My mom has a notebook full of dessert recipes that she collects from various magazines and newspapers and from time to time when I go home I copy some of them. One year, among other recipes, I copied a recipe for Tiramisu. Back then, tiramisu was not a very popular dessert in Romanian, but in the US you could find it in every Italian restaurant, so I decided to give it a try. As with most baking recipes, following directions is crucial, so I blindly followed the recipe, but little did I know that instead of a cream, I would get this very liquid stuff with a consistency nowhere near what it was supposed to be. Thankfully, I was making this with one of my college friends and he drove back to Trader Joe’s and bought more mascarpone cheese so I can rescue the cream. After this disaster, I decided to make my own recipe, and while it’s probably not like some Italian grandma’s recipe, it has been a hit among my friends. Some of them have even reproduced it successfully 🙂 I took a very long break from Tiramisu over the last few years so I can try other cake recipes, but I went back to it this summer since the apartment I moved in only comes with a stovetop (fingers crossed my oven will get delivered today). So here is my recipe (or more like guidelines on how to make your favorite tiramisu recipe ;)):
- 20-24 ladyfingers (this really depends on the size and shape of the cake)
- 2-3 cups strong brewed coffee
- 16 oz mascarpone cheese chilled
- 2/3-1 cup amaretto
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- cocoa powder
Brew coffee. I brew mine on the stovetop so I usually need to let it cool down while making the cream. Add mascarpone cheese to a medium bowl, then mix in the sugar (start with 1/2cup and then add more as needed) and egg yolks until it gets smooth. Mix in 1/3 cup amaretto. If the consistency of the cream is still solid, you can add more amaretto, 1 Tbsp at a time. I make mine pretty alcoholic 🙂 I’ve seen recipes where they add beaten egg whites or whipped cream to the mascarpone cream, but I don’t like doing that. You can do it as long as you make sure it won’t turn out too runny.
Add coffee to a bowl. Add 1/3 cup amaretto (or more ;-). Soak ladyfingers in the coffee, but don’t let them get too soft so it is easier to arrange them in the pan. The ladyfingers will get fully soaked by the time you eat the cake anyways. Arrange a layer of ladyfingers in your chosen cake pan (I used a round one this time, but I have made it in a rectangular shape as well). Add half of the mascarpone cream over the ladyfingers layer. Add a second layers of coffee soaked ladyfingers, then the remaining mascarpone cream. Sprinkle cocoa powder on top and let cool in the fridge for a few hours. I know everyone is thinking pies right now, but if you want a break from the traditional desserts, this tiramisu is very fast to make (30 min if you have everything ready and know what you’re doing ;-)) and it’s usually a crowd pleaser!