Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tiramisu

"How difficult can making tiramisu be?"
I thought to myself after I was successful in baking my Homemade Ladyfingers, one of the key ingredients in the popular italian dessert. And I was all confused after I began my recipe research, the foremost step which I would spend a great amount of time before I decide on a comfortable and "reliable" recipe to work on. Amongst the search results generated, many recipes "claimed" to be that of an authentic italian tiramisu or otherwise termed by some as the classic tiramisu. In the list of ingredients specified in the recipes I've shortlisted, the biggest "headache" lies with the type of spirit used since I'm not familiar (or rather I've not worked) with alcohol in baking. Majority suggested rum or dark rum, some recommended kahlua, while few others used Masala in their recipes. That aside, the rest of the ingredients and its respective proportions differ greatly from one recipe to another which made it harder to compare. When I was finally down to three recipes - the Classic Tiramisu, Tiramisu II and Easy Tiramisu after eliminating the rest, I decided to work out my own list of ingredients and its proportions through a "mix and match" after assessing what's available in my pantry. Since this is a no-bake recipe (typically if you're using store-bought ladyfingers or have already pre-made the homemade ladyfingers), I felt the key to a delicious tiramisu lies with the overall taste and texture from the combined layers.

Tiramisu

Verdict? It just makes me crave for more! ^_^ Years of feeling intimidated by the difficulty in making tiramisu (from what I've been told by many) have been uncalled for after pulling off this experiment successfully. I totally agree with the quote of saying, "you'll never know until you try it".

And this is definitely a dessert that requires patience before you could sink your teeth in because the tiramisu has to be set in the fridge for at least 4 to 6 hours, or better if chilled overnight. So I did this at night instead, just when I was still feeling full from dinner. *Grin! Although it was already 11 p.m. by the time I put away the tiramisu in the fridge and was done clearing up the mess, the time and effort spent was totally worth it! And strangely, I find myself enjoying the tiramisu so much despite the evident taste of coffee since I'm a non-coffee drinker. *_* I hope you like it too!

Tiramisu
The Dream Baker's Creation

6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup milk (whole or reduced fat is fine)
1 cup (8 oz) mascarpone cheese
1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee*
2 tablespoons rum or kahlua (optional)**
Homemade ladyfingers or store-bought, enough to form two layers according to the size of the dish
Cocoa powder, for dusting
Chocolate shavings, for garnishing (optional)

* can also be substituted with mocha or chocolate beverage to suit individual preference
** can be omitted to make it a kid-friendly version

Bakeware Used

6 disposable mini foil loaf pans (approximately 3-inch by 5-inch) or a large glass dish

Preparation Steps
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar using a balloon whisk until well blended. 
  2. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove saucepan from heat and allow mixture to cool slightly. 
  3. Cover tightly with cling wrap just touching the surface of the yolk mixture and chill thoroughly in fridge for about 1 hour.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, add vanilla extract to heavy cream and whisk using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Cover tightly with cling wrap and set aside in fridge if not used immediately.
  5. Whisk mascarpone (softened at room temperature) into yolk mixture until mixture becomes smooth.
  6. In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum or kahlua. 
  7. Dip ladyfingers in coffee mixture and arrange in the bottom of a dish.
  8. Spread an even layer of mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers, then spread whipped cream over the mascarpone mixture. Sprinkle cocoa powder over the whipped cream.
  9. Repeat layers (steps 7 and 8) until all mascarpone mixture and whipped cream are used up. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 to 6 hours, or overnight until set.
  10. Sprinkle cocoa powder over the top layer of whipped cream just before serving.

The Dream Baker's Experiment
  1. I used yolks from large eggs weighing approximately 59 to 60 grams each (with shell on). The weight of the total yolks used in my recipe was approximately 104 grams.
  2. I used 2% reduced fat milk in my recipe.
  3. The above recipe yields approximately 1 1/2 cups of mascarpone mixture and slightly over 2 cups of whipped cream. I formed two layers - each layer filled with approximately 1/4 cup of mascarpone mixture and 1/3 cup of whipped cream.
  4. I brewed the (regular drinking) coffee with sugar added according to the instructions on the label and added an additional spoonful of coffee powder to make a strong brew.
  5. I used homemade ladyfingers and thus the quantity required is not specified as it's dependable on the size of individual's homemade ladyfingers and the dish used.
I used disposable mini foil loaf pans to make individual portions for convenience of distributing and sharing with my fellow friends. And for ease of removing the tiramisu from the foil pan, I laid a piece of parchment paper in the foil pan before filling (this is totally optional).
You can totally fill the layers in a pretty glass dish of any shape and sizes of your choice!

The final dusting of the cocoa powder over the topmost layer of the whipped cream is done just before serving, otherwise the cocoa powder would have been soaked.
(Apologies for the poor photo lighting).

This homemade version is definitely worth the efforts and patience wait - a nice blend of bitterness from the coffee and sweetness from the mascarpone, cream and cocoa, and a delicate texture from the soften ladyfingers and smoothness of the cream mixture.
You can also garnish your tiramisu with some chocolate shavings.
(Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of one.)

Fancy some party ideas and worry-free cleaning? Assemble the tiramisu in disposable cups! *_*

This is definitely a versatile tiramisu recipe which can be customised for the adults and the kids, and according to individual preference. For a kid-friendly version, simply omit the spirit. For those who don't prefer the strong coffee taste, try using mocha instead. And for a totally coffee-free version, try substituting the coffee with a chocolate beverage. 

I am sharing these individually-portioned Tiramisu with Treat Petite July 2014 theme, Summer hosted by Kat of The Baking Explorer and Stuart of Cakeyboi because I love a chilled dessert to cool off the hot day.


And for the first time, I am also sharing this blogpost with the event, Baking with Spirit (July 2014: Alcohol for Parties) organised by Janine from Cake of the Week and guest hosted by Laura of I'd Much Rather Bake Than….


Have fun and enjoy!

Dare to dream.
The Dream Baker

5 comments:

  1. If I had pulled off a triumph such as this I would be mega pleased with myself too. The large tray and the individual pots look so good that you've got me wanting one for my pudding tonight now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Laura, you feel me totally! Glad they look appetising! :)

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  3. I love tiramisu! If it's on a menu I just have to have it, and am rarely disappointed by what I'm served. This one looks to be no exception.

    I had difficulty ascertaining what exactly goes into a tiramisu too, but like you I found a combination which works for me.

    Thanks for entering Baking With Spirit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Janine, thanks for your compliments. Glad that it's something you love. And it's my pleasure to share! :))

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