HHDD#21 - It's Tiramisu!
You're not named "pick me up" for no good reason. And the reason is it makes people happier just by looking at it, not to mention taste it! Yep, it's Tiramisu!
I love Tiramisu. When Alexandra from Addicted Sweet Tooth, the brilliant winner of HHDD#20 - the Choux Edition hosted by this truly yours, announced the theme I was jumping on my chair. But then I got a little scared: what should I do with an already perfect dessert? Maybe I could make a plain tiramisu with just a little twist...
Tiramisu is fairly recent, supposedly invented in Treviso, in the north of Italy, only a couple of decades ago. This italian dessert has many variations, with the only constant ingredient being the mascarpone - a creamy soft cheese made from crème fraîche. The basic traditional recipe is made in Italy using raw eggs, with little variations except for the ingredient quantity. My own recipe, pieced together over the years, calls for raw eggs instead of whipped cream - mascarpone and whipped cream seem somehow redundant to me, and the eggs add the perfect texture to the zabaglione - just my 2 cents. ;) Using fresh eggs is crucial. Not a problem to me since my Dad retired to become what a call Hen Chief Executive Officer... but that's another story I'll tell some other day!
First things first.
Makes about 4 dozens
3 large eggs, separated
3 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp sugar superfine
1/2 Tbsp almond extract
1/2 cup (about 65 grs) cake flour, sifted
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
extra sugar to dust
Preheat oven to 180ºC (360ºF). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat 3 egg yolks with 2 Tbsp sugar, until thick and doubled in size. Add the almond extract and the chopped almonds, and fold. Mix in the sifted flour with a spatula, folding just 4-5 times. In another bowl, whip the egg whites with the lemon juice, until soft peaks form. Add 3 Tbsp sugar, one at a time, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Fold in the yolk mixture, making sure not to break the meringue but mixing until completely incorporated.
Spoon the batter into a large pastry bag, with a round tip (about 1,5 cm) and pipe the ladyfingers onto the parchment paper. Make sure to allow enough space around each one. Use a wire strainer to dust the ladyfingers with the extra sugar. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven. Using a flat spatula, release the ladyfingers from the parchment paper onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Almond Caramel Tiramisu
Adapted from Donna Hay, Modern Classics 2, p.124
Preheat oven to 180ºC (360ºF). Place 1/3 blanched almonds in a baking tray lined with parchment paper, and bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Place 1/2 cup superfine caster sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and boil the mixture until a golden colour. Remove from the heat, allow the bubbles to subside and pour over the almonds. When set, break the praline into chunks, and process in a food processor.
300 grs mascarpone cheese
4 large fresh eggs, separated
4 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp sugar superfine
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp Amarguinha (Portuguese sour almond liqueur), or more to taste
40 almond ladyfingers (see recipe above)
1/2 cup (125 ml) strong espresso, cooled
2 Tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat 4 egg yolks with 4 Tbsp sugar, until thick and doubled in size. Gradually, add the liqueur and the mascarpone cheese, and mix until fully incorporated. In another bowl, whip the egg whites with the pinch of salt, until soft peaks form. Add 2 Tbsp sugar, one at a time, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Fold in the cheese mixture, making sure not to break the meringue but mixing until completely incorporated.
Soak each ladyfinger in the coffee. Place it in a large or individual dish or bowl, and arrange into a layer. Cover with a layer of mascarpone cream. Sprinkle a couple of Tbsp of praline on top. Repeat until you run out of ladyfingers, making sure you finish with mascarpone cream and praline. Sprinkle with toasted sliced almonds. Refrigerate for 2 hours, as it's best chilled.
So this is my entry for HHDD! Hay Hay It's Donna Day is a food event created by Barbara from WinosandFoodies and now taken care by Bron Marshall.