As in most households, birthdays are special times around here, and we have a two of them in October! The one thing that might be different for us is that instead of going out to eat, we typically make the preferred meal at home. This year my wife requested tiramisu for her birthday after seeing some yummy-looking but expensive and sugar/synthetics laden tiramisu cups at the store.
This is not technically TRUE tiramisu because it does not have lady fingers in it, and it’s the easy version. Is that a bad thing? Nope! It is super delicious and is not at all lacking for missing those elements. Check out below for links if you do want lady fingers, as they can be difficult to find at your average store. True tiramisu is also a custard based dessert, which means you need to incorporate eggs, but this dessert doesn’t miss a beat despite being made without any eggs. This is quite delicious as just a layered mousse with cocoa powder in between.
The basic recipe I found on Crazy For Crust. It is a fairly basic recipe, and I was able to directly sub the maple syrup across for powdered sugar which they used.
1 Cup of Heavy Whipping Cream (Look for Kolona if you want an additive free version)
1 teaspoon instant coffee (this is a great use for the Trader Joes instant coffee)
2 Tablespoons hot water
1 8oz container Mascarpone
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup Maple Syrup
Note: I used some small stemless white wine glasses for this. You can use any container you want. Clear is great to show off the layers.
- Dissolve the instant coffee in the hot water and set aside to cool.
- Optional: Put your lady fingers into soak in either more instant coffee or strong brewed coffee. Espresso is traditionally used.
- Whip the heavy cream to a stiff peak. Set that in the fridge until needed.
- Put the mascarpone, the maple syrup, the vanilla, and 1 Tablespoon of the coffee in a bowl. Whip that together until well combined and creamy and delicious. At this point, add more coffee or maple syrup as your taste prefers. We will be mixing it with the whipped cream, so make it a bit stronger than if you were eating it alone.
- Fold in the whipped cream gently. You want to cut and fold here. See below for the technique.
- Optional: If using lady fingers put a layer in the bottom of your glasses or serving dish.
- Put in a layer of your marscarpone filling. A piping bag would make this SUPER easy, I didn’t because I didn’t want to clean it, lol. I used a spoon and carefully spread it around though it was far from perfect.
- Dust in a little cocoa powder; cover the entire layer of filling if possible.
- Continue layering in each layer until your desired fullness. I did about 3 inches of filling total and that gave us 4 servings. Obviously it would do more if using lady fingers.
- Eat now or put in the fridge to chill
- Here is the original recipe if you want to see it.
Notes and Tips:
If you do want to get lady fingers, I have a few resources for you. Full disclosure – I have tried none of these products or recipes. Please let me know how they are if you try them! Schar makes a gluten free one you can get here. If you want to make lady fingers here is a gluten free version and here is a grain free version depending on which path you want to go.
If you wanted to do a variation on this you could totally take our Original Brownie and treat it just like a lady finger and soak it in the coffee and layer it in with the mascarpone mixture. That would be so good… Our blondies would also be super delicious as well… I might have to try this soon…
Tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert that is for once actually Italian! Unlike spaghetti and ceasar salad, which both have rather dubious roots, Tiramisu can actually be traced back to Italy. It would appear to still be a more recent creation dating back to the 60’s. Some argue it goes back further than that, but who knows. Regardless, it is very tasty 🙂
Traditionally you take lady fingers, and soak them in cognac and espresso. They get layered with mascarpone custard and then typically finished with a dusting of cocoa on top.
The most readily available brand of mascarpone is BelGioioso. Most larger grocery stores carry it. Look in the specialty cheese section.
How to Cut and Fold
For anyone who has ever worked in whipped cream, whipped egg whites, or any other air filled ingredient, you know how hard it can be. You want to incorporate it fully, but you don’t want to lose all that air you worked so hard to create. Here is where the cut and fold technique comes in.
- Add in the whipped cream or egg whites to the rest of your ingredients
- With the bowl in front of you, place your spatula in at the far side of the bowl. “Cut” down towards yourself.
- “Fold” with the spatula around the outside of the bowl back to the top gently incorporating some of the whipped cream.
- Turn the bowl a ¼ turn and repeat until everything is 95% incorporated. I say 95% because you may never feel likes it totally done and that’s ok.
- Proceed with your recipe.