I will be honest, I am not a big tiramisu fan. It has just never given me that big punch I want from my desserts. My daughter has really become a fan of it lately though. Since I really enjoy making things I haven’t before, I decided to give it a go.
Does anyone else love Serious Eats and Kenji? I use serious eats all the time when I’m looking for a really good version of a certain dish, and it rarely disappoints. I decided to try their version of Tiramisu today.
I did make the homemade lady fingers for this, mostly because I love to bake. You can use store bought if you don’t want to make them. They were pretty quick to make, with the one bowl method. You do need an instant read thermometer (I know I’ve mentioned my beloved Thermapen before :)), a stand mixer or a hand mixer with whisk, and a piping bag with 1/2 inch round tip. The eggs and sugar are heated, and then whipped. Flour and cornstarch is folded in and then you pipe and bake them.
My favorite way to fill a piping bag so that it doesn’t become a huge mess is to fold up the tip and place it into a drinking glass and then open the bag up around the top of the glass like the pic below. Then fill it up and fold the sides up to close.
After you bake the fingers, you use the same process again to heat eggs and sugar to 160 degrees and then whip until soft peaks. At this point you whip a whole ton of mascarpone into the eggs to create a fluffy, custardy filling. Then dip the cookies into coffee/chocolate syrup combined in this recipe with creme de cacao and amaro liqueur. Layer them with the custard and cocoa powder and that’s it! This recipe was a little time consuming with the heating eggs and whipping twice, but it was fairly simple overall and didn’t take the long to finish.
I have to admit, this was pretty tasty. I might be a tiramisu convert after all.
For the lady fingers:
- 3 large eggs
- 4 3/4 oz sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 oz lemon zest
- 4 1/2 oz AP flour
- 1/2 oz cornstarch
- powdered sugar for dusting
For the coffee syrup:
- 3/4 oz dutch processed cocoa powder
- 5 oz espresso or strong brewed coffee
- 2 oz creme de cacoa
- 2 oz amaro
- 1/2 oz vanilla extract
For the filling:
- 5 large eggs
- 3 1/2 oz sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 24 oz mascarpone cheese
- extra cocoa powder for topping
To make the ladyfingers:
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350°F (177°C). Line two half sheet pans with parchment and fit a large piping bag with a 1/2-inch round tip. Roll bag open and stand upright in a tall drinking glass so it can be filled hands-free. Have ready a small, fine-mesh sieve of powdered sugar for dusting. Fill a 2- or 3-quart saucier with a few inches of water; bring to a boil, then lower heat and adjust to maintain a steady supply of steam.
- Combine eggs, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, using a flexible spatula to stir. Place over the steaming pot (if it touches the bottom, crumple a strip of foil into a ring to act as a booster seat) and cook, stirring and scraping constantly, until warmed to 160°F (70°C). This should not take significantly longer than 5 minutes; major delays simply indicate insufficient heat/lack of steam.
- Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until the eggs are foamy, more than quadrupled in size, and thick enough to briefly mound up like soft serve when dropped from the whisk, from 5 to 10 minutes depending on the horsepower of your mixer. This is a crucial stage; if the foam is unable to hold soft peaks, the lady fingers will spread flat in the oven.
- When eggs are foamy and thick enough to briefly hold their shape when dropped from the whisk, add lemon zest, if using, then sift the flour and cornstarch on top. Fold gently with a flexible spatula to combine in a thick batter. Transfer to prepared piping bag, twist to close, and pipe approximately thirty 3- by 1-inch fingers, leaving an inch between each one. When piping, hold the bag at a 45° angle and apply steady pressure as you pipe, then stop squeezing before you reach the end of each one, and lift the bag straight up to break the "tail" of batter.
- Generously dust one tray with powdered sugar, and bake until puffed and firm to the touch, about 12 minutes. Set aside, then dust and bake the second tray as before. Cool ladyfingers to room temperature directly on the sheet pan, then transfer to an airtight container as soon as possible. If allowed to sit out after they have cooled, they will begin softening in the air. Use immediately, or store up to 3 weeks at room temperature.
For the syrup:
- In a deep bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, hot espresso, crème de cacao, amaro, and vanilla extract until homogeneous. Set aside.
For the filling:
- Fill a 2- or 3-quart saucier with a few inches of water; bring to a boil, then lower heat and adjust to maintain a steady supply of steam. Combine eggs, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, using a flexible spatula to stir. Place over the steaming pot (if the bowl touches the bottom, crumple a strip of foil into a ring to act as a booster seat) and cook, stirring and scraping constantly, until warmed to 160°F (71°C), about 5 minutes. This should not take significantly longer; major delays simply indicate insufficient heat/lack of steam.
- Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until eggs are foamy, more than quadrupled in size, and thick enough to briefly mound up like soft-serve ice cream when dropped from the whisk, between 5 and 10 minutes depending on the horsepower of your mixer. Reduce speed to medium and begin adding mascarpone roughly 1/4 cup at a time; no need to wait between additions. Once mascarpone is incorporated, pause to scrape bowl with a flexible spatula, then resume whipping on medium-high until mixture is homogeneous and thick, about 5 to 10 seconds more. Don’t fret over small flecks of mascarpone, since they will smooth out on their own over time.
- Working with one at a time, dunk each ladyfinger in coffee syrup with a fork, giving it a second or two to absorb the liquid, then place in the bottom of a 7- by 11-inch baking dish. Top with about half the mascarpone filling, spread into an even layer, and dust lightly with cocoa powder. Repeat with remaining ladyfingers until syrup is gone, then top with remaining mascarpone filling and spread smooth.
- Lay a long piece of butcher's twine on top of the smooth filling, curling it into swoops and swirls to create whatever sort of design you like, and dust generously with additional cocoa powder. Starting from the end of your design (to prevent tangling), carefully peel up twine and discard. (This twine step is optional; if you want, you can simply dust the top with cocoa powder.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 1 hour. Serve with a large spoon or angled spatula. Tiramisu can be refrigerated for up to 10 days.
Check out more of my tasty dessert recipes here!