When an Italian from Cordignano gives your her recipe for authentic tiramisu, why bother using any other tiramisu recipe?
Chiara is my dear Italian friend, and even though I miss her to bits ever since she and her husband moved to the U.K. last year, she’s given Mr. Smith and I the perfect excuse to travel to England this fall. And as if a European vacay wasn’t awesome enough, my foodie pal was gracious enough to let me share her tiramisu recipe with you!
Is it just me or are lady fingers overrated? Until recently, you couldn’t even find them in our grocery stores. So Chiara decided to get creative by using these Mexican biscuits. Which would you rather have in your dessert: a cookie…or a finger? 😉
Cook’s Note: If Maria’s Cookies are not available in your area, you can also use Rich Tea biscuits or Girl Scout’s Shortbread.
Mascarpone is a soft, smooth cheese that is a lot like cream cheese but not as heavy or sticky. So please don’t substitute cream cheese for mascarpone. (I use the Bel Gioioso since it’s the only brand our stores carry.) With that said, allow me be a complete hypocrite:
I decided to mix things up a little with this batch of tiramisu. Another foodie friend of mine who happens to own a goat farm and makes her own cheese recently gifted me with this pure and perfect jar of marscarpone-like goat cheese. The results were delicious! (Though I could have easily eaten just the cheese by itself!)
Separate 4 large eggs. Place the yolks in a large bowl, and whisk with 8 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract or Kahlua until pale yellow. Set aside.
Place egg whites and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl, and beat on high speed until very stiff peaks form.
Fold 16 ounces of softened mascarpone cheese into the egg yolk mix until well incorporated. Next, fold in the egg whites until just incorporated. Do not overmix!
Brew 1 cup of very strong coffee or espresso, pour into a dish and allow to cool slightly. Quickly dip a cookie into the coffee. If using shortbread, keep cookie submersed for 3-5 seconds.
Place cookie in the bottom of an 8-ounce ramekin.
COOK’S NOTE: If you like more cookie in your tiramisu, break another cookie in half, dip the halves in coffee and use them to fill any gaps.
Gently spread 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture over the cookie.
Top the cheese with a generous sprinkle of cocoa powder. Repeat two more times to make three layers total. Cover ramekin tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
Ya know? I never understood the hype around tiramisu…until I met Chiara’s tiramisu.
Light as air, not too sweet and tender cookie in each bite.
Sometimes it’s best to leave things to the experts. 🙂
Have a happy dessert!
- 1 cup strong coffee or espresso
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 8 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
- 16 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
- Pinch of salt
- 2 large packages of Maria’s cookies
- Cocoa powder
- 8 1-cup ramekins
- Brew coffee and allow to cool. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
- Place yolks, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until pale yellow.
- Fold in mascarpone until smooth and set aside.
- Place the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl and beat to stiff peaks. Fold whites into the mascarpone mixture until just combined.
- Dip a cookie into the coffee and place it at the bottom of a ramekin. If desired, break another cookie in half, dip pieces in coffee and use them to fill in any gaps around the first cookie.
- Lightly spread 2 tablespoons of the mascarpone mixture over the cookies and top with a generous sprinkle of cocoa powder.
- Build two more layers just like the first, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.