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Apr 15, 2010 07:43 AM


Hi all,

A friend of mine has a birthday next week, and I'd like to make her a dessert. I did a sour cream-banana cake last year that was stellar, but her favourite thing in the world is tiramisu, so I thought I'd make it. I've made it before, but I wasn't too impressed with the results - a good tiarmisu makes me swoon. I've checked the internet and I've found a lot of recipes, but I trust the tastes on this board a lot more.

Does anyone have a recipe that always turns out well? Preferably fairly simple and rich, and, of course, swoon-worthy.

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  1. I love this tiramisu eggnog trifle (I don't understand the name because tiramisu really is like an eggnog trifle so it seems repetitive). But, the recipe is excellent, rich and decadent.

    If you want a more authentic flavor, you can leave out the nutmeg but I like it. I use this recipe for the savoiardi.

    You don't want the lady fingers you buy in a grocery store because they're too soft. Trader Joe's will occasionally carry the right kind, or an Italian grocery store should.

    4 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      Thanks! I'm in the middle of exams, so I will definitely be buying the savoiardi - but we've got a really good italian market here.

        1. re: bushwickgirl

          I am absolutely going to make that! I also make the berry tiramisu from epicurious - but in both cases I change the formula for the filling because theirs is much too heavy!

          1. re: bushwickgirl

            This looks amazing. Thanks for pimping it!

      1. try this for two:

        Tiramisu (Half Size)

        Espresso Syrup (This is a full portion there will be extra)
        Water, 1/3 cup
        Sugar, 1/2 cup
        Espresso, 2/3 cup strong brewed
        Brandy or (better )Cognac, 1/4 cup

        Mascarpone Filling
        Heavy Whipping Cream, 3/4 cups
        1/6 cup Sugar, 1/6 cup =(2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons)
        Vanilla Extract, 1 teaspoon
        Mascarpone Cheese, 1/2 pound, softened to room temperature
        Savioardi, one package, imported or domestic ladyfingers, or sliced sponge cake Cocoa Powder


        Combine water & sugar in a small saucepan.
        Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.
        Remove from heat, cool.
        Add coffee & brandy.

        Whip cream with sugar & vanilla until soft peaks form.
        Fold cream into softened mascarpone.


        Place a layer of the ladyfingers in the bottom of a shallow 1 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with half the syrup. Spread with half the filling. Repeat with remaining ladyfingers spreading the top smooth with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving.

        Immediately before serving place cocoa in a fine strainer & shake a light coating .

        3 Replies
        1. re: Fahzz

          Funny + True: It was my birthday at some little resto -my boyfriend ordered tiramisu for dessert and they of course stuck a candle in it. But they didn't go "light" on the cocoa.... When I blew that candle out, it was like a dust storm over our table!!

          1. re: Fahzz

            Powdered cocoa on a Tiramisu is a CRIME. I use only grated chocolate as per Nick Stellino's recipe. Page 132 of his 'Cucina Amore' cookbook. So much better.

            1. re: pdxgastro

              i've done it both ways and i prefer the consistent creaminess of the dusted powdered cocoa than the added flavor of the grated valrhona. but that might be because that is what i am used to. :)

          2. Good tiramisu is simple. I make it by feel at this point but can give you the steps and ingredients. You will needs eggs, savioardi biscuits ( you need the Italian ones, do not substitute), instant espresso powder (just doesn't work well with real espresso), Marsala, one vanilla bean, sugar (you can use your vanilla sugar if you've made some), zest of one orange, ground chocolate (Ghirardelli makes one), mascarpone (two tubs) and whipping cream (half pint).

            You're going to whip the eggs whites - I use 4 or 5 eggs with a few tablespoons of sugar until they form firm peaks. You will also whip the cream, adding a few tablespoons of sugar and the vanilla. Lastly you're going to whip the egg yolks again with a few tablespoons of sugar) until they turn pale yellow, thicken and increase in volume.

            Add your mascarpone and the orange zest to the egg yolk mixture and whip to combine. Then you're going to fold in the egg whites and whipped cream. Park this in the fridge.

            Next you need to combine your espresso powder and Marsala wine - do not ever trust a recipe that tells you to use some other form of alcohol - and a little water. Put this in a shallow dish to make it easier to dip the savioardi biscuits.

            I make my tiramisu in a springform pan - it's very pretty. First you line the entire inside of the ring with one layer of vertically placed biscuits. Dip each one in your espresso/wine mixture for a few moments. Once you've done that, line the bottom. Put about an inch of the chilled filling into the pan dust on some ground chocolate then add another layer of biscuits. You'll continue until you get to the top.

            Sometimes I reserve some whipped cream for the top layer but you can just use the mixed filling if you like. Then dust the top with your ground chocolate (a mesh strainer is the best way to do this neatly and easily.

