One of my favorite desserts is Tiramisu, partly because it is a combination of the holy-trinity of dessert – chocolate, espresso & cream – but also because their is so much variety in taste and preparation.
I love making Tiramisu but have never been comfortable with all the raw eggs – although it is rare for an egg to carry salmonella (According to a 2002 study by the US Dept. of Agriculture only 1 in every 30,000 eggs is contaminated with salmonella) there is still a chance and many people don’t want to risk it. FYI: The bacteria is not in the egg itself, it is on the shell. Also, you can pasteurize eggs at home (http://www.ehow.com/how_4679090_pasteurize-eggs-home.html).
Anyway, back to the recipe. This particular version came about on a rainy spring day at the end of April where out my window I could see fresh snow and blooming flowers. There was no sun in sight and Tiramisu was the only thing that could cheer me up. (I was also hosting a ladies night and hoped to share the Tiramisu with many… my only protection from eating the entire dessert myself!) With desserts like Tiramisu, you must have a plan.
The most challenging part of this dessert is having the two key ingredients on hand – Lady Finger Cookies and mascarpone cheese. Both of these items can be a little spendy at the upscale grocery stores so I try to stock up on them at Trader Joe’s when they carry them during the holidays. The nice thing is both items have quite a lengthy shelf/refrigerator life so the “holiday season” can be stretched a bit.
It only takes about 15 minutes to put together but you want to give it some chill time just so the flavors meld together. Of course, I managed to eat the two espresso-soaked cookies I had left slathered with the cream filling and dusted with cocoa powder right away and they tasted pretty good – no “melding” required.
So here it is, the gals gave me the thumbs up and my dear Italian friend gave it an A+. (And she is the kind of honest friend that really does tell the truth!)
- 2 8-ounce tubs mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup milk (cow or rice)
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons real vanilla
- 4 tablespoons instant coffee or espresso powder
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 packages Lady Finger cookies (about 30)
In a large mixing bowl, whip first 5 ingredients with a standing or hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. In a small bowl combine instant coffee with water. (Strongly brewed espresso can be substituted for the instant.) One at a time, dip half of the Lady Fingers into coffee and place in the bottom of a 3-3.5 quart casserole dish. Spread half of the whipped mixture on top of the Lady Fingers. Repeat with remaining Lady Fingers and whipped mixture. In a small bowl, mix cocoa powder with powdered sugar and sift over the top of the Tiramisu. Save some of the cocoa powder mixture to dust on the serving plates if desired. Chill until ready to serve.
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