I was told that tiramisu means "pick me up"..."to heaven" from a friend. Come to think of it, I kinda agree. Every mouthful of this delectable dessert is simply heavenly.
Tiramisu is a cool, refreshing Italian dessert that once tasted, leaves an indelible impression on you. It is an assembly of ladyfingers or sponge cake dipped in coffee mixture, then layered with mascarpone and topped with cocoa powder or grated chocolate. It is chilled in the fridge for several hours or overnight so that the flavours will "marry" each other.
adapted from Diana's Desserts (I used half the recipe below, and replaced marsala wine with Irish Bailey's)
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
3 cups dairy whipping cream
2 (8 oz.) containers mascarpone cheese (16 oz. total)
1 tbspn vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 packet ladyfingers
1/3 cup cold strong coffee or espresso
1/3 cup marsala wine, brandy, amaretto or white rum
Cocoa powder, or grated chocolate
1. In a large bowl, lightly beat the mascarpone to smooth it out.
2. Add in confectioners' sugar, cream, vanilla extract and salt. Beat this mixture with an electric beater until smooth and thickened like fluffy cream.
3. Using a 9 x 13 inch pan, or a medium sized glass baking dish, line the bottom with ladyfingers, flat side down.
4. Combine the cold, strong coffee (use 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder to 1/3 cup of cold water) and the liquor in a cup.
5. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush half of the coffee/liquor mixture over the ladyfingers. Cover with half of the mascarpone mixture.
6. Sprinkle liberally with powdered cocoa. Add another layer of ladyfingers, and repeat as above. Sprinkle top liberally with the cocoa.
7. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 24 hours. This is important, as it blends the flavors and the ladyfingers soak up the liquid. A perfect tiramisu should slice easily, but can be a little soft and perhaps even a little runny when served, rather than holding its shape perfectly.
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