February 17, 2007


Tiramisu literally means,"Pick me up" in Italian.It is traditionally made using Marsala,or any other wine.Sometimes coffee liqueur is added to it to bring out the coffee flavour.There are thousands of recipes for Tiramisu.Originally,it is made using whipped raw egg whites.There are versions where Kahlua or Tia Maria are also used to flavour it.You can read more about Tiramisu HERE.

When I was newly married,living in New Jersey(USA),we used to have weekly potlucks-just the ladies and kids.So one day we decided to have a grand potluck party for the husbands as well.I tasted Tiramisu for the first time when one of my friends' husband had made it specially for the partySince then,I have always wanted to make it.The creaminess of the custard and the whipped cream along with the coffee-soaked sponge fingers is absolutely delicious.

So started my search for the recipe.And I found loads of them.There was only one major hurdle-the wine.One time I bought Tiramisu at one of the stores here, and it had Marsala wine in it.I then found out that I did not like the taste of wine at all.I started thinking what to do.The next ingredient that was hard to find was mascarpone cheese.So with a little help from HERE
I put together some mascarpone cheese.

A little inspiration from HERE,the use of templates to dust the cocoa powder helped me to create a gorgeous looking dessert at home.Thanks,Archana!
Ok Ok,I'll stop the blabbering now and take you to the recipe straightaway:

Ingredients:20 Savoiardi fingers/sponge fingers

1 tbsp Instant coffee dissolved in 1 cup hot water

568 ml whipping cream or, double cream(UK)/heavy whipping cream(US)

For the Custard:1 cup milk

2 teaspoons custard powder/cornflour(UK)/cornstarch(US)

3/4 cup sugar

For the Mascarpone cheese:

450 gms of mascarpone cheese


350 Gms Medium fat cream cheese

1 tbsp unsalted Butter

1/4 cup double cream(UK)/heavy whipping cream(US)

For assembling:Either one 9 inch springform pan or small individual bowls.

Method:First,make the custard.Now normally this recipe uses a zabaglione,which is a custard made by adding beaten egg yolks to milk and then stirring it over a double boiler until it thickens.I don' normally make egg custards,so I took a shortcut here.I used normal custard powder.If you donot find custard powder(although with so many Indian all over the world now,I doubt it)you could use cornstarch to thicken your milk.If you are using cornstarch,add 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence to flavour the custard.

Cool it a little(say,2-3 mins,not more) and then lay a piece of baking parchment on top of the custard and put it in the fridge until cool.Please donot use wax paper.You could also use cling film/plastic wrap although I don't recommend it cos I donot think plastics coming in touch with hot food make it safe enough for consumption.This is to prevent a layer forming over the custard.

Now,for the mascarpone cheese:If you can find mascarpone cheese,well and good.Otherwise,this version works very well.It was really close to it.Let the butter and cream cheese come to room temperature.Beat well to combine both, then add in the heavy/double cream.Mix until incorporated.Donot whip.

Once the custard is cool,take it out of the fridge and add the mascarpone cheese into it and mix well.

Mix the instant coffee granules into hot water and let cool.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form and keep in a cool place(Do this last so that you can use it as quickly as possible without melting it.

The Assembly:You could use the whole sponge fingers as they are,just dip them very quickly into the coffee and lay in the bottom and sides of the pan.I made individual ones,so I sliced the fingers into two and then again cut them into half to fit my serving bowls.These fingers become soggy very quickly so if you find that your cookies are absorbing too much liquid by the dunking method,use a pastry brush to coat them with the coffee.I sliced my sponge fingers and they were thinner so I brushed my sponge fingers with the coffee.

Now,layer 2 tbsp of the mascarpone cheese-custard mix onto the first layer of the cookies(for individual servings or half of the custard for a 9 inch pan.Top with some whipped cream(a thin layer will do:In fact,most recipes do not have the whipped cream in the first layer).Now,prepare another layer of the cookies by dunking in/brushing with coffee.Lay them on the whipped cream evenly.Once again,layer the remaining mascarpone cheese-custard mix over the cookies and then again top with the whipped cream.

Put some cocoa powder into a small tea strainer and use it to dust the top of the tiramisu.Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

You could sprinkle grated chocolate instead of the cocoa powder too.

My Notes:I made it the very first time for V Day and it turned out very good indeed.

I have only made it in individual servings and it yielded me 9 very generous servings.If you like smaller portions,make it in one big pan so that you can take out smaller portions.Although once you start eating it,you will not stop until it is all finished.

It took me close to 2 hours to prepare the whole thing:right from the custard,the mascarpone cheese to the assembly.

You could even make the custard one day and assemble the whole thing the next day.

