Friday, February 12, 2010

Surprise Homemade Tiramisu

A close friend of mine is having a birthday very soon, like this weekend. An intimate surprise dinner was planned. As with most of the inner group of gals, I offered to make her a surprise dish of her preference. It came out through the grapevine that tiramisu was it! After a bit of research (key ingredient), I decided I would opt for a more traditional version of tiramisu vs. a tiramisu cake. Especially since her love of the dessert started in Italy proper.

I adapted a recipe I discovered on All Recipes and ended up with this!


  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk 
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract  
  • 1 pound mascarpone cheese 
  • 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature 
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua 
  • 2 tablespoons Frangelico  
  • 2 (3 ounce or more) packages ladyfinger cookies (soft as you can find) 
  • unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting top


    1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Keep stirring! It will make the dessert more fluffy. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour.
    2. In a medium bowl, beat cream with the extracts until stiff peaks form. Whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth.
    3. In a small bowl, combine coffee and alcohols. One at a time, barely dunk one side of each ladyfingers in the coffee mixture. Then arrange them on the bottom of a 7x11 inch dish. Note, you can use a spring pan as well for a prettier presentation. Once an entire layer is spread out, drizzle the tops of the ladyfingers with the coffee mixture. A brush also works instead of the drizzle method.
    4. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. 
    5. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. Add berries, shaved chocolate, or other decorations to the top if you wish.
    6. Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours, until set. Two days provides even more time for the flavors to develop.

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