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Tiramisu Two Ways — Beginner & Expert

Tiramisu Two Ways — Beginner & Expert

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts. I love the smooth, creamy filling and the light, melt in your mouth cake. I order tiramisu when eating at restaurants, but have only attempted to make it at home twice. Both times, I failed miserably and was unhappy with the end result. But practice makes perfect and I've finally built up the courage to experiment with tiramisu.

I've found two recipes — one for cooks new to the kitchen and another for more experienced chefs — so you should be able to make the tiramisu that suits your style. All you have to do is

Beginner Tiramisu
From Giada De Laurentiis

6 egg yolks*
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled
2 teaspoons dark rum
24 packaged ladyfingers
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish

  1. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of espresso and mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. In a small shallow dish, add remaining espresso and rum. Dip each ladyfinger into espresso for only 5 seconds. Letting the ladyfingers soak too long will cause them to fall apart. Place the soaked ladyfinger on the bottom of a 13 by 9 inch baking dish, breaking them in half if necessary in order to fit the bottom.
  3. Spread evenly 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers and top with remaining mascarpone mixture.
  4. Cover tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 8 hours.
  5. Before serving, sprinkle with chocolate shavings.

Serves 6.

Expert Tiramisu
From Wolfgang Puck

Melted butter, for brushing pan
6 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cake flour, sifted
Mascarpone Cream:
6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Marsala
1/4 cup brandy
2 pounds mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
Espresso Syrup:
1 cup hot freshly brewed espresso
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup grated bittersweet chocolate

  1. First, make the Ladyfingers: preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 12-by-16-inch baking tray with rim, line it with parchment paper, and brush the paper with butter.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with 1/4 cup of the sugar until it is light in color and forms a ribbon when the beater is lifted out. Set aside.
  3. In another mixing bowl, using clean beaters, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Beating continuously, slowly pour in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue to beat until the whites form slightly drooping peaks when the beaters are lifted out.
  4. Sift the flour again. With a rubber spatula, fold half of the flour into the yolk mixture. Fold in half of the egg whites. Then, fold in the remaining flour. Finally, fold in the remaining egg whites.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tray and, with an offset spatula, carefully spread the batter to fill the tray. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. This can be made up to 2 weeks in advanced, wrapped airtight in plastic wrap and foil, and stored in the freezer.
  7. Next, make the Mascarpone Cream: in a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.
  8. Add the Marsala and brandy. Place over a pan of boiling water, taking care that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water, and cook, stirring, until the mixture reaches 160°F on a cooking thermometer. Continue to cook until the mixture resembles a thick paste, about 5 minutes more.
  9. Remove from the double-boiler and place the bowl inside a larger bowl of ice water. Stir occasionally until the mixture has cooled to room temperature.
  10. Put the mascarpone cheese in another bowl and, with an electric mixer, beat it until it forms soft peaks. Fold it into the cooled egg yolk mixture until well incorporated. This can be made up to 4 hours ahead, covered, and refrigerated.
  11. Next, make the Espresso Syrup: in a heatproof mixing bowl, stir together the hot, freshly brewed espresso, the brown and granulated sugars, the lemon juice, and the vanilla, until the sugars have dissolved completely. Set aside.
  12. To assemble the Tiramisu: cut the sheet of Ladyfinger cake into two 8-by-10-inch portions. Divide the Mascarpone Cream into 3 equal portions and the Espresso Syrup into 2 equal portions.
  13. Spread a portion of the Mascarpone Cream over the bottom of a deep 8-by-10-inch dessert dish. Top with 1 sheet of the cake. Drizzle 1 portion of the syrup evenly over the cake. When it has soaked in, repeat with another layer of Mascarpone Cream, another sheet of cake, and more syrup.
  14. Top with the remaining Mascarpone Cream and sprinkle that layer with the grated chocolate. Cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting through the layers to form square or rectangular portions and serving.

Serves 8-12.

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