Here is a dessert that not only is absolutely delicious, can be made in advance and requires no cooking!
Tiramisu (from Italian, meaning “pick me up”, “cheer me up”,”wake me up” or “lift me up”) is a popular coffee-flavored Italian dessert. It is made of lady’s fingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa. The recipe has been adapted into many varieties of cakes and other desserts. Its origins are often disputed among Italian regions such as Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piedmont, and others. Most accounts of the origin of tiramisu date its invention to the 1960s in the region of Veneto, Italy, at the restaurant “Le Beccherie” in Treviso, Italy, so as you can see it is a very modern dessert. It is now one of the most popular desserts on restaurant menus around the world.
It is so easy to make at home that you might never want to order it again, just whip up a batch.
It is best to use eggs at room temperature, for this and most baking recipes actually, take them out of the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to use them. You only need yolks for this recipe so keep the whites to make meringues. I use French boudoir biscuits but any kind of ladyfinger or Italian savoiardi will do. You will need to break them to fit into the ramekins, do not worry about how they look or if you have several small pieces, it will all be covered by the mascarpone cream at the end of the day anyhow. The traditional recipe, which is the one I have given below, uses a good dark rum but I decided to try something different and used Amarula, a South African liqueur, instead for fun. Any of the following can be substituted: dark rum, Madeira, port, brandy, Malibu, or Irish cream and especially coffee-flavored liqueurs such as Tia Maria and Kahlúa. The Amarula was in my opinion, delicious. To shave chocolate you can use a vegetable peeler on a bar of chocolate or cut with a sharp knife.
3 egg yolks at room temperature
30 g / 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
3/4 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee, cooled
About 15 boudoir biscuits
225 g / 8 oz mascarpone cheese
Dark chocolate, shaved or grated for garnish
Whisk the egg yolks and the sugar in the bowl of a mixer with a whisk attachment until light yellow and very thick and creamy – about 5 minutes on high speed
Lower speed to medium and add 1/2 the rum, the mascarpone and 1/4 cup of coffee
Whisk till smooth
Pour the remaining coffee and the remaining rum into a shallow bowl
Dip each boudoir biscuit into the coffee and place them into the base of your 4 ramekins
Pour half the mascarpone mixture on top
Dip more boudoir biscuits and place them in a second layer in each dish
Pour the rest of the mascarpone cream over the top
Smooth the top and cover with plastic wrap
Place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 12 hours
Before serving, sprinkle with the shaved chocolate