My friends, this is my tried and tested tiramisù recipe that I believe won the heart of Chef when we were still dating. I knew that Chef spoke Italian but it wasn’t really until a couple of weeks into our relationship that I learned that this designer is a chef at heart. So, I bought a Williams-Sonoma Italian recipe book. Now I would say that I cook more than I bake, but in the past, baking was sort of more my thing. So, I never really tried anything on the book except for this tiramisù. At our cooking club dinner a month or so ago, our theme was Italian. Cindy and Josh made veal involtini, which I will blog about once I have the recipe. And I was in charge of dessert. So, I was glad to have been able to share this cherished recipe at our cooking club. And I share it now with you!
What you need for 8 servings:
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups freshly brewed espresso
3 tablespoons dark rum (but I used light rum because that’s the rum I keep in my cupboard)
45 ladyfingers or savoiardi
For the filling, you’ll need:
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy (double) cream
1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Unsweetened cocoa powder
How to do it:
Combine the sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat and stir in the freshly brewed espresso. Let the mixture cool at room temperature. When the mixture has cooled, stir in the rum. Make sure you do not add the rum until the mixture has cooled completely.
Working in batches (if you’re like me, you would work in batches of one hehe), briefly immerse the ladyfingers in the liquid, and transfer the lady fingers to a plate. Based on what I learned, ladyfingers are very porous and if you soak it too much, it will just be too wet and will break apart. So, I say dip it in the espresso mixture for not more than 3 seconds. Once all have been immersed, set them aside.
Now for the filling. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is pale yellow and light in texture (about 2 minutes). Place the bowl over a saucepan with barely simmering water. With a handheld mixer, beat the yolk mixture on medium speed until it’s very thick (about 6 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool, but make sure you stir frequently.
Add the mascarpone and vanilla to the yolk mixture. Beat it with the mixer on medium speed until it’s smooth and well blended.
Separately, in a bowl, beat the cream with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted. Add this whipped cream to the yolk and mascarpone mixture, and fold in with a rubber spatula.
Now, you’re ready to put them together. Use a spatula to transfer soaked ladyfingers to a square cake pan. Arrange the ladyfingers in a single layer. Evenly spread one-third of the filling over the ladyfingers with a rubber spatula. Place another layer over the filling in the pan, and again, evenly spread with half of the remaining filling. Add the last layer of ladyfingers and filling. Make sure you spread evenly. It helps to tap the pan against the counter to let the filling fill the gaps. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 6 hours to overnight.
When you’re ready to serve, run a thin knife around the inside of the cake pan to loosen the cake. Cut into slices and place on your dessert plate. Sift a dusting of cocoa over the top. Enjoy! Isn’t it pretty?