Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone made the transition from 2010 to 2011 safe, sound, and happy. And I also hope you’re all ready for another year of scrumptious eats and tasty treats. 😉
Our family doesn’t usually serve anything sweet apart from fruit and suman (steamed sticky rice logs) on New Year’s Eve. But since we’d already gone the adventurous route (more about that in my next post), I decided to whip something up: something basic but rather complicated at the same time. In which case, a tiramisu was the way to go.
A tiramisu gets some of its greatness from another classic Italian dessert: the zuppa Inglese or English trifle. It is, essentially, a layered dessert using cream and cake. However, while a zuppa Inglese involves custard and fruit, tiramisu has neither of these ingredients. Instead, it utilizes a rich, creamy combination of mascarpone cheese whipped with cream and sugar, perhaps with a touch of cinnamon and/or vanilla. Unlike the savoiardi (ladyfinger biscuits) used in a zuppa which are usually left plain, the biscuits used for a tiramisu base are dipped into a mixture of strong, cooled espresso with a touch of sweet Marsala wine.
My tiramisu is something of a shortcut version as the cheese mixture has no eggs and I used a commercial bottled coffee instead of brewing my own espresso. I didn’t have any Marsala, either, so I used some dark rum. The results were, nevertheless, quite rich and delectable: bittersweet, creamy-rich, and so smooth.
It was the perfect way to end 2010 and usher in 2011. 😀
- 16 savoiardi (ladyfingers / broas)
- 250 grams mascarpone or softened cream cheese
- 250 mL all-purpose cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup cold espresso or bottled black coffee (I used Coffee Blast in Hazelnut)
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
Whip together the cheese, cream, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth and spreadable. Combine the coffee and the rum.
Dip eight of the biscuits into the coffee mixture and use these to line an 8-inch cake tin. Spread over half the cheese mixture. Dip the remaining biscuits into the coffee and top over the cheese mixture. Spread over the remaining cheese mixture. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight.
Sift the cocoa powder over the tiramisu before serving.
Makes ten generous helpings.