Whether you like to keep things traditionally styled or want to stun your guests with a modern dessert? I couldn’t choose myself so I just made both styles for you. My first one up is the more classical approach, served in a big casserole where you just scoop out your portion. Easy, traditional and always a great success!
The few times that I’ve eaten tiramisu it was always a hit or miss: it either tasted too much like coffee or it was spot on. For my own tiramisu I decided to mix in some Baileys, as I’m not a big fan of having an overpowering coffee flavour in my tiramisu, and I think the flavour of Baileys is such a great addition in a lot of dairy based desserts. But if you’d prefer to keep it alcohol-free you leave the Baileys out as it won’t change the quantities of the other ingredients.
Baileys is of course not the traditional ingredient you’ll find in tiramisu, as in the real traditional recipe you won’t find any alcohol or egg whites at all. The origin of Tiramisu as we know it now is very debatable, with both Roberto Linguanotto (Italy) and Carminantonio (Baltimore) claiming they were the ones to create it. A third possible origin may be found much earlier though, at the end of the 17th century in Siena. That being said, it first showed up in cookbooks in the 1960s. Traditional tiramisu in those early cookbooks contained: finger biscuits, egg yolks, sugar, coffee, mascarpone cheese and cocoa powder. Adding egg whites makes it lighter and foamy though, which is why I prefer adding it. Tiramisu would have also been served in a round shape originally, but due to the shape of the biscuits people moved on to rectangular/square pans instead. Enough with the history now, let’s get cooking!
- 400g sponge/ladyfinger biscuits (Italian ones will be called savoiardi biscuits, French ones boudoir
- 500g mascarpone
- 5 eggs
- 10 tablespoons of caster sugar
- 250ml Baileys cream liqueur
- 300ml boiling water.
- 3 tablespoons of coffee granules that dissolve perfectly
- few tablespoons of cocoa powder
Start by making the coffee, let it cool down and add in 175ml Baileys - if you add it when it's still hot the alcohol will dissolve.
Separate the eggs into 4 egg whites and 5 egg yolks (throw away one egg white). Mix egg yolk with 5 tablespoons of sugar, then stir in mascarpone and 75ml Baileys. Stir well, but don't beat the mascarpone too much as it might make the result too runny.
In a grease-free clean bowl, mix egg whites with 5 tablespoons of sugar until you get stiff peaks. Gently fold into the egg yolk - mascarpone mixture and set aside.
Now dip the biscuits shortly in the coffee - if you hold it too long it'll start to dissolve, so just a quick dip will do. Layer on the bottom of a rectangular or square casserole, leaving just a few millimeters in between then spread half the mascarpone mixture on top.
For the size of your casserole, use one where you can make rows of biscuits without having a big gap in between (so try to get two side by side, you can leave a 2 cm gap in between the two rows at the most, but if you end up with a bigger gap than that, try to find a smaller casserole, as people might end up having a piece without biscuits). For the height, if it's at least 10cm you'll be good to go as your layers won't be higher than that.
Repeat now with a second layer of biscuits dipped in coffee and then the second layer of mascarpone.
Finish off with a layer of cocoa powder and place in the fridge for at least a few hours, for the best result keep it overnight. You can keep it in the fridge for +-3 days, but you can also freeze your tiramisu if you have too many leftovers.