Sunday, April 8, 2007


I tasted this dessert called tiramisu back in 2003, in Baltimore, prepared by a Johns Hopkins student. Since then I wanted to make this myself.. and yesterday, this dream came to fruition.... Though extremely delicious, but still the biggest problem with this dish is that it requires many uncommon ingredients, like mascarpone cheese and lady fingers etc., secondly it is expensive (and may cost the same as store bought one) and it takes long to prepare (if you follow all the instructions in the recipes!!).

It took me a while to collect all the ingredients, because I could not find everything in one place.. But nevertheless, after going through the whole process and reading at least 20-30 tiramisu recipes (out of hundreds), I realized that it is best to keep it simple and make it for a bunch of friends, because I am sure it usually turns out tasting good and secondly you don't feel bad spending all that money on these expensive ingredients...

Here is the recipe I used from the Food Network (with some modifications)

Chocolate Tiramisu

6 ounces container mascarpone cheese (I used 8 oz because that is the standard size)

2/3 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

Chocolate Zabaglione, recipe follows

2 1/2 cups espresso coffee, warmed (I used 1/2 cup and cold)

24 crisp ladyfinger cookies (recommended: Savoiardi) (I could not get crispy ones, so I decided to use the regular)

Unsweetened cocoa powder, for garnish (I did not use)

Dark chocolate shavings, for garnish (I did not use)


Place the mascarpone cheese in a large bowl and set aside. With an electric mixer (I don't have one, so I used a hand whisk), beat the cream and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Then fold in the chilled Chocolate Zabaglione. Cover and refrigerate (I did not refrigerate as I did not want to waste more time).


Whisk the warmed espresso and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in another medium bowl until blended. Line a 9 1/4 by 5 by 2 3/4-inch metal loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing the plastic to extend over the sides. Working with 1 cookie at a time, dip 8 cookies into the espresso, and arrange in a single layer side by side over the bottom of the prepared pan.

Spoon 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture over the cookies to cover. Repeat dipping 8 of the cookies in the espresso and layering the cookies and remaining mascarpone mixture 2 more times. Dip the remaining 8 cookies in the espresso and arrange side by side atop the tiramisu. Press lightly to compact slightly (the last layer will extend above the pan sides). Cover the tiramisu with plastic and refrigerate at least 6 hours.

Unwrap the plastic from atop the tiramisu. Invert the tiramisu onto a platter. Remove the plastic. Sift the cocoa over the tiramisu, and with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, make dark chocolate shavings and sprinkle over top.


(I ignored this part from ***. Instead, I lined a glass loaf pan (9.5" x 5 ") with 12 lady fingers and sprinked coffee and 2 caps of whiskey on top and spread half of the above cheese mixture and repeated the process once again).... Place the loaf pan in the fridge and chill at least 6 hours or overnight!!

Chocolate Zabaglione:

2 tablespoons whipping cream, or heavy cream

1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

4 large egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup dry Marsala (I did not have marsala, so I used 1/4th cup milk)

Pinch salt (I did not used salt)


Add cream and chocolate to a heavy small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the chocolate chips are melted and smooth. Set aside and keep warm.

Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, Marsala (milk), and salt in a large glass bowl until blended. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, but do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water. Whisk the egg mixture over the simmering water until it is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Using a large rubber spatula, fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate to chill completely (I did not chill and still it worked out well).

Few more lessons:

It is not necessary to use mascorpone cheese, instead you can use just cream cheese or a mixture of cream cheese and ricotta..

Secondly, most Tiramisu requires rum or Marsala... It is not necessary to have these alcohol as they do not do anything to the taste... So, instead you can use apple/grape juice.. I had whiskey, so I used it on top of the lady fingers rather than in the zaboglone..

Thirdly, I wasted a long time in finding the lady fingers.. Don't even try to make them (I don't think they are worth it, if you are short of time)!! If you want you can make a sponge cake instead and it can easily serve the same purpose!!

For a wealth of recipes and information on this dessert visit:

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