Optimistically Cautious

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Cooking Chronicles: Tiramisu

In part for a dessert party practice run and in part because I was craving something sweet, I decided to finally try and duplicate a tiramisu recipe that a client had given me last year. I was unfortunately unable to locate the exact recipe on the web, but I found a wonderful collection of tiramisu varieties here, worth perusing if you're interested. Also, in the purchasing of a container of mascarpone or bag of ladyfingers, it is without a doubt that a similar recipe to the one I used will appear on the packaging.

Anyway, I was amazed at how easy it was - I made sure to make coffee and allow it to cool a few hours ahead of assembling the cake, but after that, the most time-consuming recipe item was beating the egg whites until stiff. I did find that the ladyfingers (my client recommended the "Tina" brand, which can be found at the Italian Centre) very quickly soaked up the coffee, so I had to be careful with the few seconds that they sat in the liquid.

Layering coffee-soaked ladyfingers atop the mascrapone mixture

After letting the tiramisu sit in the fridge overnight, it was ready to be eaten. The time in the fridge allowed all of the layers to fall into one another, with the coffee softening the ladyfingers to the point that it was difficult to guess that the cake-like texture actually came from a biscuit of sorts. My Mum would have preferred a thicker consistency for the cream, but I thought the lightness worked well with the dessert as a whole. However, I was looking for some more sweetness to round out the flavour - perhaps a hit of chocolate shavings or syrup would have provided that extra something.

There is no question that the end product was worth the small time invested, but I'm still not sure I would make this dessert again.

Tiramisu (I went a little overboard with the dusting of cocoa)

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