- Sponge cake / sponge finger biscuits
- Marscapone cheese
- Coffee (instant coffee or espresso, whatever you have on hand)
- Cocoa powder
- Marsala or sherry (personally I think this is a nice to have rather than an essential, but I'm sure there are people there who know better that would probably correct me)
Some extras that I tend to throw in as well if they are conveniently in the kitchen already: crushed nuts, and a bit of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to add to the marscapone. Note that these are optional extras (even more optional than the marsala) and don't tend to affect the "tiramisu-iness" of your final product too much.
Today was tiramisu day, since I had leftover sponge cake from yesterday when I made lamingtons. Stupidly, I didn't take any photos (and almost cried when everyone had left and I was planning my Oz day blog post, only to find I had no photos). I was so busy making food and eating that for some completely odd reason photos didn't even occur to me! Talk about being sidetracked. On the upside, it did mean that the food was wonderful since I got so distracted...
Mr T wasn't feeling the love for whipped cream and strawberries on his leftover sponge cake today, and so was kind enough to go and source some marscapone for me. As implied by the title of this post, tiramisu can be made in many many different ways and this is just what I did:
One way of tiramisu
1. Slice the sponge cake into two. Note: it would probably have been better to slide into 3 layers but since the cake was a little too soft light in this case I decided to avoid a crumby mess on my bench.
2. Instant coffee. Add a couple of splashes of hot water from the kettle to a couple of teaspoons of instant coffee. Nestle 43, Carte Noire, again whatever you want.
3. Dip the sponge cake into the coffee. I wouldn't recommend soaking - you could also brush the coffee on or use a spray bottle if you have the energy - or you can dip the pieces of cake (or sponge finger biscuits if you are using these) straight in the coffee for a second and that would work just fine too.
4. Marscapone mixture. I used equal parts marscapone (about half a small tub) and icing sugar and added in a tiny bit of vanilla. The marscapone was quite hard so I thinned it down with a little milk and a instant coffee mix. Basically this is just a taste test and you can be the judge of how sweet you want it. Texture wise I like mine a bit mousse-like since its easier to spread.
5. Assemble. Cake (coffee side up), marscapone, dusting of cocoa powder, and repeat! Voila!
Other things you could do...
I've listed a few different things you could do with tiramisu; and I'm sure you'll see from this why I prefer an easy no-fuss way. After all, as long as its tasty and I don't brand it as authentic Italian tiramisu its ok right? (by the way, am I the only one who used to think that tiramisu was a Japanese word and therefore dessert?)
- Sponge finger biscuits could be used instead of the sponge cake. This would be my normal option but I had leftover sponge cake in this case.
- Marscapone mix ingredients. Recipes sometimes call for whipped egg whites to be folded into the marscapone, presumably to lighten it. Other recipesI have read call for whipped cream instead of egg whites.
- Tiramisini (individually portioned), like Nigella Lawson's recipe. Great for parties or any occasion which calls for individual servings. I did this for a birthday at work once, and it was wonderfully mess-free. The lightness of each portion meant it wasn't too heavy for each person to eat a whole thing (I did the whipped cream trick to lighten the marscapone).
- Tiramisu ice cream cake, Bill Granger has a great one. This is my all time favourite - it has ice cream instead of marscapone! And chocolate shavings instead of cocoa powder on top. An ice cream monster like me will surely choose ice cream over cheese every time...
- Tiramisu cupcakes, Hummingbird has a recipe which involves scooping out the middle of the cupcake and filling it, then reassemble and frost (way too much work for my liking, I'd rather the tiramisini option).
Till next time, happy eating