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Sunday, September 12, 2010

HCB: Tiramisu

Heavenly Cake Bakers submissions No. 41.

Once upon a time - the time when I was using my oven as storage for pots and pans - I had an idea of trying to make tiramisu. It being my favorite dessert at that time, I thought I should learn how to make it. So, armed with store-bought ladyfingers, a hand mixer, and the Williams Sonoma's Tiramisu recipe, I attempted to make this lovely italian dessert. Everything went on smoothly, I mixed the egg yolks over simmering water and mixed it with the mascarpone. Then I whipped the cream, which btw, took forever with a hand mixer. Then fold everything together. At that time I didn't know what folding means, so who knows what I did exactly. The WS recipe used whipped egg whites. So I had my egg whites in a bowl and used my hand mixer. Well, the instruction said to "whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form." I have read somewhere that stiff peaks means that I can invert the bowl and the egg whites would not fall at all.

Not really believing this is possible and not knowing how long it would take, after 5 minutes on medium speed I thought this is impossible, and whatever literature I read that said I can invert the bowl must be wrong. So I called it good and proceeded with the recipe. The tiramisu came together nicely and into the fridge it went.Well, by the next morning, the egg whites has dissolved and I got this nice puddle of liquid at the bottom of the tiramisu. We still ate some of the tiramisu as it taste okay though the texture was less than desirable.

That was 3 years ago. I no longer use my oven for storage (heck, I have dual oven now :)). And I have since then, made the WS' tiramisu recipe many many times. I have even made my own ladyfingers - which happened because I couldn't find it at the store one day. My friends has said that it's the best tiramisu they've ever had.

That being said, let's see how Rose's recipe compared.

First, the ladyfingers. It was pretty easy and came together nicely. And I have to say that I love piping these babies.

The next thing didn't come together nicely or easily. The egg yolks, marsala, and sugar mixture was whisked on top of simmering water for 10 minutes. It thickened, all right. But it didn't triple in volume. More like doubled. I was devastated. I read the recipe again and it looks like I did everything right. So oh well, let's try this again. 2nd batch of egg yolks, marsala, and sugar. Same results.

Moving on...

Whipped mascarpone then whipped in the cooled egg yolk mixture. Then whipped some cream. To compensate for the volume-less egg yolk, I doubled the whipped cream. Then, taking cue from the WS recipe, I whisked 3 egg whites until stiff peaks, then folded it into the egg yolk mascarpone cream mixture.

Then came the best part: putting the tiramisu together. It is so easy to do and it is the part that I look forward to the most. I used coffee instead of espresso as I'm not a big coffee drinker.

Tasting impressions:
I am in tiramisu heaven. With floating ladyfingers and mascarpone cream. It is very very good. I would say that Rose's recipe won over the Williams Sonoma one. I love that Rose used sweet marsala, more fitting, seeing that this is an Italian dessert and all. When I make this again (and yes there will be many many repeat), I hope to be able to make the egg yolks triple in volume :)). If  not, I know I can use more cream and some egg whites!


  1. good save with the egg whites! i love tiramisu, i'm glad to hear rose's recipe is a keeper. that last photo makes me wish i could pull it out of my screen and eat it!

  2. So glad you conquered your favourite dessert! Tiramisu is definitely heavenly as you said.

  3. Yummmmmmmm......Tiramisu is definitely a star dessert. This looks absolutely wonderful.

  4. YUMMY! I love tiramisu too!! i still keep things in my oven..only have to take them out when i bake..LOL!

  5. You've come a looooong way, since your first Tiramisu- looks just beautiful!

  6. OMGoodness! Gorgeous! Perfect! You made the yolk mixture twice? You are dedicated! I have to admit, Gale Gand's recipe (One of the original pastry chefs on Food Network and no longer there . . . but her recipes are) of tiramisu is my all time favorite so far. Now I am going to have to try Rose's recipe for comparison after your wonderful review and stunning photo of the finished tiramisu.

  7. I'm glad hear this was heavenly! My family loves tiramisu; I'll have to try this!

  8. Oh man, I'm sitting here, with nose stuffed up, headache, body aches and looking at your pictures wanting a piece? Could you FedEx it to me? or I'm to late and its already gone?

    Your sick friend.

  9. Hi Jenn - what a great post. I love your "story", and your pics are wonderful. You're baking skills have certainly come a long way since that time!! I'm glad to hear you liked Rose's Tiramisu... I love sweet marsala, so I think I'll have to put this one on my To Bake list.


  10. I'm not a coffee drinker and so I've always passed on tiramisu. Having said that, your pictures make me rethink my position on that. I looks beautiful and very creamy!

  11. I'm not a coffee drinker and so I've always passed on tiramisu. Having said that, your pictures make me rethink my stance on that. I looks beautiful and very creamy!


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