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The Cream Puff is back! I had a lovely week in Florida where I spent a few days in Miami followed by a cruise that took me to Key West, Cozumel and then back to Miami.

Towards the end of it, though, all I could think about was coming home and baking! Let the Christmas baking begin!

Before that happens, however, I must clear up a bit of business otherwise known as your homework assignment. I must confess I’m a bit embarrassed. Either I was really tired and really in need of a vacation before I left or I seriously underestimated all of you. I never imagined it would be so easy to figure out that the dessert pictured in my last post was indeed a tiramisù!

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After reading Lis’ amazing and funny post about tiramisù wherein she shared her experience of making tiramisù using a recipe I’d given her, I had a serious craving for the stuff. Lis’ mouth-watering photos didn’t help! Since her bringing some to me was out of the question (although that would be my fondest wish … Lis … ), I decided it was time to make it.

It’s not that I don’t like tiramisù, it’s just that I think it’s become a bit of a clichè. And let’s not even get into the atrocities that people commit against this dessert by doing things like making it with fake whipped cream instead of mascarpone.

Shudder.

Anyway, I present to you my family’s tiramisù recipe. The beauty of this particular recipe is that it’s entirely up to you. You can bend it and shape it to suit your own tastes.

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As for the homework assignment, you all get an A+, but the A++ goes to Suganya of the beautiful blog Tasty Palettes. Wow, is it a beautiful blog! Congratulations to Suganya and thanks to all of you for handing in your homework.

Now get baking!

Ciao!

Tiramisù
Treasured family recipe.

Note: You will surely find as many variations of the tiramisù recipe as you will find people of Italian background. For my family’s recipe, the main components are espresso, mascarpone, eggs, sugar, ladyfinger cookies, liquor and cocoa. How you marry these ingredients is ultimately up to you. Experiment and find the combination that you like best. This recipe will make one 2-layer tiramisù that will fit into a container that’s about 9 x 13 inches or a bit smaller. Alternatively, you can make individual tiramisùs. For this recipe, I used 16 plastic mini wine glasses.

5 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
1 tub of mascarpone (500 grams), at room temperature
8 tbsp. sugar (5 tbsp. for the cream mixture and 3 tbsp. for the espresso)
2 to 3 cups espresso (it’s best if it’s lukewarm)
2 to 3 tbsp. liquor of your choice (my favourites are brandy or Frangelico)
ladyfinger cookies (you will need about 35 to 40 ladyfinger cookies)
cocoa for dusting

Brew the espresso and then pour it into a large, shallow bowl. Add the 3 tbsp. of sugar and the 2 to 3 tbsp. of liquor and stir. Taste and adjust the flavour (add more liquor or alcohol of you want). Set aside and let cool a bit.

Place the egg yolks and the 5 tbsp. of sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, beat at high speed until the eggs have doubled in volume and the mixture is very light in colour (usually 5 to 8 minutes).

Add the mascarpone and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy (usually 3 to 4 minutes).

If you have another bowl for your stand mixer, then put the egg whites in that bowl. If not, put the mascarpone mixture into another large bowl and wash the stand mixer bowl very well. Dry it and then put the egg whites in that bowl. Beat the egg whites with the whisk attachment on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Remove one third of the beaten egg whites and add them to the mascarpone mixture. Stir until the mixture is smooth. Add the remainder of the egg whites and gently fold them in.

Begin assembling the tiramisu’ by dipping your ladyfingers in the espresso mixture and creating a layer across the bottom of your container. When dipping the ladyfingers, don’t dip them for more then a few seconds or they will become too soggy.

Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers and then sprinkle with cocoa.

Repeat with a second layer of ladyfinger cookies and the remainder of the mascarpone mixture. Dust with cocoa once again and then refrigerate. It’s best if you can refrigerate it for at least 4 hours to allow it to set.

Enjoy!

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