30th April 2011, the D-day 5 years ago when I entered a new world with heart full of hope, expectations, dreams & starry eyes. My first post is for my family.
I wanted to have a special menu for our anniversary & like always I started planning & preparing for the (special) occasion weeks in advance – I guess you can blame the chronic planner in me. I zeroed on Italian menu simply because both V & I love it. I decided to give it a special touch by going all home-made from scratch.
I hunted through various blogs I follow & chose Tiramisu as V has never tasted it (nor heard of it) earlier and making it eggless was a challenge as I couldn’t find a recipe for it. Fellow bloggers were either using available Savoiardi & omitting the Zabaglione to make it eggless -which is not totally eggless as market bought Savoiardi contains eggs or were using eggless sponge cake in place of Savoiardi. Finally when even I was about to resort to one of the above I came across the eggless recipe by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen, which she had posted in the Alternative Recipe section for Daring Bakers Challenge. As you can imagine I couldn’t contain my excitement after getting this link. Alcohol was not a problem for me but it gave me another high to think I can safely offer this Tiramisu to my LO.
I decided to go completely overboard & made Tiramisu with Chocolate Layered effect, which came out very nice. Both V and I kept opening the fridge just to oogle at the Tiramisu being set. I had some chocolate whipped mascarpone cream as left-over after the assembling and V very happily added it to everything that he ate.
Not only V satisfied his gluttony but also my neighbors loved every single bite of it. 🙂
Now over to Tiramisu from scratch – Posting recipe in the order in which I made them.
Eggless Savoiardi/ Ladyfinger Biscuits – from Aparna
This recipe makes about 36 long biscuits (3″ long & 3/4″ wide). I made them 3 days prior to final assembly – i.e. – 1 week prior to the serving
- 4 Tbsp – Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp – Vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups – Unsalted butter
- 2 cups – All Purpose Flour (APF)
- 1/2 cup – Coarsely ground Almonds (you can use other nuts if you want)
- Powdered Sugar (for coating)
- Preheat the oven at 150 C (300 F).
- Blend all the ingredients well, add the coarsely ground nuts last.
- Scrape the batter into a piping bag with 3/4″ plain tip (I made piping bag using milk polybags & cut the tip to 3/4″) and pipe into fingers about 3″ long at 1″ intervals onto an un-greased cookie sheet.
- Bake them for 30-45 mins till they start turning slightly brown at the edges.
- When done, remove from oven & cool on a tray for about 5 minutes and then move the biscuits to a cooling rack.
- When slightly cool, roll them in powdered sugar.
- Store in an air tight container till required. I stored uptil 1 week in Refrigerator.
Mine turned into Big Fat Ladies. As you can see my tip was wider than 3/4″ 🙂 The savoiardi is very tender, so handle with care till the assembling process! According to me making savoiardi was the most time consuming of all 3 steps. Thankfully my son co-operated and didn’t fuss that day (phew)! I’m sure mothers would agree what a feat that is!!
Mascarpone Cheese –from Vera of Baking Obsession – makes 1 pound/ 450gm of mascarpone cheese
- 711ml (approx. 750ml)/ 3 cups whipping (36 %) pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized), preferably organic cream (between 25% to 36% cream will do) – I used Amul cream which was readily available.
- 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
I made it 1 day prior to final assembly – i.e. – 6 days prior to the serving
- Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering. Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl, then place the bowl into the skillet.
- Heat the cream, stirring often, to allow small bubbles to form trying to push up to the surface. It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating.
- Add the lemon juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles. The whipping cream will become thicker, like a well-done crème anglaise. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly.
- You will see just a few clear whey streaks when you stir. Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve.
- Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface. It will firm up after refrigeration time.
- Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours. Keep refrigerated and use within 3 to 4 days.
Assembling Tiramisu (Alcohol Free) – adapted from Aparna
This recipe makes upto 8-10 servings. I assembled it 5 days prior to serving.
