Swooning over a sumptuously spirited gourmet Italian TiraMiSù.
Fluffy, creamy and possessing a lighter velvety texture than most versions. The spirited use of Tia Maria and Grand Marnier are only a part of this dessert's fabulous outcome. Here's my simple method of assembling this delight. ' La Dolce Vita ' from my heart to your tummy.
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. >(American / Metric measures)<
. 2 cups (500ml) espresso coffee
. 6 tbsp. (90ml) both liquors together: Grand Marnier and Tia Maria * (separated)
. 4 xLarge eggs (separated)
. pinch of salt
. 4 tbsp. (60ml) granulated sugar (separated)
. 1 small tub (8.8oz / 250g) Mascarpone cream cheese
. 1 big pkg. of Italian cookies: Savoiardi (48 cookies)
. 1/2 cup (85gr) slivered almonds (slightly toasted)
. Although, usually a higher sided platter is used...this time I wanted to create something a little more elaborate for a special occasion. I used a rectangular 8 x 11inch (20x 28cm) presentation platter with slightly raised sides.
. About 1 hour ahead of time...take out the mascarpone cheese and eggs out of the cold. Set aside.
. > COFFEE mix: brew the espresso coffee ahead of time in order to give it a chance to properly cool off. >NOTE: I use a 10 cup Espresso pot to make this quantity of coffee. Pour coffee into a shallow dish measuring at least the length of your cookie. Set aside. Note: when coffee has cooled...add the first half of the liquor quantity to the coffee.
. > MERINGUE mix: In a medium bowl...beat the egg whites and pinch of salt until you get slightly soft peaks. Continue beating while adding half the quantity of sugar until stiff peaks have been realized. Set aside.
. > CREAM mix ('Zabaglione' cream): In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and remaining sugar. Beat them together right away until a thick creamy pale consistency is achieved. Add the mascarpone and continue to beat the mix until smooth. Add the remaining quantity of liquor. Now, with a spatula...gently fold the Meringue into the ' zabaglione ' mix. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes. Meanwhile get the chocolate shaved or grated and set aside.
. > ASSEMBLY: Prepare the platter of your choice and figure out the layout as well as pre-distributing the first layer of cookies to facilitate the initial part of the assembly. You'll probably need to break some in half in order to fit the complete surface. This will avoid any surprises while in the midst of having soaked cookies on hand. >>Important note: For this particular presentation platter...the first two layers held a total of 15 savoiardi cookies per level. The third level only held 8 cookies placed side by side in the center. The remaining 10 cookies were split for the decoration around the perimeter. >NOTE: It is best and more efficient to work as quickly as you can. To wet the cookies into the coffee mix...hold one cookie in each hand...as you DIP...TIP...TWIRL...and LEAK each cookie simultaneously in order to avoid over soaking them. Immediately transfer them onto the platter as you place them side by side in a single layer within your pre-designed layout.
. LAYERING: > FIRST layer: With the aid of a ladle and spatula...spread a 1/3 of the cream mix over the first layer of cookies. Scatter, the first 1/4 of the chocolate shaving throughout the surface. >Note: the cream may seem liquidy...please don't be concerned. Once the Tiramisu sets in the fridge...all the ingredients will set together into a unified delicious mass. SECOND layer: repeat another layer of soaked cookies and spread another 1/3 of the cream mix completely over the second layer. Scatter, another 1/4 of the chocolate shaving throughout the surface. THIRD layer is slightly different. Use only 8 soaked cookies to be lined up side by side in the center throughout the longest length of the cake. Pour the remaining cream and generously scatter the rest of the chocolate shavings throughout the whole surface.
. > DECORATING: In the center on the longest direction and down the short edge...scatter the roasted almonds. Split the remaining 10 cookies in two. Place the cut side downwards around the edge of the cake's two longest sides.
. > CHILLING the Tiramisu: Since this type of dessert truly benefits from being prepared a while before serving...it is highly suggested to place a few toothpicks and to cover it with plastic wrap. Chill it for a minimum of 4-6 hours. For every additional hour it gets to relax, set and amalgamate all the flavours...you will ultimately be rewarded with superior results. Its freshness can also be held refrigerated between 2-4 days before serving.
. Happy indulgence and flavourful wishes...FOODESSA.com