            Chill the pan for at least 12 hours - I like to make this the day before i serve it - unmold and slice into wedges. If you have extra filling you can make some smaller dishes of tiramisu and feed them to your eager husband before the party.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Kater

              I made Kater's tiramisu this weekend and it was THE best I (and my family) have ever tasted! Amazing! Thank you for this great recipe!

              1. re: Kater

                Just made this recipe but used 6 eggs for 500g marscapone...this is one tasty filling! However, not sure if it were too many eggs or what, filling came out somewhat liquidy. I used 6 thinking I had a big serving dish, a 12x8. 12 yr old DD was helping & when I said fold the whipped egg white in gently, she accidentally dumped all of it into yolk mixture. Oh well, we'll just have to wait & see tomorrow night : )

                Forgot, also used my favorite Dutch cocoa from pantry instead of ground chocolate.

                1. re: ceekskat

                  i made the cooks illustrated recipe yesterday and it turned out fabulous. VERY easy and straightforward directions. i subbed out the rum for jack daniels as my hubby's family is from tennessee and jack drinkers. :) it was as good a tiramisu as i have ever had, if i do say so myself. ;) haha!

                  1. re: ceekskat

                    There was pumkin pie, fruit tart, tiramisu, jalebis (Indian sweet) & baklava on the Thanksgiving table...all the kids (HS & College) made a beeline to the tiramisu, followed by the fruit tart. Needless to say, I was only able to lick off the side of the dish, a white 12x8 porcelain baker from Sur La Table which I had especially bought for this dessert.**

                    I made it again few days ago & it came out MUCH better. Used 5 eggs i/o 6 but I don't think that was the origin of the "liquidy" issue; rather, I had originally used the electric beater to mix the mascarpone with egg yolk mixture. This time I just whipped manually & turned out great.

                    Also, I used some whipping cream for Thanksgiving & decided to skip it for the latter. Didn't miss it.

                    **perfect size for the 500g amount..found it researching various tiramisu recipes : )

                    Forgot to say it before...thank you Kater for the recipe!!

                2. Thanks all. I'm thinking of cobbling my own method from all of the ones posted here. I will definitely make it in a springform now - that's a great idea, and easy to transport.

                  Kater, does two tubs of mascarpone mean around a pint? And I'm wondering - have you ever tried leaving out the egg whites?

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: rafjel

                    I'm sorry I don't have any in the fridge so I can't be sure about the mascarpone but I would guess that the small tub is about a pint.

                    I have made it without the egg white - the first recipe I tried didn't call for it - and I found that the filling was very heavy and unappealing. I have, however, made it without the whipped cream and been pleased with the result. It's the mouthfeel of the meringue that really 'elevates' the dish!

                    1. re: rafjel

                      Whoops, sorry. I meant the cream - have you ever tried leaving out the cream?

                      1. re: rafjel

                        good tiramisu makes you clairvoyant!

                        yes, and I would say that I slightly prefer it without the cream but that my family really likes the cream

                        1. re: Kater

                          Great, thanks! I think I'll opt for no cream. I'll be making it on Thursday and I'll be sure to report back :)

                      2. re: rafjel

                        If you do the springform pan and want a pretty presentation, just wrap a ribbon around it with twirls. It makes it look festive. Good luck with it--I play around w/ components all the time and it always turns out great.

                        1. re: rafjel

                          The mascarpone I usually find is sold in 8oz. containers

                        2. So the tiramisu turned out great. Made it in a 9-inch springform pan with storebought savoiardi. Whipped 5 egg yolks with a bit of sugar and then 500g mascarpone. Folded in 5 egg whites whipped with some sugar and that was it. It was delicious - the absolute best we'd ever had - even the Italian birthday girl thought so! Thanks all!

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: rafjel

                            that's great - you will probably find yourself making it again and again, it is not difficult but a real crowd pleaser!

                            1. re: rafjel

                              thanks for posting your version, and that you liked it! I just made the same version and wasn't sure about how it would turn out compared to others, as I am going for the dreamy swoon result as well. Sometimes simple is best when it comes to good old fashioned cooking! I found my recipe from Nigella Lawson's site, since I figured just watching her cook puts you into a dreamy swoon. :)

                              I was wondering what liquids you used to dip the savoiardi in? I did a free-for-all based on my Argentinian friends party version - the first one I ever had, homemade, and made me fall in love. I've just inherited a bottle of marsala as well so I'm wondering which one is better.
                              Per package of bicsuits: 1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee, 1/4 cup kahlua, then about another 1/4 cup blend of Baileys Irish cream, frangelico, brandy. I found the Frangelico really brings out the coffee flavour (of course I tasted the blend before dipping!...and of course I finished off whatever was left in the was delish)
                              I don't have a springform pan, I just did it in a large casserole dish. But it is for our friends who are going to Australia for a year, so I did a cut out of the country and cocoa'd over it. It looks pretty neat!
                              I can't wait to try it tomorrow! I will definitely make this again, even if I have to tweak the recipe.

                              1. re: sunnygee

                                I used espresso and kahlua, only because I ran out of marsala. Hope yours turned out well!