So what will be my "perfect tiramisu" (if there is even such a thing)? It is one that has very moist sponge layers, making them even slightly squishy, and on first mouthful, reveal the secret ingredient of kahlua and other alcohol that could possibly cause any alcoholic have a relapse. It should not be too sweet and the cocoa powder should help to create a complementary bitter sweet effect.
I made tiramisu only once before and honestly, I can't remember much other than the crowd loved it but the tiramisu had a very soft body and collapsed.
This time around, I scoured around for a most authentic one and tweaked the recipe a little to adapt to the quantity of our packaging here. I also like that this recipe makes a zabaglione and hence, no fear of salmonella here, even though that means a few extra steps and cleaning up. The friends loved it and I do too.
(Makes 24 single servings)
48 ladyfingers (errr, they are biscuits, not vegetables)
1.5 cups espresso (you may dissolve 4tbsp instant coffee granules in 1.5cups of hot water)
0.25 cups of Kahlua
2 tsp sugar
500g mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 cup fine granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
3 tbsp Kahlua
3 tbsp Bailey's Irish cream
200ml heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Let's prepare the filling first.
1. Mash the mascarpone in a large metal bowl until smooth.
2. Put some water in a pot to a boil (creating a water bath) and then turn down to a low heat, creating a rolling boil.
3. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar in another large metal bowl, until light and fluffy. Then mix in Kahlua and Bailey's.
4. Over the bain-marie (a.k.a. water bath from step 2), continue to beat the egg yolks until the mixture thickens. This should happen when you start to notice small bubbles forming at the bottom. Remove from heat.
5. Pour this mixture into the mascarpone cheese and beat in well.
6. Separately, whip up the cream until thick and fluffy.
7. Fold in the whipped cream into the mascarpone cheese mixture until well blended.
Now, let's assemble the dessert! Prepare a 9"x12" pan, at least 2.5 inches tall.
8. In a shallow pan, mix espresso with sugar and Kahlua.
9. Dip each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture, give it a quick turn and start lining the bottom of the pan.
10. When the bottom of the pan is all nicely lined with coffee-soaked ladyfingers, pour half the filling evenly over them.
11. Repeat steps 9 and 10.
12. Sprinkle unsweetened cocoa with a sieve all over the top.
13. Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.