I really don’t know why I never shared the recipe for tiramisu on this blog. My irreplaceable favorite in a long list of desserts I am known to have a major faible for, the evergreen Italian classic holds a special place in my heart and on the menu card of many posh restaurants. Ordering tiramisu and getting it served takes all of 5 minutes as it is a great make-ahead dessert that keeps well frozen for days. Simply take it out 30 seconds before serving time, dust generously with good quality cocoa powder and top with a few Michel Cluizel chocolate covered coffee beans to impress. Tish Boyle‘s recipe does not need any messing around, follow everything verbatim and there is no reason why you will not start making your own tiramisu on a regular basis.

Originally from northern Italy, this trifle-like dessert is made by layering ladyfingers or similar sponge textured cake dipped in espresso syrup and creamy mascarpone filling. Some recipe use coffee liquors and some try to omit the use of raw eggs due to Salmonella concerns, so it may be safer to briefly cook the yolks over a bain marie first before folding them into the filling. Whatever technique you use for your biscuit and mascarpone layers, the end result should literally ‘lift you off your feet’, which loosely translates for the word tiramisu, a delight which truly lives up to its name.

TIRAMISU

For the Genoise

1 cup sifted cake flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Espresso Syrup

1 cup hot espresso or strongly brewed coffee

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Mascarpone Cream

6 large egg yolks, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) water

1 pound (454 g) mascarpone cheese

3 tablespoons (45 ml) dark rum

1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Assembly & Garnish

Dutch-processed cocoa powder, for dusting

Chocolate-covered espresso beans

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans and dust with flour.

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sugar by hand. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water.

  • Cook until the eggs are warm. Transfer bowl to the electric mixer stand and attach the whisk attachment.

  • Beat on high speed until the mixture has tripled in volume for about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to low.

  • Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla extract. Resift 1/3 of flour mixture over the batter and gently fold it in.

  • In 2 more additions, sift in remaining flour mixture, folding gently. Place melted butter in a small bowl.

  • Scoop about 3/4 cup cake batter into the bowl and stir until blended. Fold this into the remaining batter.

  • Scrape batter into prepared pans. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until top springs back when lightly touched.

  • Cool the cakes in the pans set on wire racks for 15 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the wire rack and cool.

  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the espresso and sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

  • Stir in vanilla extract and set syrup aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and water.

  • Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water such that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.

  • Continue to whisk constantly, until the mixture thickens and is hot to the touch, for about 7 to 8 minutes.

  • Immediately scrape the mixture into a cold bowl. Cover and refrigerate the mixture until completely cool.

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, using paddle attachment, beat mascarpone at medium speed till creamy.

  • Gradually beat in the cooled egg yolk mixture and the dark rum and mix until everything is well blended.

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, using whisk attachment, beat cream and vanilla till it forms soft peaks.

  • Gently fold the whipped cream into the yolk mixture. To assemble, cut out 12 rounds from cooled cakes.

  • Use a cookie cutter to fit the diameter of serving glasses. Arrange one round in the bottom of each glass.

  • Brush generously with espresso syrup. Top with layer of mascarpone cream and add another cake round.

  • Brush with more syrup. Fill the glass with more cream, smoothing the top. Repeat with remaining cake.

  • Dust the top of each tiramisu with sifted cocoa powder. Garnish with chocolate-covered espresso beans.

Tiramisu