Sunday, February 9, 2020

Valentine's Day Special: Quick Eggless Tiramisu


This post is courtesy the long weekend that our part of the world was bestowed with last month. On this Chinese New Year, contrary to my extremely restless nature, I did not 'plan' any agenda for the long weekend. It was rather unnerving not knowing how I was going to spend all that extra time! 

Turns out, I did a whole bunch of things without really intending to do anything. I finished book 7 of  Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon series, watched two good Bollywood movies that were long overdue, completed a home improvement DIY project, met up with a few friends for a potluck dinner (for which I made this dessert), checked out a restaurant that was on my list for ages, took the kids cycling, swimming and engaged them in a new art project (which I admit was a complete failure 😂), finished two blog posts, took uncharacteristically long naps and even managed to sneak in a few high intensity workouts to combat the burgeoning waistline. I'd say it was a relaxing yet productive long weekend indeed. 

I'm bringing you this dessert recipe just in time for Valentine's Day because, trust me, nothing says love quite like this one 😊

So, who hasn’t heard about Tiramisu in this modern day and age right? A dessert made of layers of aromatic coffee-soaked ladyfingers and a rich, airy mascarpone cream, this stalwart of the classic Italian dessert menu has undeniable global appeal. 'Tira-mi-su' literally translates to 'pick me up' or 'cheer me up' and that's exactly what it does! 

Today I have for you a quick, eggless and possibly even, alcohol-free Tiramisu recipe. 

Now, if you are a dessert aficionado, it may have occurred to you that traditional Italian Tiramisu contains raw egg yolks. And most recipes commonly include Marsala wine and/or KahlĂșa (coffee liqueur) to enhance the flavor of this dessert. 


The recipe I’m sharing with you omits the eggs and lists the Marsala wine and KahlĂșa as optional ingredients (those who would like to use alcohol, please go ahead!) so I won’t be surprised if you are dismissive. But hear me out okay? First thing, I don’t fancy using raw eggs in any dish that I make (you know salmonella and all plus it just grosses me out). Secondly, although I tend to have KahlĂșa at home (courtesy: husband shaking up my favourite KahlĂșa Chocolate Martini over the weekends!), Marsala wine is something I need to specifically source out just for Tiramisu which is cumbersome and so I just skip it. 

The main reason I have faith in this recipe is because a good friend made it, I loved it, I proceeded to recreate it and home and then reconfirmed that I love it! I’ve made this version of Tiramisu for many a dinner party but it’s only now that I’m finally sitting down to blog the recipe. In my lifetime, I have had many a tiramisu (some bad, most average and a few great) so even though I’m not Italian and I’m straying from authenticity, believe me when I say that this Tiramisu turns out good. My kids absolutely love it and even though I try to hide this coffee and liqueur containing dessert  from them, they won't rest until I've given them a few spoons! This version doesn’t set as much as a Tiramisu made with eggs and is not as rich tasting but is easier and results in a Tiramisu that has that robust coffee flavor and an light airy creamy biscuity goodness. 

I get individually packed batches of freshly ground aromatic coffee from my hometown in India. All this time I was using a Bialetti Moka Pot to brew fresh espresso in my kitchen every morning (too bad it went kaput recently!). I have a new coffee pot now for the same purpose. It works just as well and that is what I will stick to using every time I make this dessert. I thin out the coffee with some cold water because I feel that too strong coffee imparts a bitterness that I don't like. Like I mentioned before, I had KahlĂșa at home and so I used it because I love the flavour it lends to the dessert. For the rest of the ingredients, I used store-bought ladyfingers and mascarpone. I used the Emborg brand of whipping cream which whips really well (just remember to keep everything cold) and I use unsweetened cocoa powder and shaved dark chocolate which just adds that delightful chocolate flavour. 


This is a simpler version of tiramisu that only has a handful of ingredients, comes together quickly, tastes delicious and is suitable for people who don't consume eggs. It serves as a great made-ahead dessert.

This Valentine's Day, stay indoors to minimize exposure to the nasty virus going around folks! Make this dessert at home for your loved ones instead! 

I dedicate this post to all those who fill my life with love and joy. I hope I do the same for you! And a special mention to my friend Ranjitha who inspired me to try it 😊

Happy Valentine's Day in advance you lovely people! May love always reign supreme 💓 
i
Quick Eggless Tiramisu

Preparation time: 20-30 min
Chilling time: 6 hours to overnight
Yields: One 8-inch baking dish or 5-6 glasses (double the recipe for a 9x13-inch dish)
Recipe category: Dessert/Italian
Recipe level: Easy
Source: Adapted from here

Ingredients:

For the coffee syrup:

1 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee (made of 1 cup hot water mixed with 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules or espresso powder) 
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (KahlĂșa), Optional

For the filling:

250 gm mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Marsala wine (or you could use Vin Santo, Madeira, dark rum or brandy) Optional
200 ml heavy/whipping cream, keep chilled
⅓ cup granulated sugar (reduce to 1/4 cup if you want to cut down on sweetness)
about 200 gm (20-24 units) Italian ladyfingers/Savoiardi

To decorate:
Unsweetened cocoa powder, dusted
Dark chocolate, grated (I used 60%)

Method:

These are all the ingredients required,


For coffee syrup: 

In a bowl big enough to be able to dip the entire length of each lady finger, combine hot coffee, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 2 tablespoons coffee liquor (if using). Mix until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.


For the filling: 

1. In a large bowl, whisk mascarpone vigorously by hand until creamy and smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract and Marsala wine/rum/brandy (if using). 


2. In a different mixer bowl, whisk together heavy cream and sugar using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. 


3. Fold whipped cream into mascarpone in 2 additions until mixture is smooth.


Assembling the tiramisu: 

1. Dip ladyfingers very quickly (less than a second) into the coffee syrup and line them in one layer in an 8-inch baking dish (see note for individual glasses). If necessary, break a few ladyfingers to fit them in the dish. 


2. Spoon half of the filling over the ladyfingers and smooth the top. 


3. Repeat with a second layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers, then with the rest of the cream. 



4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days. I don’t suggest freezing tiramisu since it will ruin its texture.

5. Right before serving, dust the top with cocoa powder or grated chocolate (or both!). Serve square  or rectangular portions. Make even cuts with a sharp knife, wiping the knife clean between each cut. A small metal serving spatula to remove the slices is extremely helpful.



For individual glasses (aka 'Tiramisini' as Nigella lawson would call them):
Spoon a dollop of the mascarpone-cream mixture into the bottom of the glass. Break each ladyfinger into 4 pieces, soak in the coffee and place on top of the cream. You don’t have to use all 4 pieces at once; it depends on the size of the glass. Repeat with layering filling and ladyfingers, creating 2-3 layers in total. For each ladyfinger, add about 2-3 heaping tablespoons of cream. It doesn’t have to be exact – if you like more cream, go ahead and add more. For each serving, use 2-3 ladyfingers in total. For individual servings, you might need fewer ladyfingers than what the recipe suggests.


Notes:
  • Use good coffee in this recipe. Freshly brewed coffee is the best
  • If Italian ladyfingers are not available, you could substitute with pound cake
  • Keep mixing bowl and whisk chilled before you start whipping the cream. Do not over whip 
  • Do not soak the ladyfingers in the coffee for too long otherwise they will go soggy and crumble
  • In addition to the dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder, I highly recommend shaving some dark chocolate on the top. It just elevates the dessert
  • For decoration, you could also use chocolate coated coffee beans
  • For extra crunch, you could also sprinkle over crumbled amaretti or biscotti or crushed hazelnuts


Cheers,
Megha

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