Monday, December 15, 2008

Need a "Pick-me-up?" Tiramisu

This is one of those desserts I only make when DH is deployed because he doesn't like coffee, strange I know, but he's perfect in every other way so I married him. I LURVE me some Tiramisu. The light airy ladyfingers soaked in espresso and Kahlua, mascarpone cheese, whipped cream... hello you had me at espresso, or maybe it was Kahlua? Perhaps it was the cheese and whipped cream? Or the ladyfingers? Who knows, I can't pick one component I like best. When I was a little girl and we'd go to the grocery store my mom would buy us a treat I would either pick Pocky or a pack of ladyfingers. YUM.

Reading my ingredient list up there some of you are probably thinking, what kind of tiramisu is that? Yes, I prefer Kahlua over brandy- if I use either at all. I don't like to use egg yolks because, well let's face it I have a newborn a 2 year old and a four year old I have no time to be slaving over a double boiler or washing one after.
Espresso syrup-
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup STRONG brewed espresso - I have used crystals SHHHHH
1/4 Kahlua (or brandy)- optional

Mascarpone filling
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pound mascarpone cheese, room temperature

1/2 pound ladyfingers - dry ones not the moist soft cake like ones

cocoa powder for dusting and or chocolate curls

combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar is melted. Remove from heat, cool and add the res of the syrup ingredients.

Filling- whip cream with sugar and vanilla until you have soft peaks, fold in mascarpone cheese

you can do this a couple of ways.
1- put a layer of ladyfingers in the bottom of your dish, sprinkle with half the syrup. Spread with half cream filling. Repeat layers ending with cream filling.
2- put syrup in a shallow dish, dip a ladyfinger into the filling- not too long they get soggy fast. Then line them up in your serving dish, cover the bottom and spread with cream filling. Repeat layers and end with cream filling again.
Cover the whole thing with plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Before serving sprinkle with cocoa powder and if you want to chocolate curls.

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