Saturday, December 31, 2011


Looking for a dish to bring to a New Year's Eve party tonight? Well, look no further. I'm going to show you how to make one of my favorite desserts - tiramisu. I often make this for parties because my friends love it so much. It is actually a recipe by Tyler Florence that I found on The first time I made it, I was so overwhelmed and found it to be really time-consuming. But now that I've made it so many times, it's become so easy for me so I wanted to share these step-by-step instructions along with some pictures to make your first time making tiramisu easier than mine!

7 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup sweet marsala, plus 2 tablespoons
8 ounces mascarpone, softened
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup brewed espresso coffee
1 ounce dark chocolate
1/4 cup rum
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
48 ladyfingers
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

The ladyfingers will probably be the most difficult item to find. In the past, I've been able to find them at my local Publix in the cookie aisle, but the last couple times I made this, I had to go to a specialty grocery store like The Fresh Market. They are about $3 a package. Also, the only rum I had was vanilla flavored rum, which worked out fine. I would suggest just buying a miniature bottle at your local liquor store (they're usually located near the register) because that's all you will need. They're only about $0.99 each.

Cream together egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.

For this step, I used a double-boiler. If you don't have one, you can get one for about $20 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Or you can improvise by stacking two saucepans on top of each other.

Add 1/3 cup of the marsala and continue to whisk until mixture is thick and doubled in volume. This is basically a zabaglione. Remove from heat.

Here is what it will look like once you are finished whisking.

Stir in the mascarpone until completely blended.

This is the brand of mascarpone that I use. You can find it in the gourmet cheese section of your local grocery store. Think of it as fancy cream cheese. In fact, if you can't find this, then cream cheese would be your substitute. I've never tried that before so I'm not sure how it will turn out. I highly recommend that you take the extra effort to find mascarpone, even if it means you have to take another trip to a different grocery store.

Here is what it will look like after you stir in the mascarpone.
In a small saucepan, combine espresso, chocolate, rum, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons marsala. Heat gently, and stir to dissolve the chocolate. Then, chill the mixture to cool it down, about 15 minutes.

Here is my saucepan that I bought at T.J. Maxx years ago. I just think cooking is more fun when you have pretty cookware to work with!

While the coffee mixture is cooling, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks in a chilled bowl. Here, my wonderful KitchenAid mixer doing all the work for me.

After about a minute.

After about two minutes.

Here's what "soft peaks" will look like. There's really no set time for this. You just have to watch it.

Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture to lighten.

Here is what it will look like after you are finished folding in the whipped cream.

Quickly dip each ladyfinger in the chilled coffee mixture and arrange in a sinlge layer on a 9"x13" glass baking pan. Do not soak the cookies or they will become too moist. A lot of people ask me if I soak them overnight. NO! In fact, just a quick little dip is all it takes. The cookies are very absorbent and will eventually soak in all the coffee mixture and become very soft. 

Here is the brand of ladyfingers that I use. Grocery stores sometimes sell ladyfingers in the frozen foods aisle. I've never used those before so I'm not sure how that would turn out. I would recommend using the ones found in the cookie aisle.
Spread 1/2 the mascarpone cream evenly with a spatula on top of the dipped ladyfingers. Don't worry about making this first layer look perfect. It's just going to be covered up anyway. In fact, I would put a little less than half the mixture on this first layer just to ensure I have enough to cover the top layer.

Repeat with a second layer of dipped ladyfingers and remaining mascarpone cream.

Sprinkle top with cocoa powder. For this, I use a squeeze handle sifter and just lightly squeeze for just the right amount of powder. You don't want to squeeze too hard or else you'll get a huge clump in the middle of your tiramisu (I've done this before and trust me, you don't want that much powder. First of all, it just looks bad and secondly, the taste will be too strong). 
Here is a side view.

Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!

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