In any case, in anticipation of our coming trip to Florence in Italy, I have been working up an Italian appetite, unfortunately a little marred by France's loss to Italy in the World Cup and the ensuing hear-say that many Italians are not very happy with the French and will be giving them a hard time if ever they should come across any (according to a few crazy Italians on the forum I was participating in). We'll be spending 3 weeks there in August, of which 2 weeks will include my MIL and one week my own dear mother. Would that still be a holiday? I'll let you know.
The Tiramisu is a really simple dessert, I made it in under 30 minutes, though to have it really good, one'll need to refrigerate it for a few hours if not overnight. You'll just need to get all your ingredients ready, keeping the milk products cold and the cake mixer on the table top.
Enough Sponge Fingers/Boudoirs to make up 2 layers of a square cake tin or any other container
Strong Expresso coffee with sugar added
Italian Marsala wine (or rhum or cognac if you don't have any)
2 tubs (400g) of Mascarpone cheese
1 tub (200g) of Crème fraîche
Half a bottle (250g) of ready-to-whip Cream (crème chantilly)
Sugar (to add in the cream)
Dehydrated Espresso (to add in the cream)
Unsweetened chocolate powder (e.g. Van Houten's)
First, prepare the coffee and add sugar to taste plus 2-3 Tbsps of Marsala wine. Then prepare the filling by whipping up the liquid cream till it's stiff, adding in the mascarpone, crème fraîche, 2 Tsps of dehydrated Expresso, sugar to taste and a touch of marsala wine at the end and giving the all a quick whip (too much whipping will cause the cream mixture to lose its stiffness and volume). Set aside.
Dip the boudoirs in the coffee and wine mixture and coat both sides quickly with the liquid (too much time in the liquid will cause the sponge fingers to disintegrate). Line the cake tin with one layer of the coffee boudoirs.
Spread a generous amount of the cream filling over the layer of boudoirs and sprinkle the unsweetened chocolate powder over it. Repeat the operation so that you have 2 layers of boudoir-cream filling-chocolate powder.
Cover with a plastic food film and keep the dessert refrigerated for a few hours. Easy, n'est-ce pas?
A few modern cooks have come up with Tiramisu with its different ingredients served separately e.g. coffee-dipped boudoir, mascarpone-marsala cream, chocolate served in a cocktail glass...It's not too bad, and you can also play around with the dessert by adding fruits etc.
(PS : Though with a friend's help, I just managed to publish the photos today 21/07/06)