I used medium fat cream cheese and part skimmed milk as that is what I had at home.Full fat cream cheese and whole milk would be great.

Tired of reading the whole thing?But you will be in 7th heaven after those 6 hours.I assure you.So go ahead,give it a try.Pamper yourself a little.After all,you can afford a nice treat once in a while,can't you?

Added on 18th Feb:This may look very difficult to make but once you get all your ingredients ready,then it is really easy to do it.I wanted to bring some beauty to the way it looks,which is why I piped my whipped cream.You could just spread it plainly with a knife or spatula.Making the custard using custard powder really makes the job easier.I would love to hear how it turned out for you!


Asha said...

Thanks for the reice Vini,hope you are daughter doing better now.

Sandeepa said...

Wow seems like a long day, hope to get it done some time in future :) You seem to have a talent for making cakes and desserts

How is Ananya, Vini ?

maheswari said...

So the long awaited recipe is here.I like the note "Most essential:Undivided attention and time.".That's the big problem with me 'coz of lil' one.Let see might try this on weekends when son and dad has some outing.Hope your daughter is doing fine now.

USHA said...

Hi Vini,

Thanks for the receipe,,though after reading long post,i came to one decision,it would be very difficult to prepare.....when i read your last few lines/////saying that you can feel the heaven....then changed my mind...why don't we try once....
How is kid now?

Vini K said...

Hi Asha:Thank you dear.Ananya is doing fine now.her stitches are scheduled to be opened on tuesday.

Hi Sandeepa:Thank you so much for the sweet words dear.I love desserts,so guess that is what I always prepare!:D Do try it out once(when you have the time)Ananya is fine dear.Her wound is healing well.

Hi Maheswari:You can make it without much problem dear.Actually I managed it even with my daughter "wanting to help"..but yes,with younger kids,it is difficult.I hope your hubby will agree to take the kid out when you plan to prepare this one!Do try and tell me how it turns out.

Hi Usha:I am sorry if my post scared you dear.Actually this is not soo difficult.the assembly takes time,as does cake decorating.Since you have done cake decoration too(remember your niece's cake?)I am sure you will be able to pull it off.Please do try it.

Roopa said...

Hi Vini,
Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope your daughter is doing fine now. i should say you have got a lot of pateince to give a good write up of the recipe.
hope to try it some time!!

TS said...

Hi Vini,

Tiramisu is my husband's fav. dessert....we went out to eat for V day and I had an apple Tiramisu..it was delish!!! Thanks so much for your recipe, my b'day and wedding anniv,are coming up next week, so will make it for him then!

Hugs to Ananya! and send me those pics soon.


Vcuisine said...

Hi Vini K, Thanks for your wishes. Your version Tiramisu, VD’s special, B’day specials and especially murukku are very nice. Your frosting looks so professional. Viji

Anjali said...

Man two like minds you n Anita of madteaparty. I need to make it now!

Swapna said...

Who would resist to "picking up" this sweet? I and my husband love Tiramisu. Amaizing recipe and preparation.
Howz ur daughter? Hope she's fine now.

Vini K said...

Trupti:go ahead,give this a try,I am sure you will love it.Apple flavoured tiramisu,eh?have to try it once.Will send you the pics soon as I can!

Viji:Thank you so much.Glad to see you back!

Anjali:go ahead,dear.what are you waiting for?:D

Swapna:you are right..we finished it off in no time.Daughter is fine now.Going to get her stitches opened tomorrow.

Sia's corner said...

lovely presentation vini... u r becoming an expert here:) my hubby loves tiramisu and i will surprise him sometime with it:) its really good to serve individually than whole:)

Lakshmik said...

Hi Vini

Thanks for the recipe. I like Tiramisu and am surely going to try this out.

Vini K said...

Roopa:thank you!

Sups:Thank you dear!So happy to hear your words..:D..sure,so surprise him,I am sure you both will love it.

Lakshmi K:you are welcome,dear.Do try and let me know how it turned out for you!

Nidhi said...

Hey Vini,
Howz your daughter now, hope she is fine.
I also make tiramisu very often and yours is looking very decorative. I will also make it in a round bowl next time.

Vani said...

How pretty that looks, Vini! Hope your little one is well now.

Vini K said...

Hey Nidhi,Ananya is doing fine now dear.Thank you.:)

Hi Vani,thank you dear.She is doing well now.:)

Arundathi said...

hi vini k
i hope your daughter is doing ok. that sounded nasty poor thing. its amazing how they are so brave and then you feel like just taking it all away because they are trying to be so brave! they're incredible!

the tiramisu sounds and looks delicious. its my husband's favorite dessert - am definitely gonna try it. thanks!