My very first impression with tiramisu was: ‘I hate it’! I hated the flavour combination, I hated the hint of alcohol that was very much the essence of a tiramisu, nothing about it that lived up to my expectation of this famous Italian dessert. Now that I think about it, what was wrong with my tounge back then? Or has my sense of taste developed so much over the years that I started to love things that I used to dislike so much (banana or cookies, for example).
My second encounter was much much better, and ever since, whenever I’m back to Vietnam, I would have tiramisu only at that one bakery called ‘Brodard’. Thanks to my boyfriend (who was only my best friend back then) who introduced me to this special place which finally got me hooked with cake and pastry. I wasn’t much of a ‘sweet’ person before to be honest. I started with … ice cream, then choux pastry, croissant, little gateaux, then tiramisu. Once in a while, me and my sister would happily stroll to that bakery to stock our fridge with all kind of sweet treats.
Funnily enough, the tiramisu that I love best happens to be not-so-alike to the authentic Italian one, it doesn’t smell of alcohol (which is what I’m most pleased with) and doesn’t have savoiardi, instead, a thin layer of soft, melt-right-in-the-mouth sponge cake. We had it as our first anniversary cake, which made my heart jumping with joy.
I have tried making tiramisu several times, and I’ve gotta admit, besides brownies, it is one of the easiest dessert to make & taste like heaven. It might have different flavour each trial, but one thing for sure, you could not go wrong with tiramisu. This time I tried out the recipe of Delia which results in flying compliments from my friends who happen to eat & see my final products. This recipe is so in my keepsafe, under the list of ‘Bake to impress’
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 large egg whites
- 50 g caster sugar
- 250 g mascaporne cheese
- Savoiardi/Lady fingers/Boudoir biscuits
- 150 ml very strong espresso
- 3 tbs + 1 tsp Baileys
- 50 g dark chocolate, grated
- Cocoa powder to garnish
- Put the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl. With electric whisk, beat on high speed for about 3 minutes until it forms a light mousse
- In a separate bowl, stir in mascarpone and beat with a wooden spoon to soften. Gradually beat in the egg yolk mixture
- Clean the beaters of the whisk so they are perfectly clean and dry, continue to beat egg whites until it forms soft peak
- Gently fold egg white into the mascarpone mixture. Drop in 1 tsp Baileys and gently fold to mix
- Pour the coffee and 3 tbs Baileys into a bowl then start dipping the savoiardi into it, very briefly as it absord the liquor very quickly
- Assemble the tiramisu by layering the soaked savoiardi, a thin layer of chocolate, then a layer of mascarpone mixture, then a layer of biscuits and chocolate, repeat as many times as you like (and as your bowl or glass could hold)
- Finally, dust with plenty of cocoa powder
- Let chill in the refrigerator for a few hours and it’s ready to serve
The tiramisu itself has a very cute meaning as ‘pick me up’, refering to the ability to lift one’s spirit up (probably due to the main ingredients of espresso & cocoa, which could get you oh-so-energetic). The bitterness of cocoa and that sweet hint of Baileys perfectly complement marcaporne’s richness. And for some reason, I find the dessert very romantic, after all who could resist falling in love with such sweet thing?
P.S. This tiramisu of mine has been featured in Tastespotting : )