What is more Canadian than baking with a friend?
Vanja’s Favourite Dessert in the Whole World is this traditional Tiramisu recipe. I make a tiramisu for his birthday every year, and definitely more than that. It has been out family’s “Special Occasion” cake for several years. He adores the luscious, thick, mascarpone cream oozing between the Grand Marnier and espresso soaked Lady Fingers. I appreciate this new addition to my traditional prairie farm recipes. It is a beautiful family fit within our evolving culinary landscape.
I am all about tradition, yet I am also all about change. I work at whipping up what I think is delectable and delightful for him to sample and savour. Yet, he is not at all eager to be my human guinea pig. Vanja is not the adventurous type when it comes to food. Not one bit. I am motivated to action when I hear him shuffle from room to room, hands in his pockets (I know I didn’t hear that part), opening and closing the fridge and cupboard doors with reckless abandon and a muffled, “Why isn’t there anything good to eat around here?” Now, that is definitely time for Tiramisu! Where is my traditional Tiramisu recipe?
Traditional and Classic Tiramisu
- 2 x 500 ml Mascarpone cheese , room temperature
- 2 bags of Lady Finger biscuit cookies (4 packets in each bag)
- 1 dozen extra large eggs , room temperature
- 12 scant tablespoons white sugar
- 1 ¼ cup strong homemade espresso , OR (if absolutely necessary)
- 3 tablespoons instant espresso into 1 ¼ cup hot water
- ¾ cup Kahlua or Grand Marnier
- 1 10 " spring form pan
Instructions for filling:
Separate eggs; put yolks in a small bowl and whites in your largest mixing bowl (the large bowl of your Kitchen Aid, or something similar)
Beat whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form, then a wee bit longer; transfer to another bowl
Place egg yolks into large bowl whites were in; add sugar to the yolks and beat until dissolved, thick, foamy, and creamy (a good 5-7 minutes)
Add Mascarpone to the yolk mixture, 500mL at a time; beat until thick, light, and creamy: 7-10 minutes
While yolk concoction is beating; prepare espresso
Instructions for Lady Finger "crust";
Prepare spring form pan by reversing the bottom to enable easy removal of cake (edges or lips of bottom of spring form pan must face downward)
Pour into shallow dish with sides; add Kahlua (or Grand Marnier) to espresso, and dip each side of each Lady Finger into it, extremely quickly: dunk-dunk
Line sides, then bottom of spring form pan with biscuits, sugar side in, depending upon the quality of the biscuit, as best side faces out
Putting the Tiramisu together:
Fold whites carefully into yolk mixture, retaining as much air as possible
Using a large scoop, or measuring cup, gently ladle Mascarpone mixture over bottom layer of biscuits; each layer will take three very generous (heaping) cupfuls of Mascarpone mixture
Dip more biscuits into the espresso liquid; layer over the Mascarpone mixture
Repeat with lush layer of Mascarpone mixture over the biscuits, then another layer of biscuits dipped in espresso liquid
Finish the final layer with the remaining cream
Freeze immediately in pan, as is; after 6-8 hours, remove sides from spring form pan
Using a table knife, release bottom of spring form pan from cake; wrap tightly with plastic wrap
Take out of freezer two hours before service; wrap a large ribbon around the cake when still frozen, if presenting cake whole
Sprinkle top with cocoa; slice and serve garnished with fresh berries and a mint leaf
This will keep beautifully for at least three months wrapped well in freezer
These Lady Fingers absorb a lot of liquid very quickly, so don't take your eyes off of them! Dip each in the liquid, and turn over, and out. Fast-fast-fast.
Homemade Evans Sour Cherry Tiramisu is a new family favourite created just in 2014 with my own Evans sour cherries that I grow in my garden made into the most amazing homemade Sour Cherry Pie Filling. What a delicious addition to a classic staple.
Tiramisu is a breeze to make. Easy-peasy. Demystify it. Dispel your fear. Just do it. And, you will discover that you actually can!