Life's been crazy busy over the last couple of weeks and I haven't taken a food photograph in a while. I haven't even recharged my camera battery which died on me 2 weeks back, to be precise, right after I took pics of the Tiramisu. I had my two BB team mates over 2 weeks back to sort out our goody bags etc etc for the event and I made an Italian spread. I usually make Tiramisu in a baking dish, but this time decided to do individual portions. I think its more convenient, both to serve and to eat, when its just 3 or 4 that you need to make.
I have been making Tiramisu for a really really long time, and I think its one of the most easiest dessert recipes ever..that is, if you can get ready made sponge fingers (Savoiardi) and mascarpone cheese easily. I would never attempt it in India where I know I will have to make them both from scratch. Its possible, and there are loads of bloggers who have done the same. Just google it and you will not be disappointed. I had tried a recipe with eggs before and as good as it is, I somehow prefer the one without eggs, since you know the eggs are not cooked and such. I recently attended a bloggers day where we had to make the "authentic" tiramisu and boy we sweated it out whipping egg whites using a whisk. So that recipe used both egg yolk and egg white, and the outcome was really good, with absolutely no taste of the eggs obvious, and it was as creamy and silky as you'd imagine it to be. I shall try that out another time.
I also decided it was the best way to make use of the Kopi coffee samples that were sent to me, which I must say are simply amazing. The husband and I are hard core coffee drinkers and I for one need a really really good cuppa first thing in the morning. Kopi is an exclusive monthly subscription coffee club wherein each month the experts hand pick the finest single-origin coffee, freshly roast it and sends it over for you to enjoy. You can choose from different types of subscriptions and since the coffee is ground just 14 days before delivery, you can be sure of how fresh it would be. I was sent two different roasts to try. The Kenya Micro-lot Gatomboya AB with festive notes of marzipan, caramel, nutmeg and redcurrant is the kind of the coffee you'd like to wake up to on a Christmas morning. But my favourite however was the Java Jampit Estate Arabica which had very faint chocolate flavours, perfect for those after dinner coffee sessions. I decided to use the Arabica in my Tiramisu and it was a winner. The fact that the coffee packs can be sealed well even after they are opened, impressed me, and each time I opened the pack a strong whiff of the freshly powdered coffee used to hit me. Now that's what a good wake up call should be like :)
Coming back to the recipe...it is so easy to put together and the best part, you can make it a day or two ahead and keep it covered in the refrigerator. Serve it cold or leave it out on the kitchen counter for about 15 minutes, so its not tooo cold for your liking.
Recipe adapted from here (makes 6 individual portions)
Sponge fingers- around 12 to 15
Cocoa powder- to dust
Mascarpone cheese- 220 gms
Vanilla extract- 1 1/2 tsp
Powdered sugar- 3 to 4 tbsp (as sweet as you prefer)
Double cream- 1 cup
Strong coffee/ espresso powder- 1 tbsp (I used the Java Jampit Estate Arabica coffee)
Boiling water 1/2 cup
Kahlua coffee liqueur- 1 tbsp (optional)
Sugar- 1/2 tbsp
Once cool, add the coffee liqueur (if using), stir well and keep aside till ready to use.
In a free standing mixer, using the paddle attachment beat the mascarpone cheese with the sugar and vanilla extract till just smooth. Don't over do it.
Change the attachment to a whisk and add in the double cream.
Whisk well till soft, peaks are formed. Don't over do it, or the cream will split and then you are doomed. (has happened tonnes of times)
To assemble, have the individual glasses/ ramekins ready.
Break each sponge finger into two and dip them in the coffee mix. they should not be completely soaked, but still slightly crispy on the inside.
Line them (rather squish them) into the base of the glass. If you need smaller pieces, just break them off from the remaining fingers and use as required. Make sure the entire base of the glass is covered.
Add a generous dollop of the filling and even it out as much as possible and dust some cocoa powder on top.
Layer again with the sponge fingers dipped in coffee and continue till your glass is full. The top most layer should be the cream.
Dust with some cocoa powder and keep in the refrigerator, covered with cling film, for at least 5 to 6 hours for the flavours to catch on.
Notes: Use a thin sponge base instead of the sponge finger biscuits
While making the filling, if you don't have a stand mixer, then first mix the mascarpone with the other ingredients using a spatula, then in another bowl whisk the double cream till soft peaks form and then fold it into the mascarpone mix using a spatula.
Use the same measurements for a single dish of Tiramisu that would serve 6.
With thanks to Kopi Coffee for the review samples
With thanks to Kopi Coffee for the review samples