I know. You’re probably reading the title and thinking, “What the?”
But hear me out.
I’ve never made tiramisu before, and I’ve only tried it maybe three times in my life. But those three times have been some of the best. I love desserts with a coffee flavor, but what really got me was that creamy, rich mascarpone filling.
In Milwaukee, we’re lucky enough to have an authentic Italian grocery store called Glorioso’s, where you can not only buy the most decadent tiramisu you’ve ever had in your life, but find all the true ingredients to make it yourself at home.
So when my friend Sun (from Eat. Host. Run. Style.) hosted her annual clothing swap on Saturday, I thought this would make a delicious dessert for the girls.
For an authentic Italian tiramisu, I turned to Giada and used this recipe as a template. I made several changes, though, to accompany what I already had on hand, straying the most when it came to liquor. Giada recommended a dry Marsala wine. I looked around my kitchen and saw a bottle of Jim Beam. I thought, this is either going to be disguising or amazing. But how else do you learn about cooking unless you experiment?
I also substituted her chocolate chips and whipping cream for homemade chocolate fudge sauce (which I made this week for a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel DIY column).
The rest of the spread at the clothing swap.
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 cup whipping cream
2/3 cup sugar, divided
Chocolate Zabaglione, recipe follows
2 1/2 cups strong coffee, warmed
15 ladyfinger cookies (such as Borrelli)
Place the mascarpone cheese in a large bowl and bring to room temperature; set aside. With an electric mixer, beat the cream and 1/3 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.
Whisk the warmed coffee and the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar in another medium bowl until blended. Line a 9 by 5-inch metal loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing the plastic to extend over the sides. Working with 1 cookie at a time, dip 5 cookies into the coffee, 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 5 of the cookies in the coffee and layering the cookies and remaining mascarpone mixture 2 more times (you’ll have three layers of cookies and 3 layers of mascarpone total). Press lightly to compact slightly. Cover the tiramisu with plastic and refrigerate overnight (or at least 6 hours).
Unwrap the plastic from atop the tiramisu. Invert the tiramisu onto a platter. Remove the plastic. When serving, feel free to garnish with cocoa powder.
1/3 cup prepared hot fudge topping (homemade or store-bought)
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup whiskey
Add hot fudge sauce to a heavy small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until warm. Set aside.
Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, whisky 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.
Don’t kid yourself. This is a very adult tiramisu – and not for the kiddos. Those who love whiskey will love this recipe because the flavor really comes through. But you can also substitute Guinness or Kaluha if you don’t like whiskey.