It is such a heavenly dessert that no one can stop at one spoonful! I have made the alcoholic version many times - using coffee and orange liquer. But Ranya (my 13 year old) needed to bring a family favorite dish to school for her 7th Grade Graduation in June. So I attempted to make a non alcoholic version. Even though it didn't have the oomph of the alcoholic version, it turned out pretty good. Do keep a tab on your intake as mascarpone cheese is very high in fat.
I learnt first how to make Tiramisu from a close friend Kris Adipudi when we were neighbors in Pasir Ris in Singapore. She is a wonderful cook and I am glad she taught me and a few other close friends how to make Tiramisu in her own kitchen. I am indebted to her, otherwise, I would have never ventured to try this on my own at that time and I would have missed out on making this heavenly dessert!!
This dessert can be done in 45 minutes and the recipe below yields 2 layers of cream and 2 layers of sponge fingers in a 8 by 8 inch glass baking dish. If you like higher tiramisu with 4 layers, double the amounts.
Ingredients (serves 8 guests)
4 tsps. instant coffee
1 cup hot water
1 tbsp. coffee liquer (Tia Maria - only for the alcoholic version)
2 tbsp. orange liquer ( Grand Marinier - again only for the alcoholic version)
2ooml whipping cream
250 gm mascarpone cheese
2/3 cup confectioner's (powdered sugar)
2 egg whites
30 sponge fingers
1/3 cup cocoa powder for garnish
fresh strawberries for garnish
Dissolve the coffee in the hot water and set aside. (if you are using the liquers, mix these into the coffee mixture too.
In a mixing bowl, beat the whipping cream with an electric beater till thick and creamy.
In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites till soft peaks form.
Mix this into the whipped cream and beat again.
Add in the powdered sugar and beat well.
Yet in another bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese till smooth and mix this with the egg white whipped cream sugar mixture.
Take your 8inch by 8 inch glass baking dish and dip the sponge fingers in the coffee mixture lightly and place them in the tray row by row to cover the entire base. If you have uneven empty spaces, break the sponge fingers into half and fill them up.
Spread a layer of the cheese over this and sprinkle cocoa powder. Layer another layer of sponge fingers dipped in coffee mixture and then another layer of the cream.
Sprinkle cocoa powder generously over this layer.
Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Cut into squares and serve cold with more cocoa powder sprinkled over and with strawberries on the side to garnish the plate.