Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Annie's Tiramisu

Tiramisu is simply the perfect combination of light cheese, cocoa powder and coffee, I can't really describe it explicitly enough. It's just heavenly Italian dessert!

This is the marking of the 100th post in my blog. So, I wanted to share something significant. There’s a tale behind on why I learn making Tiramisu and why I put in so much effort to perfect my Tiramisu recipe. Of course I know, there's no shortage of Tiramisu recipe out there. But at least, my version of Tiramisu makes my husband asking for more!



Once upon a time (that’s somewhere 3 years odd ago), me and my music friends had a BBQ gathering at YuTong’s apartment for post Youth Ignite Concert celebration. It was a successful concert, and since we put in so much effort to make the concert happen, we shall give ourselves a treat! YuTong handed a box of Tiramisu to Max, and when Max tasted the 1st scoop of Tiramisu, he said to me “Wah! Darling, if you can make this, I will marry you!”
And so, I asked YuTong for the recipe, and take up the task to learn making Tiramisu for Max. Without anyone guiding me, for the first attempt, it was quite disastrous! So, for the second attempt, I’m smarter. I asked YuTong where went wrong, and I watched YouTube for a few Tiramisu tutorial to do comparison. Read lots of Tiramisu recipe too! Along the way, for the past 3 years, on and off, all I did is to try various Tiramisu recipe, twist and turn them, so as to perfect the texture and the taste. My reference includes YuTong’s Tiramisu recipe, a few random recipes from the internet, and also Nigella Lawson’s Tiramisu recipe from Nigella’s Christmas book.
After 3 years of trials, feeding numerous of guests. Asking friends who has the pickiest tongue for feedback and even mass produced 100 mini box of Tiramisu for the Soka Youth Musical show cast 2 years ago as an encouragement for their great effort and performance. Now I could humbly conclude that my Tiramisu recipe really makes me proud! Max is the witness on how hard I work just to perfect it :D
Well, I wouldn’t wanna say that my Tiramisu is the best in town. But at least, to me, so far, this is the best. Many friends asked me for the recipe actually. I refrain from posting my Tiramisu recipe on my blog at earlier stage is because I had been trying out different type of sponge fingers, whipping cream, so as to allow readers to have alternative source or something. I wanted to give myself and others some options.
But hell, NO! I’m so wrong. The last two attempt, I used different brand sponge finger (price is slightly cheaper), used cheaper whipping cream. And I brought the Tiramisu to the bloggers gathering at Edith’s house. When I eat it, my heart sank like a TITANIC! Hell yea! Lesson learnt! Never anyhow change the brand of the sponge finger. Always believe in the quality food comes with a higher price tag. I know you could simply bake nice sponge fingers at home. But since shop-bought ones could serve me well, I really don't mind. I won't wanna go thru the hassle of making it (at least for now).


My recipe could make TWO 6 inch round cake. If you are making only one cake, half the recipe. 

Ingredients :
  • 8 tsp Instant coffee powder (I used Moccona Continental Gold)
  • 8 tsp caster sugar, or fine sugar if you want.
  • 10 tbsp Kahlua (Coffee Liqueur)
  • 1 tub Mascarpone Cheese (500g)
  • 200ml Chilled Whipping Cream (always kept in the fridge)
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 large pack of Cantreau brand Savoiardi (Ladyfingers / Sponge Fingers)
  • Cocoa Powder (To sieve on top before serving)
  • Ribbons for finishing (Optional)

Method :
1.   Mix 8 tsp instant coffee powder and 8 tsp caster sugar in a bowl. Add 8 tbsp Kahlua into the coffee mixture. Stir until coffee and sugar completely melted. It takes a little bit of patience here. If you are using castor sugar, it will be easier. Fine sugar takes longer time to melt tho.
2.   Pour coffee mixture into a dish. Dish length must be longer than the Sponge finger.
3.   Whisk cold whipping cream till stiff. Once done, put the cream back to the fridge.
4.   Separate egg whites and egg yolks. Beat egg yolk till pale color.
5.   In another clean and dry mixing bowl, beat the egg whites till stiff peak.
6.   Add mascarpone into a mixing bowl, add egg yolk and mix well.
7.   Add in whipping cream, egg whites and kahlua into the mascarpone mixture. Mix until everything incorporated. Put the whole bowl of mixture back to the fridge for later use.
8.    Prepare a loose base cake tin, line the side with baking paper. No need to line the base. If you have mousse cake ring, use it. It will be easier. If you don’t wanna make it into a cake-like form, just use oblong dish or a square Tupperware. I always did that when I feel lazy.


Assembling 


1st Layer – Dip sponge fingers (Sugary side) into the coffee mixture. Do not wet the sponge finger too much. Just dip in, count 1, 2, 3. And you will have to take the sponge finger away.  
Cut the sponge fingers to fit onto the cake tin (if required). Put dipped sponge fingers into the cake tin, sugary side up.

