Mountain Bound Tiramisu

Feb 19, 2015

I’m aware of the fact that some of you probably think cooking on vacation defies the whole purpose of taking one in the first place. But before you ride me off as insane for not staying out of the kitchen while vacationing, let me explain. Around these parts, food at restaurants in vacation spots is rarely good and often more expensive than its worth. Also, the smoking-allowed-everywhere policy in my country makes eating out a not so child friendly experience. Thirdly, the only way to know what went in the food you’re eating is when you cook your own meals. That is, unless you’re in a great restaurant or a trusted one.

So yes, I did cook on vacation. A lot! In a kitchen overlooking the mountains. The whole gang teamed up and made lasagna and I decided to make a much deserved Tiramisu for dessert.

This recipe I’ve been making for a few years now. I’ve found it after many attempts of making Tiramisu and not quite getting it right. And when I say right, I don’t just mean to my taste, but also approved by three friends of mine, all born and raised in Italy, that swear that it’s the real deal. So, is it or not? You have to make it to find out. Considering it takes less than 40 minutes to prepare it, I think you really should.

I’ll go back to me for just a little bit. When I say it’s to my liking, I mean it’s creamy and rich, while also fluffy and well balanced. I find that the mixture of whipped cream and mascarpone is just right, as opposed to what you might get from a restaurant Tiramisu: a cream made with only one of the two, artificial flavouring in the coffee mixture or instant coffe instead of coffee, adding cocoa powder to the cream mixture, etc. Well, that’s just like, my opinion. How do you feel about Tiramisu?

Also, today would have been my Grandmother’s 91st Birthday and I’m sure that if she’d lived this long, she’d have really loved this spongy sweet cake to mark the day. So this goes out to her with loads of love, forever!

Real Proper Tiramisu

6 large free-range eggs, separated, at room temperature

200g/1 cup organic golden granulated sugar (or any other sugar you like)

250g/9oz mascarpone

250ml/9oz whipping cream (full-fat, made from milk)

250ml/9oz espresso coffee or strong coffee

170ml/6oz Marsala wine or 50ml/2oz Dark Rum

30-40 Savoiardi biscuits (lady-fingers)

cocoa powder, for dusting

You can do this with a stand mixer or with a handheld one. In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add the mascarpone and mix until well combined. Place in a big bowl. Thoroughly clean the mixer bowl and whip the cream until soft peaks form. With a metal spoon, fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone, egg and sugar mixture. Clean the mixer bowl again and whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold lightly into the mascarpone, cream and egg mixture. Spoon a third of the mascarpone, egg and cream mixture into a large dish of about 23cm x 33cm (9in x 13in). Mix the espresso and Marsala/Dark Rum together in a shallow bowl. Dip half of the lady-fingers into the espresso and Marsala mixture, then lay them on top of the mascarpone and cream mixture in the dish. (Repeat the soaking and layering individually as you go or the lady-fingers will become too soggy to handle.) Spoon over the next third of the mascarpone and cream mixture, followed by another layer of lady-fingers. Spoon over the final layer of mascarpone and cream. Cover and chill in the fridge for 24 hours. Dust with cocoa powder before serving.

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