I can hardly believe that three years ago today, I created Bread Brownies and Beyond, and that this is the 150st post! Woohoo! For something extra special, I decided to attempt an Italian dessert called Tiramisu. Although I've only tasted it a couple times, I remember it being one of the greatest desserts I had ever eaten. Up until this point, I was a little too intimidated to try it, but I have conquered my fear, and I bring to you an easy (but time consuming) version of Tiramisu.
Italian confections are hard to beat, especially if they are experienced in Italy. My largest fear about recreating this dessert was that I would ultimately fall short of what I had experienced in Rome. Even though years had passed, I remember the Tiramisu being utterly divine. However, dispite my fears, my attempt turned out marvelously. The trickiest part was making the lady fingers, which is a step that can be completely avoided if they are pre-bought rather than homemade.
YIELD: 9 servings
TIME: 5 hours
PREP: 1 hour
CHILL: 4 hours
FOR THE LADY FINGERS:
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup flour
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line and grease 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl, and whisk until it has tripled in volume, and is thick and pale yellow. Stir in flour, and vanilla, whisking until smooth.
Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl, beating on medium-high speed until glossy stiff peaks have formed. Gently fold egg yolk mixture into the egg whites.
Fill a large pastry bag with mixture. Pipe fingers about 4 1/2 inches in length on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool slightly.
FOR THE FILLING:
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon rum extract (or 2 tablespoons light rum)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup cold strong coffee, or espresso
2 tablespoon baking cocoa
Beat heavy whipping cream in a chilled bowl on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Mix in rum. Gently fold the cream cheese mixture into the whipped cream.
Dip cooled lady fingers into strong coffee, and arrange on the bottom of an 8x8" pan, so that they cover the bottom. Spread half the filling over the cookies.
Place another layer of coffee-dipping cookies over the filling, and spread remaining cream cheese mixture, over that. Dust with cocoa. Chill for 4 hours, and continue to refrigerate until ready to serve.