Tiramisu is the rare dessert that can compete with chocolate anything. And, no, the dusting of cocoa powder on top does not a chocolate dessert make. Fluffy zabaglione – an italian custard composed of raw eggs, sugar and usually some flavoring, layered with espresso or coffee soaked ladyfingers. It is the most delicious no-bake dessert you can whip up. Though, not in a snap. This dessert is best served cold, having spent the previous night in the fridge. The hardest part of this recipe, is the wait. Yes, my husband dug into his birthday tiramisu about 3o minutes after I assembled it. And yes, he enjoyed it. But you can bet when he had it the next day, the MMM! reverberated around the apartment.
For some reason, it’s hard to come by a tiramisu in this country without some sort of liqueur or marsala. Same goes for the top tiramisu recipes online. But I can’t recall having a single tiramisu during my time in Italy that was made with alcohol. Unless my memory serves me wrong. However, my suspicion that traditional tiramisu is not made with alcohol was confirmed with the recipe of the ladyfingers package. Then again, tira-mi-su does mean pick-me-up. Either way – this is an alcohol free recipe for those of you desiring one.
The whipped cream is something I added in lieu of a whipped egg white that the original recipe suggests. When has a cup of cream, whipped, hurt anything (except the needle on the scale?). For tips on whipping cream no matter what kitchen equipment you have, check out this helpful how-to.
I also used regular ol’ brewed coffee. My espresso machine was decommissioned ages ago. My limited NY kitchen counter space could not accommodate it. So regular brewed coffee it is – and trust me, you do not miss a thing.
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 16 oz mascarpone cheese, at room temp
- 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 2 cups brewed coffee
- about 18 ladyfingers, available at Italian groceries, more if you are using a longer pan
- cocoa powder, for dusting
- Using a stand mixer or hand held electric beater, beat egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until pale yellow. Add mascarpone and continue beating until well blended.
- In a separate bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Add the cream to the egg and mascarpone mixture, by folding gently with a spatula so as not to deflate the whipped cream.
- Carefully pour coffee onto a plate with raised edges. In a square dish, spread 1/3 of the cream mixture along the bottom. Briskly dip a ladyfinger into the coffee, and place it on top of the cream, repeating with more ladyfingers until they are arranged in a single layer (see above pictures). Spread half of the remaining cream on top of the ladyfingers. Continue by soaking the remaining ladyfingers briefly in the coffee and arranging them on top of the second cream layer. Spread the remaining cream on top. Dust the top with cocoa powder. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. It’s best the next day.