Saturday, July 25, 2009

Old-Fashioned Tiramisu

Posted by Quinn at Saturday, July 25, 2009

This is another self-invented tiramisu. I called it the old-fashioned tiramisu because this is one plain tiramisu, infused with nothing but Marsala and Kahlua. No lavender, no durian, just pure plain unadulterated creamy, luscious mascarpone cheese. Buy the best creamy one you can get off shelves, don't substitute with cream cheese please, it's just different.

There is no one right recipe for tiramisu. I have Italians coming to me telling me original tiramisu shouldn't have alcohol in them, some say there should be. Some stuck-up 'experts' say there should be no raw eggs and there shouldn't be chocolate shavings used nor cocoa powder dusted in between layers.

Lemme be honest with you freaks, it is my own tiramisu and the only reason I homemade it and not buy it off a bakery is the fact that I love the freedom of having control of what goes in there. I like that this recipe that I could gladly call my own is rich, creamy, yield a small cake and is not your typical tiramisu that you can get any day from a bakery shop. I've been generous with the splashes of Marsala and this tiramisu has a hint of homemade specialty that you can't get anywhere unless you make one yourself.

Old-Fashioned Tiramisu (serves 6 as an after-meal light dessert)
Making Zabaglione:
3 egg yolks (freshest free-range eggs possible)
2 tbsp castor sugar
3 tbsp Marsala Wine

250g Mascarpone Cheese
2/3 cup double cream

2/3 cup strong Espresso, HOT
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp Kahlua
1/3 cup Marsala Wine

1/2 packet of Savoiardi biscuits (I needed 12 large fingers)

Zabaglione (pronounced as tsah-bahl-YOH-Nay), or some call it Sabayon is a dessert by itself. It usually contain egg yolks, sugar and sweet wine, usually Marsala Bain-Marie-d together until thick and creamy. In our case, we'll make the Zabaglione and incorporate that into our luscious Mascarpone filling.

Start off by making the Zabaglione. Combine the egg yolks and castor sugar in a medium bowl and use a hand whisk and whisk them until all sugar dissolve and the mixture turned pale, thick and increased in volume. Place that over a pot of simmering (not boiling) water, making sure that the bottom of your medium bowl is not touching the water surface. Whisk, while slowly adding in the Marsala wine to mix properly. This take a good 5 to 10mins, have faith and be patient. Don't be tempted to do it over high heat and shorten the whole process, you'll ruin it, trust me. The mixture will thicken over time. When it is thick enough that when you plunge a spoon in there and scoop out some cream, it is able to stand by itself on the peak of the spoon, defying gravity; you know you are done. Set t aside to cool down completely and whisk occasionally. I find that an icy water bath here works extremely well and useful.

Now, with the aid of a hand held mixer, whisk the double cream until very soft peak form. Do not whisk pass this. Stiff peak will give you a hard folding in time later.

Place the Mascarpone cheese in a large mixing bowl and give it a good stir to loosen it up and to ensure that it is a smooth, lump-free mass. Alternatively fold in the chilled Zabaglione and whipped double cream into the Mascarpone mixture. Once a uniform batter is achieved, chill it in the fridge while you work on the base.

Dissolve the tablespoon of sugar in the hot Espresso and cool it down. I use water bath here again. Make sure it is really cooled completely. Now, combine that with the tablespoon of Kahlua and Marsala wine. Stir to combine well.

Here's what I do, I'm a little different so you can choose to be or not be like me. Divide the soaking mixture (i.e. the espresso mixture) in 2 equal parts. Get ready an adjustable/7'' round cake ring placed on a serving platter. Arrange 6 large Savoiardi fingers neatly inside, close to each other. It is indeed very stiff and you might not be able to break and bend them but it's okay. Now, pour one part of the soaking mixture over it and let it soak up everything. As it absorbs the liquid, it'll breakdown and soften. Now use fingers and compress and break the sponge fingers to fill up each and every crevices and corners so the biscuit totally form a layer as a base for the tiramisu.

