The popular Italian dessert - Tiramisu....(Ohh..the very thought of this delicious layered dessert makes me drool!). Literally translated as 'pick me up', for me this is one dessert I would scoop up and finish off in a flash; always left wanting to have more :D I always thought its probably very complicated to try at home but the truth is: not only is it delicious but also super easy to make one yourself! I saw the recipe for the first time on a cookery show and was surprised at how little work goes into making this scrumptious dessert.
The main ingredient is the Italian ladyfinger biscuit; also called as Savoiardi (which means from Savoy, where these biscuits originated). Light and puffy, they are quite delightful to be eaten as such and also form the core ingredient in many puddings and trifles. Due to its porous texture, these biscuits absorb any kind of liquid like coffee or milk to be transformed into light sponge layers which serve as the base for many desserts; Tiramisu being one of them. Soak the biscuits in coffee and layer it with mascarpone cheese. That's tiramisu in very simple words! Normally raw eggs are beaten into the mascarpone cheese. This gives it a better texture but avoiding the eggs doesn't really affect the taste. I am always wary of using raw eggs as it is a potential food poisoning threat if the eggs contain Salmonella. So if you want to add eggs, pasteurized eggs are always recommended.
Mascarpone cheese is the right cheese for Tiramisu. But I decided to experiment with Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese instead and was not disappointed :) Here's how I made it...
- Italian lady finger biscuits - 200 gm
- Philadelphia cream cheese (I used low fat) - 200 gm
- Thick cream - 200 gm
- Sugar - to taste ( I like to keep it mildly sweet)
- Nescafe Red Mug coffee - 2 tbsp dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water (Set aside to cool)
- Unsweetened cocoa powder - to sprinkle as required.
- Using a hand processor whip the thick cream for about 5 minutes on medium speed till it becomes fluffy.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar till it is creamy. Add this mixture to the whipped thick cream and gently fold it in.
- Choose a deep container to layer the dessert. Soak the biscuit one after the other, by dipping it in the cold coffee for less than 10 seconds and then arrange it across the bottom of the container to form a layer.
- On top of this spread a layer of the cream cheese - thick cream mix. Spread it gently with a thin spatula.
- Then add another layer of the lady finger biscuits soaked in coffee. Place them diagonally opposite to the first layer. Followed by another generous layer of the cream and cheese mix.
- Take a small sieve and add some cocoa powder. Tap it lightly over the top of the dessert so that the cocoa is sprinkled evenly on this final layer of cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or leave overnight and simply dig in!
Linking this to Priya's exciting event - 60 days to Christmas!