It is totally possible to buy ladyfingers for making a tiramisu, and you can still consider it homemade.  However, if you want to build everything from scratch, follow along for a dessert that will wow those who try it.  Zach did this today because August had a meeting at school and it was her turn to provide snacks; the other teachers were delighted!

• For the ladyfingers:

1 cup of all purpose flour

4 eggs, separated

2/3 cup and 2 tbs. of white sugar

1 tsp. of vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. of baking powder

Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line two 12″x17″ baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats.  Fit a large pastry bag with a plain 1/2″ round tube; or, cut off the corner of a Ziploc bag.

Sift the flour and baking powder together so as to distribute the baking powder evenly throughout the flour and break up any flour chunks.

egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract mixed and ready

egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract mixed and ready

Add the egg yolks to a mixing bowl with 2/3 cup of sugar and the vanilla extract.  Mix on medium-high until thick and very pale in color, and the volume will have increased significantly.  You can beat manually, but it will be difficult.  Set aside this egg yolk mixture for a moment.

"glossy, stiff peaks"

“glossy, stiff peaks”

Put the egg whites in a bowl and beat on high until soft peaks start to form.  Slowly add 2 tbs. of sugar and continue to beat until glossy, stiff peaks form.

Add about a quarter of this egg white mixture to the egg yolk mixture and fold 5-6 times with a spatula.  It is important to fold and not whisk, beat, or stir excessively, because you don’t want the batter to collapse; if this happens, you will have a denser, not as fluffy consistency.  Add half the flour and fold about 10 times.  Add another quarter of the egg white mixture; fold 5-6 times more.  Add the remaining flour, fold 5 times, then the rest of the egg white mixture, and fold only 7-8 more times.  You want to fold until incorporated but it’s okay if you see a little egg white not fully mixed in – at this point you don’t want to overwork and collapse the batter.

busy day 007

Transfer the mixture to the pastry bag or Ziploc bag and pipe 3″-long strips onto the prepared baking sheets.  Dust heavily with powdered sugar to help prevent excessive spreading, and bake for 10 minutes.

busy day 010

• For the tiramisu itself:

The ladyfingers you just made

1 cup of heavy whipping cream

8 oz. of mascarpone cheese

8 oz. of cold espresso or cold strong coffee

3 egg yolks

1/3 cup and 1 tbs. of Marsala wine

1/4 cup of powdered sugar

1/4 cup and 2 tbs. of white sugar (Zach used the vanilla sugar leftover from when he made peanut butter ice cream)

1/2 of one bittersweet chocolate bar (Zach picked up Lindt with 70% cocoa)

Select a wide-based boiling pot and a medium sized glass or stainless steel bowl with a big enough width so that it sits atop the boiling pot, not in it.  Fill the boiling pot with about 3″ of water to use as a makeshift double boiler (but make sure the water won’t touch the bottom of the glass/stainless steel bowl; in fact, set aside the bowl for now).  The steam produced from the boiling water will cook the egg yolk mixture in the bowl but not too quickly, therefore the mixture won’t coagulate.

Heat the water on medium-low to bring to a slow simmer.  Mix 1 tbs. of Marsala wine with the espresso or coffee in a mug and set aside.

"double boiler" for the zabaglione

“double boiler” for the zabaglione

In the glass or stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks, white sugar, and the rest of the Marsala wine.  Set the bowl on top of the simmering water pot.  Whisk slowly but continuously for about 7-8 minutes until thick (not as thick as yogurt, but not as thin as nappe).  Put in the refrigerator to cool for 1 hour.  Once cooled, this is called zabaglione.  Apart from its use in this dessert, it also goes well with strawberries and other fresh berries for a refreshing dessert on a day warmer than today.

zabaglione with mascarpone

zabaglione with mascarpone

Mix the mascarpone into the zabaglione with a whisk, then set aside.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, make whipped cream by mixing the powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream with a hand mixer on medium until soft peaks form.

soak the ladyfingers

soak the ladyfingers

To layer all the elements in a medium sized glass or ceramic baking dish, first pour the Marsala and espresso/coffee mixture from the mug into a shallow wide dish, so that you can soak each lady finger before placing it in the baking dish.

first layer

first layer

Lay the soaked ladyfingers across the whole bottom of the baking dish, about 1/4″ apart from each other.  Scoop the zabaglione and mascarpone mixture and spread evenly over the ladyfingers so that they are covered.

second layer on top of zabaglione/mascarpone

second layer on top of zabaglione/mascarpone

Layer another round of soaked ladyfingers in the same fashion, then spread the whipped cream evenly over the second layer of ladyfingers.

whipped cream layer

whipped cream layer

Shave the chocolate bar directly over the whipped cream; you can’t shave it somewhere else and then try to sprinkle it because the shavings will melt when you touch them.

busy day 026

Chill for 4-5 hours, then serve.

Posted on March 6, 2013, in Recipes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. One of my favourite desserts, I can’t get enough – yours looks great!

  1. Pingback: Luigi’s Delicatessen, Concord CA | Seasoning And Salt

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: