chill the mixture to cool it down, about 15 minutes. Dip each ladyfinger in the chilled coffee mixture for about 5 seconds and arrange in a single layer on a 9 by 13-inch glass baking pan. If you have really good ladyfingers, a quick dunk will do. Do not oversoak the cookies or they will become too moist. Spread 1/2 the mascarpone cream evenly with a spatula on top of the dipped ladyfingers. Repeat with a second layer of dipped ladyfingers and remaining mascarpone cream. Sprinkle top with cocoa powder. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. You can add shaved dark chocolate on top right before serving, as an option.