2nd Layer - Spread half of the creamy mixture on top of the sponge fingers. Sift some cocoa powder on top.

3rd Layer – Repeat step 1. Dip sponge fingers into the coffee mixture (NON-Sugary Side this time). Put another layer of sponge fingers on top of the cream.

4th Layer - Cover with another layer of creamy mixture on top.
Use cling wrap to cover the cake tin. Keep tiramisu into the fridge for at least 8 hours. But I highly encourage you to keep it overnight for better result. 1 day is the best!


Finishing
  1. Remove tiramisu from cake tin. Remove baking paper at the side.
  2. Use a sharp and thin knife to run around the base of the cake. And then, carefully transfer the cake to a plate or a serving dish.  If you are using mousse cake ring to do this cake, you will be easier. So, the choice is your’s.
  3. Sift cocoa powder on top. Wipe away the cocoa powder at the side to give it a clean finishing.
  4. Cut sponge fingers into half, and place it at the side of the cake.
  5. Tie ribbon around, wipe the side of the plate one more time to give it a clean finishing, and the cake is ready to serve.
Tips :
1.     You can get all the ingredients from Cold Storage.
2.     For goodness sake, please DO NOT use 3 in 1 instant coffee powder. You will end up claim that my recipe no good. Trust me.
3.     For the eggs, try to use fresh eggs. The egg that you bought on the same day. If you are worried, use pasteurized eggs.
4.     For the whipping cream, always keep them in the fridge till the time when you want to whip them, then you take it out. If your whipping cream is not cold enough, you won’t be able to whip em’ up. So, keep the whipping cream chilled is VERY important.
5.    For sponge fingers, I realized that different brand of sponge fingers gives different texture and taste. This particular brand is my all-time favorite, and I don’t think I will wanna change it.
6.    Buy Kahlua from airport if somebody happened to travel. It cost about S$27 per bottle only. Buying outside (Cold Storage & etc hard liquer shop) could easily cost you S$55 or more.
7.    Do add more Kahlua into the coffee mixture if you find that the liquid is not enough for you to wet all the sponge fingers.
8.    The purpose of lining baking paper at the side of the cake tin is to ease the pain of removing the cake. If you don’t want to line baking paper at the side, it’s still fine. You might end up need to use blow torch to burn the side of the cake tin before removing it. But trust me, most of the people don’t have blow torch at home. They usually use hot towels. So, please line baking paper. 
9.    I don’t know how tall your cake would turn out to be. But if you are making 6 inch cake (this recipe can make TWO 6 inch cake), cut sponge finger into half, the height of the sponge fingers would be just nice. So, if you want, measure the height of your cake before you cut the sponge fingers. I used 11 pcs of sponge finger for my 6 inch cake, cut into half, I get 22 pcs to stick at the side of the cake.
10. If you are taking too long to do the cake finishing part, once it’s done, chill the cake again and let the shape set better before you serve.


Step 1 -  Mix 8 tsp instant coffee powder and 8 tsp caster sugar in a bowl. Add 8 tbsp Kahlua into the coffee mixture. Stir until coffee and sugar completely melted.



Step 3 and 5  - Whisk cold whipping cream till stiff and beat the egg whites till stiff peak.


Step 4 and 6 - Beat egg yolk till pale color and add into mascarpone. Mix well.


Step 7 - Add in whipping cream, egg whites and kahlua into the mascarpone mixture. Mix until everything incorporated. Put the whole bowl of mixture back to the fridge for later assembly use.


So now, this is the assembly part

1st Layer – Dip sponge fingers (Sugary side) into the coffee mixture. Do not wet the sponge finger too much. Just dip in, count 1, 2, 3. And you will have to take the sponge finger away. 

Cut the sponge fingers to fit onto the cake tin (if required). Put dipped sponge fingers into the cake tin, sugary side up.


2nd Layer - Spread half of the creamy mixture on top of the sponge fingers. Sift some cocoa powder on it. However, sifting cocoa powder is optional.


3rd Layer – Repeat step 1. Dip sponge fingers into the coffee mixture (NON-Sugary Side this time). Put another layer of sponge fingers on top of the cream.


4th Layer - Cover with another layer of creamy mixture on top. Use cling wrap to cover the cake tin. Keep tiramisu into the fridge for at least 8 hours. But I highly encourage you to keep it overnight for better result. 1 day is the best!



And here's the finished product!!! Simply love it! Did you notice that I have uneven spreading curves on the surface? I did it intentionally. It's home-made cake! The messier it is, the more welcoming it will be. Agree with me?



Pardon me for the messy slice. It's really a rush when I slice this cake because everybody is watching me when I slice em'. It might not look appealing to you. But I could assure you that this slice of cake taste heavenly!



The moisture level of the Tiramisu can be very crucial. Too dry, the sponge fingers will not gives you good texture. Too wet, you will end up eating drenched sponge fingers, and the layer of mascarpone cheese won't stand tall and proud.
 