- 1 cup – Chilled heavy or whipping cream (I used 400 ml of heavy whipped cream available as I do not have hand-held mixer)
- 450 gms – Mascarpone
- 1 1/4 cup- Sugar (see notes)
- 36 Eggless Savoiardi/ Ladyfinger Biscuits (you may use as many or as little as you need)
- 2 cups – Brewed espresso coffee at room temperature (I added 1 tsp sugar)
- 2 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp – Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Method – V assembled the Tiramisu, his efforts are for more neater than mine, so I let him 🙂
- In a bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold. Now whisk together the mascarpone & sugar till smooth.
- Add 1/3rd of the whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture and fold in gently. Carefully fold the remaining cream as well.
- Divide the prepared cream into 3 parts – to one part add 2 Tbsp cocoa. Divide biscuits into 3 parts.
- Quickly dip 1/3rd the eggless ladyfinger biscuits in the coffee till they are moist but not soggy (about 1 sec per side), or they will fall apart.
- Immediately transfer each ladyfinger to prepared serving dish of your choice, placing them side by side in a single row. You may break a lady finger into two, if necessary, to ensure the base of your dish is completely covered.
- Spread one part of the prepared cream (white) in uniform layer covering the biscuits completely. Use a rubber spatula or spreading knife to cover the top evenly, all the way to the edges.
- Repeat once more with 1/3rd biscuits & then spread the cocoa-cream. Repeat with remaining biscuits & last part of white cream.
- Cover the dish with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for atleast 4 hours or overnight, so the flavors can mature. I refrigerated for 5 days.
- Before serving, dust remaining unsweetened cocoa powder, through a fine mesh strainer over the top of the tiramisu. Decorate with chocolate covered coffee beans or cherries or chocolate chips. Cut into portions & serve chilled.
- The tiramisu keeps well in the refrigerator well for 2-3 days.
My Notes –
- I increased the sugar quantity for assembling Tiramisu as I felt that sugar was lesser for my increased no of biscuits. Also, I had used salted butter, because of which I had to increase the sugar.
- If possible use unsalted butter only for this recipe.
- As you can see, I’ve not managed to evenly spread the cream to the sides and savoiardi is showing. Obviously it didn’t affect the taste which was well worth any effort. 🙂
Some Tips – again which came in useful from Aparna
- The eggless ladyfingers do not have the soft cake-like texture of regular lady fingers biscuits and are more like nutty shortbread.
- They keep refrigerated for quite a bit in an airtight box.
- Do not dip the ladyfinger/ savoiardi into the coffee solution for more than ONE second, or they might become very fragile & disintegrate. Extra soaking is likely to spoil the end product, making it soggy.
- The eggless biscuits soften up really well if served at least 36 hours after assembling the tiramisu.
- For another variation, you can substitute coffee with orange juice i.e. dip eggless biscuits in sweetened orange juice instead of coffee.
- It might be a good idea to decide the size of the dish in which you intend to set the dessert, and make the fingers to a size which would fit that dish. This makes it easier when assembling the tiramisu later.
- While using the double boiler to make the mascarpone, always ensure that the bottom of the bowl on top doesn’t touch the bottom of the lower one. It is important to use a stainless steel bowl to pour your cream into, while making the mascarpone.
- This version is much richer because of the butter in the biscuits and uses more mascarpone (approx 6 times the regular one) than the other recipe.
- If you would like to de-mould your tiramisu from your dish (cutting can be easier and neater this way, you can line your dish with plastic wrap (leaving a little extra on the sides of the dish) and then start assembling your tiramisu. Once the tiramisu sets in the refrigerator, you can use the overhang to pull the tiramisu out of the dish.
Tiramisu proved true to the meaning of it’s name – ‘Pick me up’, V couldn’t wait to pick up and eat & when I reminded him that I need to click some photos to put on the blog, he said, “You can photograph it just before its enters my mouth…I am the prop you need” 🙂 Literally, ‘A Heaven on Earth’
Recipes to follow from the Anniversary menu –