Next, spoon half of the Mascarpone mixture over and smooth out the surface with a spatula. Optional : Give it a good dusting of good quality cocoa powder.

Now, arrange the remaining 6 Savoiardi on a plate and pour the last part of the soaking liquid over. Once you see no liquids remain unabsorbed, quickly place the very soft fingers over the cream filling, forming another layer. Again, make sure there are not uncovered gaps and corners. Fill them all up. Finally, spread on the last layer of Mascarpone filling. Smooth it out and chill it overnight in the refrigerator. Upon serving, gently remove the cake ring and liberally dust the surface with cocoa again.

Serve as chilled as possible.

p/s: This makes one very wet tiramisu. The sponge layers are wet and very soaked, the way I like it. It might not look neat when presenting but tasty desserts are always ugly! Remember this, if it doesn't taste good, then it's probably not worth the calories! This one, if you miss it, you a huge part of life.

Go, pick me up!

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8 comments on "Old-Fashioned Tiramisu"

Anncoo on July 26, 2009 at 7:18 PM said...

How long this takes you to finish up the Tiramisu....remember to keep some for me....^o^

Quinn on July 26, 2009 at 9:28 PM said...

It's finished in a night and I spent less than an hour on it! This is good when you have a lot of things to juggle in hand but no time. Just prepare this a day ahead and pop it in the fridge until needed. And I hate leftover soaking liquid. I mean, what do you do with them? Discard them? I'd rather over soak my tiramisu!

michaelooi on July 27, 2009 at 9:47 PM said...

your beau must be the luckiest bloke alive!

Quinn on July 27, 2009 at 11:09 PM said...

Hey Michael,

Hell yeah, the calories are building pretty quickly on him and guys are pretty shitty sometimes...he doesn't realize he's the luckiest dude on earth really....

Anonymous said...

This is very different from original Italian Tiramisu recipe. You don't boil anything and you don't add marsala. Also, you prepare the cream the wrong way. I am Italian and this is a strange recipe. Why wine?? No offence but this is REALLY not the right way to make tiramisu. Don't post if you don't know your stuff well and mislead others!There are a lot of classes out there teaching the right way on how to make good tiramisu. Learn and then come back and share with us.

Marie said...

Oh dear...There's a saying in Chinese proverbs, "The books are dead and human are alive". There might be a fix recipe for Tiramisu from where you come from, Anonymous, but altering it and improving the taste of it is not a bad choice either. We are human being and we should always try to improve or change things, stop being a stuck up and try to visit some other places instead of staying only in Italy alright? =)

adri-enne on July 29, 2009 at 9:15 PM said...

Dear Anon, it is written that this is a self-invent recipe. Like it, hate it, it's your personal choice but no need to be rude.

Btw, this girl can really bake and if she wants to make an authentic one - she could. She probably already did.

PabloLoveFood said...


Leave a name for God's sake!
Leave a sucky comment and dare not tell others who you are!
Please open your eyes wide and read before leaving a comment!

Just in case you are blind and a little bimbotic, here are your answers:

She said it's a 'self-invented' recipe and please go and ask around and do your homework and there is no one true 'original' Italian recipe!

What do you mean you don't boil anything? She said double-boiled, not boiled. They are different. Know your facts before commenting!

I've been to so many Italian restaurants and had tasted their Tiramisu and I am so DEAD sure they have alcohol in them!

Why is this strange and Marsala Wine is a sweet, creamy and yolk-like, not your average typical red or white wine.

How on earth is she misleading others??? She is a self-taught and some people just learn better that way and has been doing that for years. Just so you know not everyone has the luxury to attend classes so please be considerate and think twice before you say something!

And please share with us what is the right way to prepare the cream? Make sure it make sense before you enter your comments else for everyone's sake, don't come back!

I am harsh but that's cuz you're not being too nice to people either.It's her blog, like it, come back. Don't like it, go away! Simple!

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