Tiramisu, made with cream, cookies, and coffee is the ultimate dessert for coffee lovers. The dessert may seem intimidating, but is actually quite simple to make. One of the great things about tiramisu is that usually no matter how many mistakes are made, the outcome will be delicious because the science behind the dessert is not as nitpicky as it may be for other desserts. By this I mean, overwhipping of the cream, ladyfingers too crispy, ladyfingers too soggy, and so many other “problems” will all be fine once the tiramisu is put together. Unless you scramble the eggs or add a monstrous amount of sugar, I think you will be fine.
Many people choose to purchase ladyfingers for the dessert, but today I took the extra step to make the ladyfingers. It is definitely worth the time to make the dessert entirely from scratch as you really can taste the difference! I also feel that homemade ladyfingers will save you a couple dollars as compared to buying if we are getting down to the cents and dollars of the items. However, store bought ladyfingers will taste just as great in this dessert!
Here are a few troubleshooting tips for the problems that I ran into:
- Dusting powdered sugar on ladyfingers prior to baking will prevent them from spreading and becoming like flat disks.
- Make sure the oven for baking lady fingers is at 400 degrees F so the ladyfingers rise instantly.
- To prevent the egg yolks from becoming scrambled eggs, whisk constantly and on low to medium heat.
yield: one 9 x 9 casserole dish
For lady fingers:
- 4 eggs, separated
- 7/8 c. all purpose flour
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. powdered sugar (for dusting)
- 2 egg yolks
- one 8 oz. container mascarpone cheese
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. heavy cream, whipped 50%
- 1 c. hot water
- 2 tsp. instant coffee powder
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- whipped cream (1/3 c. heavy cream + 1 tbsp sugar + 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract)
- 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a large bowl, beat together 4 egg yolks and 1/3 c. granulated sugar for about 45 sec. with an electric beater until pale and frothy.
- In another bowl, beat together 4 egg whites and the other 1/3 c. sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the yolks until incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Sift in the all purpose flour and baking powder.
- Transfer mix to a piping bag of ziploc bag and pipe lady fingers approx. 2-2.5 in. long onto a lined baking tray. Dust with powdered sugar.
- Bake for 9 min. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- In a shallow large bowl, combine hot water, coffee powder, and 2 tbsp. sugar. Set aside.
- On a double boiler on low to medium heat, whisk together 2 egg yolks, 3 1/2 tbsp, sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk constantly for about 5 min until sugar is dissolved and egg yolks are pale and frothy.
- Remove from heat and beat with an electric beater for 1 min. Add in the mascarpone cheese and mix until evenly incorporated.
- In a small bowl, whisk together heavy cream until it is 50% whipped (Watch video for consistency clarification).
- Pour the cream into the mascarpone, yolk mixture and mix until evenly incorporated. Set aside.
- In a large baking dish, dip ladyfingers into the coffee until completely soaked and lay flat until the first layer is formed. Pour some of the mascarpone mix over the first layer until evenly covered. Repeat for the other layers by stacking soaked ladyfingers and mascarpone mix on top of each other. I had 2 layers of ladyfingers and 2 layers of mascarpone mix, but you may have 3 layers of each instead.
- Use a piping bag to pipe whipped cream on top and dust with cocoa powder. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours until eating.
3 hours to wait after putting it all together?? I know… I was so eager to try the tiramisu but allowing the cake to set in the fridge is crucial as the creamy component will thicken and the ladyfingers will absorb more coffee flavor. This is a hearty dessert and will for sure satisfy your sweet tooth. I guarantee that if you make this, your friends and family will go nuts for it!
*Nutrition facts are estimates