I have no idea what tempted me to make Tiramisu. I didn't see anything on Food network, i didn't have it recently in a restaurant and no one even vaguely mentioned it. I have always had bad luck with desserts. Even cakes don't come out well and i depend on ready mixes like Betty Crocker for the same. I, somehow, decided to make Tiramisu one fine day and so went online and did loads of research for some two days. Read blogs, took tips from websites and even watched YouTube videos on how to make it. Outcome, being utterly confused and frustrated at the end of it all. I ultimately decided on a Gordon Ramsay/ James Martin (two renowned chefs in Britain) recipe, but ended up making a whole new one on my own. It turned out beautiful and I'm proud of it.
Most of the ingredients were available in supermarkets or Italian deli's. Anyways, this is my version of the recipe:
Mascarpone Cheese- 250gms
Eggs- 2, yolk and white separated
Ladyfinger/Sponge fingers- about 20
Sugar- 3 tbs (heaps)
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Brandy/ Kahlua/Marsala wine- 2 cap fulls
Espresso coffee- 1 cup, really strong
Cocoa pwd- to dust
Make really strong Espresso coffee and set aside to cool.
Beat the egg whites till they form peaks, gradually adding about 1 tbs sugar. This is very important as the egg white should not be flowy.
Beat the egg yolk with the remaining sugar till smooth and add this to the mascarpone cheese with the vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Fold in the egg white into this mixture bit by bit, and smoothening it out, but not mixing/ whisking vigorously. Keep aside.
Pour the brandy into the espresso coffee and give a stir. Dip the sponge fingers one by one in the coffee, but do not soak it, and place in a ceramic dish. Over this, spread the mascarpone mix evenly. Set another layer of the sponge fingers,and then cream. Repeat until you run out of both, but with the cream mix on top.
Dust some cocoa pwd and chill uncovered for a minimum of 5 hrs. The more it chills, the better cos the flavours get more infused into the sponge.
You can actually be a bit creative and do the sponge, cream mix in ramekins or in martini glasses, and decorate with cocoa pwd or maybe even powdered sugar.
Notes: Sponge fingers can be replaced with sponge cake. Recipe here
Espresso coffee can be replaced with instant coffee
Brandy is also optional, if you need an alcohol-free Tiramisu
Whipped cream can add that extra zing to it, but i didn't have any, so omitted that step