6 years ago I blogged about making a simple Tiramisu. Looking back at the post, I realised that I got to know the amazing Edith of Precious Moments around that time making our friendship in and out of the blogosphere more than half a decade long! Time does fly, doesn't it?
Over the years, I have been making Tiramisu on and off - and often differently from the last time. I guess that as a person grows older, the food she prepares changes too. I do not make Tiramisu for my solo consumption, so as the kids' tastes and demands evolve, I try to take them into consideration (Hub would say, "What about me?" but like I like to say, "Too bad I'm not your mother!"); myself I have decided that I prefer Grand Marnier to all the traditional Italian liqueurs so Grand Marnier is the alcohol de préférence in my Tiramisu nowadays.
You will have some difficulty finding Tiramisu in restaurants during the warmer months in Italy - because it's more dangerous to consume raw eggs during this period. I have taken to omitting eggs when making Tiramisu (after we started living in Italy) so that it becomes a year-round consumable. The yolks would give it a richer taste and a slightly golden hue and the beaten whites would add some lightness to the cream - but overall I do not think they really change the taste and what is really important is the quality of the main ingredients.
When I have guests I would serve the dessert in individual glasses allowing all to enjoy the view of the different layers. Making Tiramisu just for ourselves, we prefer to have it in a large recipient so that everyone gets large portions - my kids could have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
It was funny though to see Baby Boy go, "I really love Tiramisu - but not as much as I love my mother!" (He would then whisper loudly to his sister, "Because mum is the one who made it...") Their friends dropped by to play in the afternoon and I politely offered them a slice - and the Babies dropped whatever they were doing so that they could make sure that I didn't serve their friends too-generous portions of the dessert.
A good quality mascarpone, as I've discovered, keeps for a long time. Mine was a year past its expiry date (left to wallow at the back of the fridge) and when checked yesterday, turned out to be as good as ever. I swiftly dug out a packet of sponge fingers, turned on the Nespresso machine and whipped out a Tiramisu.
Meanwhile I know that I've been away for a long time. Friends and family came to visit in succession so I have been busy. They left last Saturday taking with them the Teenager, so I finally get to breathe a little now and can return to a few of my usual occupations.
Tiramisu (2012 version) :
26-28 sponge fingers
3-4 expresso cups of strong coffee
2 tbsp grand marnier
2 tsp sugar
500g mascarpone (preferably italian-made)
200ml whipping cream
2 sachets vanilla sugar
2 tbsp soft sugar
1-2 tbsp grand marnier
cocoa powder (sifted)
Prepare the strong coffee (I only use expresso nowadays), add in the sugar and Grand Marnier. Pour into a soup plate.
In a large bowl whip the mascarpone with the vanilla and soft sugars and add in the cold whipping cream. Continue to whip till creamy. Pour in the alcohol and whip some more.
Dip the sponge fingers (usually sugared already) very briefly on both sides in the coffee and line the dish with half of them. It is very important not to let the sponge fingers become soggy or the Tiramisu will taste horrible.
Cover the first layer of sponge fingers with the cream and sift a layer of cocoa powder over it. Spread another layer of sponge fingers on top and cover with the cream. Finish with more cocoa powder over it. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Easy peasy.