Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tiramisu


TIRAMISU


make the swiss roll and leave it in the oven
until it cools down to room temp. Do not roll it up
Tiramisu is a famous Italian dessert made of layers of coffee soaked savoiardi biscuit (popularly known as Lady Fingers)or sponge cake and eggs mixed in whipped cream with mascarpone cheese. 

Warning:  This Contains Alcohol.  Not suitable for minors! however, alcohol can be omitted if desired.

Hundreds of tiramisu recipe are around the internet to choose from, but I personally prefer the one that doesn’t contain raw eggs.  As part of the tiramisu evolution, hence this is my home made version.

Making this tiramisu is a result of a frustration from what I bought from a cake shop, which I thought tastes heavenly as it looks.  Actually I bought it for Hubby hoping it would make him feel better as he wasn’t in good shape that day, but was so disappointed with that heavenly looking tiramisu.  That challenged me to make tiramisu on the weekend. There’s nothing better than making something the way you like it.

SWISS ROLL, which is never rolled. Cut into the same
width of the pan.
line the pan with aluminum foil for easy removal of the cake

I’ve searched a lot of tiramisu recipe but most of them have raw eggs, which I wasn’t keen to eat raw eggs on the cake.  I have got a good recipe from a friend with egg too but cooked, so I was supposed to give it a go but couldn’t find mascarpone.  Anyhow, I have found an easy recipe in epicurean.com but the portion is in goblets; which is not the kind of serving I have in mind.  I like that perfectly rectangle or square slice which you can see layers of goodness in it, topped with dark cocoa powder.  That is exactly the picture of tiramisu I have in mind.  The one I was addicted to in Rennaissance Hotel – Mumbai.  They serve a real slice of heaven for me.

Most of the home made tiramisu are placed in a dish. Though it tastes good, it lacks the element of presentation when you serve a slice.  It just gets disintegrated specially for left-over.  You don’t see the beauty of it unless you have that slice on your plate which is somehow deformed by the time you like to take a bite. My point is, even if things are home-made, you can make it look as appetizing as the commercial ones. And why not? “The Eyes eat first” according to a friend.

Spoon over coffee mixture onto the cake
(this is the middle layer, the layers at the bottom
are cake,cream and cake again, cream will be the
last layer
So, it takes a little cake engineering  (winks J) to achieve that precise layers of cream,coffee,cocoa and cake, I’ve got to make my own cake that would work well with the flavors.  I think swiss roll recipe would go with it because it’s dry, spongy and tastes close to lady fingers which is the authentic ingredient for tiramisu. This time, I didn’t roll it.  I kept it flat and let it stayed a little bit longer in the oven until it cooled down to room temp.  The best thing is, it is so quick and easy to make and I am sure it is at least half the cost of that pack of lady fingers. 3 minutes of mixing and 10 minutes of baking, that’s what it takes.

Sprinkle cocoa powder on top of the cream layer
The proportion of the ingredients of this tiramisu is just by luck, I crossed my fingers at the beginning if it will work or not on actual; because it works in my imagination only.  And luckily it did, that’s why I’m itching to post this for reference before it gets off my mind.  Which is the purpose of this kitchenjournal.

Note, I added cognac because me and hubby loves it, and I didn’t had the time to look for a coffee liquor.  Therefore, this tiramisu contains alcohol.  You may skip this ingredient if you intend to serve to kids. (I just told my 3 daughter that it is spicy and its only for mommy and daddy.  She is not keen on cocoa powder, its bitter for her).

After Chilling for atleast 4 hours,Remove tiramisu
 from the pan and ready to be sliced
For sure I will be visiting this post every now and then because this will be my basic proportion as it has proven its deliciousness.  Honestly, this tiramisu vs. cheese cake is a close call to us couple. It’s tough to judge which one is faved. I voted TIRAMISU, my other-half is still undecided but indeed he admits that the two cakes are rivals as to our taste.

The recipe:
Yields two 4x4x8 loaf pans

Swiss Roll
3 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Whisk the eggs until pale and soft peak forms, continue beating while adding the sugar teaspoon by teaspoon.sift together flour and baking powder and fold-in into the egg mixture using a wooden spoon.  Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and then smooth the surface, being careful not to press out any air. Bake in the center of the oven for 12-15 minutes.  To test if cooked,lightly press the center of and if it springs back, it is done.  Turn off the oven and leave it there until the oven cools down.  You must have a crispy crust and pungent spongy texture in the middle.


cover the sides of the remaining tiramisu with plastic
before storing it in the fridge. This will keep the cream
from absorbing odor and bacteria in the fridge.
400 g cream cheese
400 g. whipping cream
1 cup icing sugar (sifted)
cognac (optional)
cocoa powder
1 cup espresso coffee

Make the swiss roll, but don’t roll it up, just let it cool down in the oven until at room temperature.  Cut it according to the size of your dish or pan, in the picture, I’m using 2 loaf pans; so I cut 4 rectangles.

Whip the whipping cream until soft peak, add icing sugar slowly whilst continue beating until stiff.  Do not over-whip the cream; it will turn into lumpy butter! Place the whipped cream in the fridge while preparing the other ingredients.

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until soft and creamy; add in cognac (optional) until well blended. Fold-in the cream cheese to the whipped cream until well combined.

To assemble:


Place a foil on the pan contouring the shape of the pan and overlay at least half of the opening of the pan. Place 1 slice of  the cake at the bottom, spoon over coffee mixture evenly on to the cake. (if the coffee is still hot, let it cool down before adding the cream). Add cream mixture and evenly push it gently with the back of a spoon to make a layer of cream. Sift cocoa on top of it. Add another layer of cake soaked in coffee, add another layer of cream and lastly dust the top with cocoa powder. Cover the cake with the foil and Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.  Keep the tiramisu chilled.
Enjoy a slice of tiramisu with a cuppa coffee.

To serve:

Trace the sides with a spatula to separate the cake from the foil. Remove the tiramisu cake by lifting the foil and transfer it on to a cake board. Gently remove the foil. Cut in slices and serve.  When the cake is not consumed in one setting, cover the sides with plastic. This will prevent the cream from absorbing the odors and bacteria from the fridge.

I think a cuppa coffee is a must.

Note, thanks to that cake shop who sells nice looking tiramisu, I made one myself the way I like it.


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