Sometimes your best desserts are suggested to you by a friend, family, or loved one. Sean and I were tossing around ideas for what I should make for this week and he asked if I had ever made a tiramisu before. I hadn’t but immediately wanted to make it as cupcakes because that makes it easier to serve since we were also having people over for a bottle share that weekend. Sean said that I should just try to make them the traditional way and challenge myself. Who am I to shy away from a challenge? I committed the cardinal sin of the baking world and committed to making something I have never made before for a party that was mere hours away…and it was fantastic.
1 cup AP flour
5 large eggs plus two more large egg whites
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1. In a bowl with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the egg yolks with two tablespoons of the 3/4 cups of granulated sugar until the color lightens and becomes thick. Set aside.
2. You can either clean your stand mixer and use it to whip the egg whites or you can use an electric hand mixer with the whisk attachment. When whipping egg whites I find it’s better to use the hand mixer because you have more control and it whips them better, and the stand mixer always has this little pool of non-mixed whites at the bottom that drives me nuts. Anyhow, whip the whites with the remaining sugar together until they form stiff peaks.
3. Fold the yolks in with the whites until there’s no streaks. Sift in 1/3 of the flour and fold, continue until you have used all the flour. Be sure to fold and not over-mix the batter. The egg whites need to keep fluffy but it needs to be well incorporated.
4. Pipe the lady fingers onto parchment paper on cookie sheets. The length can vary, but I opted to make 4-6 inch long. 1 inch wide ladyfingers. That way I wasn’t fussing about with a ton of ladyfingers. Let them sit at room temp for 15 minutes and while they are doing that, you can turn on your oven to 350 degrees f.
5. Bake for about 8-12 minutes depending on how big you piped your ladyfingers. You want the bottom of the ladyfinger cookies to be browned and therefore they won’t stick to the parchment paper. Allow to cool on wire racks completely.
ladyfingers, if making from scratch use recipe above, if buying use two packages.
6 egg yolks
2/3 cups whole milk
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping (heavy) cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound (16 oz) mascarpone cheese
2 cups beer
cocoa powder for dusting
1. In a bowl, whisk yolks and sugar together until combined. Add yolk mixture and whole milk to a skillet and heat on medium, whisking constantly. Allow the mixture to come to a soft boil for a minute, then take off the heat and transfer to a small bowl to cool. Once cooled for 10-15 minutes, cover with plastic wrap tightly and place in the fridge to sit for an hour.
2. Once your yolk mix has sat for an hour in the fridge, mix in the marscapone cheese with a whisk until mixture is smooth. Set aside. Optional: you can reduce your beer with a 1/4 cup of granulated sugar to intensify the beer flavor…set aside so mixture is cool. Whip cream and vanilla with a hand electric mixer until stiff peaks but be careful not to over-whip otherwise it becomes butter. I was skeptical that it wasn’t sweet enough, so if you prefer you can add some granulated sugar at this point but it really depends on your tastes. Drizzle your ladyfingers with your beer (or reduced beer) so that every cookie gets a little of the liquid on it. If you feel like you want more, add more beer.
3. In a 11×17 pan, place your soaked ladyfingers to line the bottom of the pan. Try and make sure there are no large gaps. Using an off-set spatula, place 1/2 the marscapone yolk mixture and spread into an even layer. Then layer on a 1/2 of the whipped cream and spread evenly. Add the second layer of ladyfingers, then the marscapone, then the whipped cream. Sprinkle the whipped cream on top with some cocoa powder (using a sifter) and cover with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
Lasts: 2 days
Yield: 12-16 servings (depending on your size pieces)
This tiramisu was a huge hit. People could really taste the beer and when you use an amazing beer like Ballast Point’s Victory At Sea…well that just makes everything about your dessert better. I will definitely make this again!