Sunday, August 23, 2009

temple worthy tiramisu

Holy Grail of dessert? Definitely maybe.

Mascarpone Cheese:
2 8-oz pkg of cream cheese, at room temp
5 TB sour cream
1/c cup heavy whipping cream

Mix together in a medium mixing bowl until well blended. Set aside.

Zabaglione Cream:
5 egg yolks from 5 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
2-3 TB vanilla extract (sonoma syrup co if you have it)

In a small metal mixing bowl or the top part of a double boiler, beat eggs and sugar on high until pale yellow and about the consistency of cake batter. (about 5-10 minutes)

Bring some water to a boil in a pan that the bowl will fit in, but not touch the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat down to a simmer, and place egg mixture in pan. Stir every few minutes until light mounds form, or the mixture has small bubbles in it. (about 5-10 minutes) (you are basically heating the eggs up enough to avoid any potential sickness causing bacteria or whatever.)

Stir in the vanilla. Let it cool for a minute, then cover and place in the fridge for 30 min.

Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 TB sugar

In a small bowl, whip the cream and sugar together until whipped. Set aside.

Take the egg mixture, and the whipped cream, and add it to the cream cheese mixture. Cover and put in the fridge for an hour.

Vanilla Sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy whip
3 TB vanilla extract

Put all ingredients into a small pan. Cook over medium heat until it boils. Let it boil for 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat. SLOWLY pour in the vanilla. Since it has alcohol in it, the mixture will bubble rapidly when you add the vanilla. Stir well, and set aside.

The Layers:
2 7oz pkg of Italian ladyfingers. (you can get them at Italian shops, like Granatos and Caputos. Sometimes you can get them at the grocery store, but good luck. I went to 5 stores in 2 hours looking for them. I finally found them at the Dan's on 33rd and 20th. They are with the fancier cookies- like Pepperidge Farm. They are in a green package and the brand is Alessi. If you ask for help finding them, most of the staff will point you to the bakery- they have Lady Fingers that are smaller and way too soft. These are the American version, don't get them. They will get too soggy.)

Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan. (It's tall enough to handle all the layers) If you don't have one, you can just use a 9x13 pan.

Cut some of the ladyfingers in half. Line the sides of the spring form pan with the cut part down
and the round part up. This will give you a nice, pretty edge to each slice. Then fit more ladyfingers along the bottom of the pan, securing the ones on the sides. I always have to cut them in half and then just cut them so you can fit as much as you can for the bottom layer.

Take a spoon and coat the ladyfingers with the vanilla sauce. Don't worry about using too much, you will have extra.

Take 1/3 of the cheese mixture and spoon it onto the cookies. Repeat twice more with another layer of ladyfingers, vanilla sauce, and cheese. By this time your pan should be brimming with cheese mixture. You can drizzle on some vanilla sauce if you like, or you can do that later when you serve it, slice by slice.

Put the tiramisu into the fridge for at least 6 hours or even better, overnight. This dessert ages in the fridge, and is good for about 5 days after you make it. It's fine beyond that, the bottom layer might be a little too soggy, but that has never stopped me from eating it anyway.

To serve, remove ring from pan. Slice the cake in half, rotate it and slice in half again. Then you can cut pieces as big or small as you like. I like to try and cut in between the ladyfingers, if you can. That makes cutting it way easier than trying to cut through the dryer outer cookies.


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