Max ever told me that his favorite Tiramisu is the one selling at La Foketta. That tiny piece of dessert that probably sized 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch could easily cost him S$10.00. But after I learnt making Tiramisu at home, he never visit this restaurant anymore.
Although it sounds really nonsense, but hey! this is the cake that makes my husband marry me! Hahahaha...
I hope you like this recipe of love :D

  

Try to make full recipe of you could afford to do so. Make one, eat it fresh. Keep the other one, nicely wrapped, keep it in air-tight container and throw it into your freezer. It can keep upto a month. When you are ready to eat it, transfer the frozen cake to the chiller and let it thaw overnight. Sift cocoa powder before serving. It will still taste equally good.
This is another great idea for you to make ahead for your Christmas party :)

Do to show me your end product if you happened to follow this recipe ok? Email to me at mwmannie@yahoo.com :D

23 comments:

  1. Annie! Your Tiramisu looks wonderful, aiyo I want to have some lor!!! Oh yah, can freeze kah? I did not know that. In that case should make full recipe and keep one in the freezer for "emergency" hee..hee...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Phong Hong, yep! it can be freeze ahead. This is advised by Nigella Lawson's cookbook. I tried before. It works! Freezing for later use is totally not a problem! :D

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  2. hi Annie, your tiramisu looks heavenly
    i plan to make one for Xmas, i guess i'll give your recipe a try!
    thks for sharing, especia;;y the step by step pics :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alice, I'm glad that you like it. Do try it and let me know the result ok? :D

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  3. Yum! I love this dessert and would like to try your recipe sometime! This looks delicious :) Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Annie,
    Thank you for sharing your recipe so unreservely! The one I tried at Edith's house was really nice. It was a pity that we were all so full, and I can only take a bite. I like tiramisu and I've only made it once. I was scared of failure, just like you. But since you have already tried it so many times, and shared your best recipe, this got to be the one I'm going to try! Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! I'm so looking forward to see your result :D

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  5. Hi Annie, your tiramisu looks really tempting and sure taste heavenly to die for kind. I'm also a tiramisu lover, can even take this for breakfast. :)

    I'm following you. Have a nice week ahead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amelia, this is indeed to die for. Do it! Hahaha :D

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  6. Oo...I am about to make this during the festive season. Keeping fingers crossed that it will turn out good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Yee Ling, be confident! It will turned out well. Good luck! :)

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  7. Is it ok to make a cup of coffee to dip the fingers instead of adding kahlua?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mindy, well, i wouldn't say it is not ok. But it is about the overall taste that you wanna achieve. Kahlua is the "soul" of the tiramisu cake. If you ask me, I would highly not advisable for you to omit Kahlua. If you dont have Kahlua, you could use Tia Maria too. GOod luck :)

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  8. How do you extract the tiramisu from the cake tin? =D

    ReplyDelete
  9. Guess how did I find your blog without asking you for it's URL?

    Hahhaa, I Google it. By search 'annielicious'! You are the top search result. I'm so proud of you! Wish you all the success!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Annie,how long did you whip your whipping cream?I always have the tendency to over whip and the whipping cream will separate into butter and fats,help!!! Cassandra:(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cassandra, you have to make sure your cream is cold. Beat the cream, and as the cream thickens, turn the speed up. As it gets foamier, start checking for a soft peak, which is what you want. The peak should bend over at the top when you remove the whisk. As it gets close, slow down, because if it goes too far, it will lose volume, then clump and separate (essentially become butter). And take note... Ultra-pasteurized cream is harder to whip, and the texture isn't the same, but it can be done. It helps if you use a metal bowl and the equipment is cold. Put the beaters and bowl in the freezer for a few minutes before using would helps :)

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  11. Okay,i'll try again!:)thankyou for the tip Annie!:)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you for this recipe. Have tried it twice and it all turn out pretty well (had to managed the soft peaks, stiff peaks by eyes as I don't know how long/hard to whip).

    Only concern was that the eggs are not cooked but since no one is complaining about food poisoning, I guess it's fine. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jacklyn, We have to keep tiramisu into the fridge for at least 8 hours. The reason is to allow the cake to set. The existence of alcohol in the recipe is to "cook" (or whatever you call it) the eggs during the 8 hours. I'm not a food chemist, but when fellow world chefs are also making their traditional tiramisu using raw eggs, and why this cake consist alcohol, there must be a reason behind the theory of such combination :)

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  13. thank you for your recipe. i use baileys instead of kahlua .. it tastes good too

    one problem though ... i always get a grainy texture everytime i incorporate the egg whites into the mascaporne mixture. i dont understand why !! please help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cannot be. Egg whites is the final mixing. It shouldn't have problem. Maybe you should try to beat more to make it more incorporated :)

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  14. Hi Annie, Just came across your blog and it is good to know another soka member! :) Wow!

    ReplyDelete

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