Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tiramisu. Easy-Peasy How To

Two days ago I made my first tiramisu. If I knew it was so easy, I'd make it long time ago. This is a life lesson, people: some things look so intimidating, so grown-up, that you don't even dare to touch it. But after you make the very first attempt (with your eyes closed and your heart stumbling) you can't believe how easy it was. Why didn't you do this earlier? Like sex, for example. Or a tiramisu. 

It turned out to be the simplest dessert I ever made in my life. It takes about 20 minutes to make, if you are not counting making coffee and sitting-in-the-fridge time. This recipe is for 5 - 6 elegant servings (or 1-2 portions for our family). Here is what you need:

2 large bowls 
wooden or sturdy plastic spoon  
a tablespoon  
an egg separator with a cup
a coffee maker 
 a soup plate  
a deep dish for the finished product - preferably rectangular 
a coffee strainer  
a refrigerator 

1 cup of a strong coffee  
250-275 g. pack of mascarpone (any cream cheese - like Philadelphia - would go)
4 tablespoons of sugar
2 eggs  
1 tablespoon of hard liqueur (rum, brandy or cognac) 
 200 - 250 gr. pack of savoiardi cookies (ladyfingers) - it's about 17 - 22 cookies 
1 tablespoon of a cocoa powder (not the sweetened instant mix, the real deal) 

And this is how you do it: 
1) Make a cup of strong black coffee. Put aside to cool down.  

2) Separate 2 eggs' whites and yolks. 
3) Beat the egg yolks with all the sugar. Use a mixer.
 4) Dump the mascarpone in the yolks.
5) Gently but firmly mix the cheese with the egg yolks
with a wooden spoon. At first it seems impossible, but in a minute they will give up and fuse. 
 6) Separately beat the egg whites and then gently mix into the cheese-yolk mixture. From now on we will call it "a cream". 
 7) You coffee should be a room temperature now, otherwise cookies will disintegrate. Pour the coffee into a deep soup plate and add a tablespoon of rum (or whatever you have in your bar).  
8) Open the package of "ladyfingers". Take one cookie in each hand and quickly dip them in the coffee with one side. ONLY ONE SIDE OF THE COOKIE SHOULD BE DIPPED. DO IT FAST. Put the cookies in the rectangular dish WET SIDE UP. Yes, the cookies should stay dry on one side. Don't worry about it: they will soak up the cream while sitting in the fridge. Cover the bottom of the dish with cookies.
9) Generously coat the cookie layer with the cream. The cream layer should be at least one inch thick. I've overdid the cookies and got what you can see on the photo. Ideally there should be more cream, less cookies. Now rinse and repeat. I mean, repeat layers until you finish of the cream. 
 10) Put a tablespoon of cocoa powder in a small coffee strainer and  sprinkle the entire surface of the tiramisu, gently tapping the strainer with your other hand. You can top your tiramisu with some grate chocolate if you wish.
11) Put your tiramisu in the fridge for 6 hours at least (go to sleep, go to work) 

And that's all, ladies and gents. You are ready to impress the loved ones with your amazing culinary talent. I wish you luck, but I am pretty sure you won't need one. It's that easy and - dare I say - foolproof (although I don't see any fools around - do you? Of course, not). Tell me how it turned out.

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