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Traditional Tiramisu

As much as I am a huge fan of easy desserts and deconstructed desserts, I feel like people have gone overboard with changing Tiramisus. There are eggless versions and 15-minute versions, Lemon tiramisus now and Tiramisu Cheesecakes and what not. Nothing can beat a good old traditional Tiramisu. I used to think a Tiramisu didn’t have a balance between crunchy and smooth. But once I made this Tiramisu I didn’t feel like it needed it. This is one dessert which is delicious even without that balance. A spoonful of Tiramisu is like a coffee explosion in your mouth. Even though all the layers are creamy or not crunchy, each layer has its own depth and you do not miss the crunch element. A tiramisu is perfectly sweet and bitter and yes, it does require some effort and waiting, but once you make this version of tiramisu, you will never want to try out those cheat versions.

There are only 4 elements that are required for a tiramisu. None of these are difficult to make. But it does require a little bit of work, patience and waiting.

  1. The ladyfinger biscuits. Also known as Savoiardi. These biscuits are light and spongy and are melt in the mouth delicious. They’re almost like a harder version of sponge cake. Or a biscuit version of sponge cake. The process to make these biscuits is very easy. Its exactly like making a sponge cake, but is piped into long biscuit shaped before baking. These are really airy. So when they’re dipped into the coffee liquid while layering, they hold the coffee instead of making the dessert a soggy mess. Click here for the recipe.

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  1. The coffee- The coffee needs to be strong, black and minimally sweetened, or not at all. The coffee balances out the sweetness from the cream and ladyfinger biscuits. So adding too much sugar will only make the entire dessert too sweet. Sometimes there is no sugar added if one of the other elements are too sweet. IMG_20190222_111523
  2. The mascarpone cream- This is an ultra velvety smooth cream that gives the Tiramisu its body. It is made like any normal custard with eggs. It has a coffee flavour, mascarpone and is lightened with whipped cream. It also has some coffee liqueur which adds to the depth of flavour. The quantity of the liqueur must be precise as adding too little will make no difference and adding too much will be overpowering and will taste of alcohol. In a bowl, mix together the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar along with the vanilla, coffee liqueur, and coffee powder. Whisk over a double boiler, continuously for 10- 15 minutes till the mixture becomes very pale, fluffy and thick. It will sometimes take more than 15 minutes, be patient. Take it off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. In a separate bowl, add the mascarpone and 1/3rd half of the whipped cream. Mix well to loosen the mascarpone. Add the remaining 2/3rd of the whipped cream and the egg mixture to this and fold well to make a light and fluffy cream. Set aside.  

  3. Assembling and cocoa dusting- The cocoa dusting at the end brings together the entire dessert. The cocoa too does the job of cutting through the sweetness from the different layers. The cocoa needs to be of good quality here as it is simply dusted on top and the taste will be very prominent and significant to the taste of the dessert. To assemble the Tiramisu, First, dip the Ladyfingers in coffee for a few seconds and place them in an even layer in the baking pan. Then spoon a third of the mascarpone on top and spread it out evenly. Repeat the same process 2 more times. Dust cocoa powder on top. Cover with a cling film and refrigerate for a minimum of 14 hours or up to 24 hours. It will set the mascarpone cream in the fridge, solidify a little and the flavours will develop at least 2X. (You might not be impressed with the taste if you have it soon after you assemble but magic happens in 24 hours, and you’ll get the best dessert you’ve ever tasted).

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Serving- To serve, Dust cocoa powder on top of the Tiramisu and Serve.

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Recipe:
Serves- 6

Mascarpone Cream:
Mascarpone- 400 Grams
Eggs- 2
Egg Yolks- 3
Sugar- 3/4 Cup
Vanilla- 2 Teaspoons
Kahlua- 3-4 Tablespoons (optional)
Coffee powder- 2 Teaspoons
Whipped Cream (Lightly Sweetened)- 1 1/2 Cups

Assembling:
Ladyfingers- 1 Batch or 40-24 Storebought
Strong Brewed black coffee (unsweetened Lightly sweetened)- 1 Cup
Cocoa Powder- 2 Teaspoons

For the Mascarpone cream, in a heatproof bowl, mix together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, Kahlua (optional) and coffee powder. Place the bowl over a double boiler and whisk continuously with a hand whisk or an electric whisk on the lowest speed. After 10- 15 minutes, you’ll see the mixture will be very light, fluffy, pale and really thick. It will coat the back of a spoon. Take it off the heat and let it come to room temperature. In a separate bowl, mix together the mascarpone and 1/3rd of the whipped cream. Once that’s mixed, fold in the remaining whipped cream and the egg mixture.

To assemble, Keep the ladyfingers, coffee, mascarpone cream, and the tiramisu in ready. First, dip the ladyfingers in the coffee for 2-3 seconds and place them at the bottom of the tin. Then spoon 1/3rd of the mascarpone cream and spread it out evenly. Follow this with 2 more layers of coffee-dipped ladyfingers and mascarpone cream. Finally, cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 14 hours up to 24 hours. Dust the top of the Tiramisu with cocoa powder before serving.

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