There are many, many recipes for Tiramisu…. I’ve probably tried dozens… and honestly… I never met a Tiramisu I didn’t like… albeit… I like some better than others. For me… the first Tiramisu is unmatched… and my recipe pales in comparison to my memory of it… but it comes close… I worked on this recipe for years… and when my son gave it a thumbs up… we stuck with the recipe. It is extremely easy.
In the early nineties Tiramisu was something fairly new to Americans… according to a number of sources the first mention of Tiramisu… various individuals are credited with its invention…. Is anywhere from 1969 to 1983. I remember a funny line from the movie Sleepless in Seattle… where Rob Reiner is giving Tom Hanks dating pointers while having a drink at a bar…. “Tiramisu… everybody wants it… but nobody knows what it is”…. how times have changed… now everybody has a version of a recipe for it…
My first experience eating it was at a small restaurant called Maria's, by the water in Rhode Island. My son and I took a long weekend to go to Mystic, Connecticut…. I couldn’t find a vacancy in Mystic… so after going through the AAA guide I found a place just over the border in Rhode Island… the picture showed an older motel… so I was leery but with nothing else available… I made the reservation.
The trip started out rough… lots of traffic because of construction… and it was raining. Now we’re pretty good vacationers.. if its raining we just don slickers and make the best of it…. so when we pulled in to the motel … it was already 7 at night and we were tired and hungry….
The motel seemed in the middle of nowhere.. so we asked for directions to Mystic to go to a restaurant…. The owner suggested their restaurant… but it was a few blocks away by the water… now I don’t usually go to motel restaurants… but we were tired and hungry… so I figured what the heck… since it was pouring… we drove those few blocks… when we saw the restaurant it was this small white building… almost like a large clam shack (it was dark…although in the daylight the place didn’t look much better…)… we almost didn’t go in… thinking …I’m way over dressed…. but we were hungry… so in we went…
The place was beautiful… a jewel in disguise... who would have guessed from the outside....we were almost under dressed…. It seems it was a local haunt for those who knew about it… the food was fabulous…. and when the waitress suggested the Tiramisu… we jumped at the chance to find out what it was…. their Tiramisu wasn’t like a cake… it was pudding like …. served in a drink glass…. and ohhhh was it good… I was hooked.
This can be made somewhat ahead…. a perfect Valentine’s Day romantic dessert… after all you don’t want to be slaving in the kitchen… you can make the mascarpone mixture and the whipped cream ahead… just store them in an airtight containers in the fridge… let the mascarpone mixture sit out a bit before you assemble the dessert so its soft. Save doing the soaking of the ladyfingers to just before you assemble the dessert… it’s quick.
I used a Margarita glass… which in my opinion works the best… a perfect size and holds the ladyfingers really well.
You can purchase ladyfingers in most supermarkets… I find it by the produce (usually by the berries) or by the deli (gourmet foods).
I used my favorite coffee liqueur …Tia Maria… Kahlua works well also.
I make this in three parts… the mascarpone mixture, the whipped cream and the ladyfingers with the expresso/liqueur.
Split the ladyfingers in half… I used 5 per serving.
This makes 4 servings. (keep leftovers of whipped cream and mascarpone mixture in the fridge for a second night of dessert bliss).
All you need:
For the Mascarpone Mixture:
½ (8 oz.) container of mascarpone cheese
1 cup of heavy cream
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
For the Whipped Cream Topping:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Ladyfingers:
½ cup hot water
1 tablespoon instant espresso granules
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur (Tia Maria or Kahlua)
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa (sifted)
All you need to do:
To Prepare the Mascarpone Mixture:
In a large mixing bowl combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar and cocoa. Beat at high speed until soft peaks form.
Remove the whipped mixture to another bowl.
Combine the powdered sugar and mascarpone cheese and beat at high speed until well-blended.
Mix in the whipped mixture until well blended. Set aside.
To Prepare the Whipped Cream Topping:
Combine the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat at high speed until soft peaks form. Set aside.
To Prepare the Ladyfingers:
Line Margarita glasses or other similar glasses with ladyfingers (split apart).
Using a glass measuring cup… heat the water in the microwave until hot.
Add the instant espresso granules, sugar and liqueur to the water and stir.
Using a small gravy ladle, ladle the espresso mixture over the ladyfingers…. Just until they are wet… they will soak in a lot of fluid. Set aside.
To Assemble the Dessert:
Dollop a generous amount of the mascarpone mixture on top of the prepared ladyfingers.
Dollop a generous amount of the whipped cream topping on the mascarpone mixture.
Using a small strainer…. Place a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa in it and gently shake over the dessert to add a fine sprinkling of unsweetened cocoa powder on top.
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