Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tiramisu 101.

I've tried a few tiramisu recipes lately. Most recipes have similar ingredients but different techniques, suggestions, and flavors. I hate bad tiramisu, so I try to stick to a few rules.

1) Do not use bad coffee. You're better off using reconstituted instant espresso powder than bitter, mediocre coffee or espresso. When I don't have a giant espresso machine handy, I usually use the powder.

2) Do not use bad alcohol. I'm not a fan of Marsala in my Tiramisu, tradition or no. Cheap alcohol can ruin a good tiramisu.

3) Do not oversoak the ladyfingers. It might take a few tries to get this right. You want the ladyfinger to be almost completely saturated, but not squashy or soggy. If you oversoak, you'll end up with an ugly pool of coffee whenever you cut a slice out of the pan.

The recipe I used above came from Viana LaPlace and Evan Kleiman's Cucica Rustica. It adds raspberries and ground hazelnuts between the layers. I thought it was pretty good, though it still isn't the tiramisu of my dreams.


Maia Averett said...

Looks yummy! If you want another good one to try, give this one a go:


It's incredibly simple and traditional. The perfect tiramisu, if you ask me. I've made it several times, but I always use the hard ladyfinger cookies instead of the soft ones. As you say, it's important to not oversoak the ladyfingers. Just a quick dunk, flip, and out of the espresso.

Mortimer said...

I always use this recipe for tiramisu and everyone loves it. A few Italian friends said it was the best they got too... after Pompi in Roma.

I actually do not use alcohol and it's still good and better as so many people are not always happy with alcohol in their deserts ;)

I agree with point 3, I really soak them quickly.