Sunday, October 12, 2008

Making Tiramisu after 8 years

About 12 years ago, I worked as a server in an Italian restaurant called Spaggedies in Singapore. It was a vacation job between school breaks. The only Italian food I knew before that was Pizza Hut's pizza and pasta.
While working in Spaggedies, the store managers would always make us push their Tiramisu to our diners. No diner left the restaurant feeling unsatisfied, not especially after the Tiramisu. The servers there were sometimes given a few free slices of Tiramisu to share after their shift. Now, I understand fully their strategy: You can't possibly sell a product that you don't believe in.

After all these years have passed, I'm faithful to Tiramisu. It's almost my profession to check out authenticity of every Tiramisu in every restaurants I went to. I will simply not touch one made with Kraft cream cheese.

A simple Tiramisu consists of Italian mascarpone cheese, eggs, sugar, ultra strong coffee, lady fingers and cocoa powder. No baking required and easy to assemble. Failure rate is 0%.

When Ced's cousin Julie and her boyfriend Aurelien came to visit us last weekend, I prepared a big tray of Tiramisu the night before instead of the usual french habit of getting assortments of cakes from supermarkets or local patissiere.

Having not made it for 8 years, I was extremely slow at the preparation. In a bowl, I creamed 2 egg yorks with 4 tablespoons of sugar until pale and creamy. I mixed in 250g of Mascarpone cheese until a smooth cream was obtained. With a clean whip and a clean bowl, I beat a egg white with a pinch of salt until white,light and fluffy. Possibly 3 times the volume. The egg white was then gently folded into the mascarphone mixture. That was the mascarphone cream.

The next step was to dip the lady fingers into the cold instant espresso- I made 3 cups- one by one, they were dipped and placed in a baking rectangular dish to form a even layer.

Then I topped the lady finger base layer with a layer of mascarpone cream(I used 1/3 of the cream. Followed by, sifting Cocoa powder evenly on the cream.

I continued the same steps above 2 times. One layer of ladyfinger, one layer mascarpone and some cocoa powder. Et voila, a perfect Tiramisu. After leaving it overnight, I sifted more cocoa powder before serving it to my wonderful guests who were big fans of espresso.

We were too busy eating Tiramisu and I forgot the picture part :( Tant Pis!( too bad!)

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