Tuesday, 11 September 2007
This would rank as one of my favourite desserts to make, to serve and of course to eat! My wife loves this dessert as well and it is always a favourite whenever I make it. From my research, Tiramisu means 'pick me up' and legend has it that in Venice of old, there were a group of courtesans who worked in the brothel above the restaurant. According to legend, the ladies needed a "pick me up" to fortify themselves between amorous encounters. Nice story for a nice dessert!
My own story has a bit of romance in it. When my wife and I were dating, we would often have dinner dates and she always raved about Tiramisu. That was probably one of the earliest challenges she ever threw me and I responded with great flair to produce this recipe. It is loosely based on the recipe from All Time Favourites from The Australian Womens Weekly but since I have changed it quite a bit, I claim it as my own!
Tiramisu is supposed to be served scooped out of a dish or bowl. This is quite unlike what you find in some establishments where it is served in slices or squares.
The original recipe calls for Mascarpone but I substitute it with Philadelphia Cream Cheese mixed with whipped cream. This is far easier to handle as well as substantially cheaper. I also find that the taste difference is negligible. I also subsitute Kahlua and Rum for the Marsala Wine.
This is my modified recipe:
250 g Cream Cheese
400 ml Thickened Cream (Unsweetened)
2 tbsp Icing Sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 ½ Tbsp instant coffee powder
1 ½ tsp granulated Sugar
½ cup Kahlua
¼ cup Rum or Crème De Cacao
½ Cup cold water
Cocoa Powder for dusting
1 Packet Savoiardi (Sponge Fingers)
Cream the cheese until soft.
Whip cream with icing sugar until stiff
Dissolve coffee and granulated sugar in boiling water. Let cool
Mix Liqueurs and cold water. Pour 2/3 of this mixture into coffee. Add in remaining liqueur mixture into creamed cheese. Mix well.
Fold in cream and mix well till incorporated
Line the bottom of a Pyrex loaf pan with Savoiardi. You may need to trim the edges of the sponge fingers to fit into the pan.
Soak the cake evenly with half the coffee mixture. Reserve the remaining coffee mixture.
Cover sponge fingers with half the cream mixture
Arrange another layer of cake on top of the cream mixture and then soak evenly with the remaining coffee mixture.
Cover with remaining cream mixture and smooth the top evenly.
Chill for at least 4 hours - preferably overnight
Dust Cocoa powder over the top of dessert before serving.
There is always just a little extra of everthing to make a small, individual serve of tiramisu. This time I layered it nicely in a wine glass, like the fancy restaurants do.
My coffee liqeuor mixture is rather strong, just the way I like it and the way a 'pick me up' should be - irrespective of there being a brothel or not....!