Friday, 8 February 2008

Tiramisu - Take Two

Yes, yes, I know I've posted about my Tiramisu before but if you read carefully, it says Take Two! I've realised that life is a series of never ending quests to continuously improve. So, even if I think I have hit on the perfect recipe for something, there's no harm in trying to see if you can further improve on it or maybe just have a second or alternative recipe!

I personally think my Tiramisu recipe is superb. So what prompted me to try something new? I blame in on Anna Olson of the Sugar TV cooking show. There I was, just whiling away an uneventful evening when I stumbled upon Anna hosting the Sugar show. She was making a Tiramisu and I scoffed and was about to change the channel when I noticed she was mixing the cheese with Sabayon. That caught my attention and I decided to continue watching.

That night, I had to do a search to find out the difference between Sabayon and Zabaglione. Same thing I learnt, just different origins and language. One French the other Italian. To complicate things further, it is also known as Zabaione. So take your pick - they all refer to the same thing!

For those that have never heard of either, a Sabayon is basically egg yolks, sugar and some alcohol whipped over simmering water to produce a lovely custard like substance.

That was when I decided I would try to make some changes to my Tiramisu recipe. First, I was going to add some Sabayon to it. This also meant that I would have to adjust my liquor content as well as the sugar content. So I did.

I also decided I would change the presentation of my Tiramisu. Although I am a firm believer that Tiramisu MUST be served scooped out of the bowl, I just wanted to see what it would be like if I turned it out of the container and served it as a long rectangular cake - like some restaurants do.

This is my recipe for Tiramisu - Take Two

3 egg yolks
1/3 cup creme de Cacao (choc Liqueur)
5 tsps castor sugar
250 g Cream Cheese
400 ml Thickened Cream (Unsweetened)
1 tbsp Icing Sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 ½ Tbsp instant coffee powder
¼ cup Rum
½ Cup cold water
Cocoa Powder for dusting
1 Packet Savoiardi (Sponge Fingers)


First make the Sabayon. Place the eggs, sugar and choc liqueur in a heatproof bowl. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water. Dont let the bottom of pan touch the water. Whisk with an electric beater till mixture is thick and pale, leaving a small trail when beaters are lifted. (about 10 mins)
Remove bowl from heat and continue whisking for another few minutes. Place in fridge.
Cream the cheese until soft.
Whip cream with icing sugar until stiff
Dissolve coffee and granulated sugar in boiling water. Let cool
Mix Liqueurs and cold water. Pour into coffee.
Mix Sabayon with cream cheese till smooth. Fold in cream and mix well till incorporated.
Line a rectangular pan with plastic wrap (only do this if you are not planning to scoop out the dessert.)
Smoothen a thin layer of Cheese mixture on to the bottom of pan. Dip Savoiardi fingers in half the coffee mixture and place fingers over cheese mixture.
Reserve the remaining coffee mixture.
Cover sponge fingers with half the cream mixture
Arrange another layer of cake on top of the cream mixture and then soak evenly with the remaining coffee mixture.
Cover with remaining cream mixture and smooth the top evenly.
Chill for at least 4 hours - preferably overnight
Turn the pan over on to a rectangular serving plate and then unmould. Remove plastic wrap carefully from cake.
Dust Cocoa powder over the top of dessert before serving.

The Lovely Wife loved it and so did the kids. But they also love the original version, so where does that leave me? Well, I think this version is slightly creamier and richer due in no small part to the eggs.

As for the presentation, I think it is best served Scooped out of the dish. Now where have I heard that from before? Oh, it's what I always insist on.....

Since this version is a little bit more complicated to make, I would probably stick to my usual recipe but may switch to this variation if I ever had to 'explain' my Tiramisu. I mean, "I make a Sabayon and then mix it with softened Cheese..." certainly has a much nicer ring to it. And of course, no one has to know that I don't use Mascarpone...!!


breadchick said...

I love tiramisu but never think to make it. I have a dinner party coming up next week and I think I'm going to use this recipe for dessert!

Cynthia said...

Go on, show off on us :)

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

My moth is watering now, for this tiramisu. My first visit to your site - will be back....

Dinesh said...

hey i just tried this recipe for my diwali party... and it turned out wonderful.... everyone loved it.... only change i made was i added chopped dark chocolate to each layer of lady's fingers.... and instead of just both layer being rum and coffee , i made one layer out of amarula and coffee... tht made it even more creamier... and guess what someone came up to me and asked whether i used real mascarpone and when i said no they were like u're lying.... well thanks for this recipe keep it comin...


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