Monday, December 22, 2008

Italy's Creamy Dessert, Tiramisu

This recipe is sent from the dessert heavens. Tiramisu is a holiday favorite. The cookie (ladyfingers) recipe dates back to the 13th century. Easy to make and always a crowd pleaser! Have your guests sign a disclaimer stating "habit forming and addictive" before they take their first spoonful.

Savoiardi or Ladyfinger Cookies

3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
pinch of salt
2/3 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Marscarpone Cream
3/4 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons organic sugar
4 egg yolks
1 pound mascarpone cheese
24 lady fingers
4-5 tablespoons strong espresso

cocoa powder, for dusting
optional: 4 tablespoons amaretto, cognac, or Marsala, add to coffee

Separate the eggs, in a bowl beat the yolks with 1/3 cup of sugar until frothy. Gradually add 1/3 cup flour, pinch of salt and mix. In another bowl mix egg whites until stiff, carefully and gently fold into egg yolks. Grease a baking sheet with butter, sprinkle with remaining flour. You can either pipe the cookies 4 inches long and about 1/2inch wide or I found it easier to spread it on a baking sheet about 1/4" high making one large cookie. Mix powdered sugar and the remaining 2 ounces of granulated sugar and sprinkle on cookies. Wait 10 minutes, so the sugars absorb into the cookie mixture. Bake at 300 degrees till golden brown about 12-15 minutes. Cool on rack 10-15 minutes. Then cut sheets of cookie to fit your dish.
Beat heavy cream with 1 tablespoon sugar until stiff. Set aside. Whisk egg yolks with 4 tablespoons of sugar until creamy, add mascarpone one tablespoon at a time, scraping sides of bowl. Gently fold in heavy cream. Line ladyfingers in your dish sprinkle espresso over cookies then a layer of cream. Repeat one more layer, ladyfingers, espresso, cream. Sprinkle with cocoa powder using a fine strainer and tap on gently. Chill at least two hours, better over night.

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