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Don’t laugh, but I have always been a big fan of tiramisu for breakfast. It has all the necessary breakfast components – coffee, eggs, dairy, biscuits and token fruit – and if you make it the night before, it’s at optimal-eating-stage and ready to go so that you’re not wasting time making boring things like toast. Wouldn’t you rather have tiramisu than toast? Mmmhmm, I can see that you’re coming around to my way of thinking.

There are a dozen different ways to make tiramisu (check out Heston Blumenthal’s below), but my sister tells me that my recipes are too complicated so I’ve simplified it into a 20-minute process for you.

You don’t need to bother separating the yolks from the whites, whisking them together provides the same result, albeit in a more convenient less-foolproof form. Whisking the whites separately just creates the potential to over-whip, and can make the whites dry and difficult to fold into the cream mixture.

(adapted from ‘How to Cook Like Heston’)
makes 8 mini tiramisus

Coffee sponge base
Approx 16 sponge fingers
Approx 180-200 ml espresso (or 150ml ground coffee brewed in 400ml water)
60ml    Marsala (or 30ml brandy)

Marsala cream
3         eggs
70g     sugar
250g   mascarpone
150ml cream (min 35% fat)
60ml   Marsala (or brandy)
¼ tsp  vanilla extract

For the topping
50 g   grated dark chocolate

For the Marsala cream
  1. Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs with the sugar until fluffy and doubled in volume.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the mascarpone and whipping cream until soft peaks form. It doesn’t take long; you can do it by hand.
  3. Add Marsala and vanilla extract and stir to combine.Fold the cream mixture into the sugar and eggs in three additions.
Assembling the tiramisu
  1. Mix coffee with Marsala and stir to combine. Dip sponge fingers into coffee mixture for a couple of seconds.
  2. Place a layer of coffee sponge biscuits into the bottom of serving glasses and fill the glass to just under halfway with the mascarpone mixture. Repeat so that you have a second layer.
  3. Cling wrap each glass and refrigerate for at least three hours.
  4. Just before serving, cover with a layer of grated dark chocolate and top with a strawberry to make sure that you’re getting that essential fruit component into your diet.
Tips for the perfect tiramisu:
  • Use fresh eggs, and be careful of cross-contamination as the eggs aren’t cooked at all in this recipe. Check the use by date on the eggs to be sure.
  • Do not store for more than three days.
  • Unacceptable cheats for this are using cream cheese as a substitute – mascarpone costs about $5 at the supermarket.
  • Don’t skip the Marsala or your tiramisu will lack flavour. Entry-level Marsala costs about $6 and is perfectly acceptable for making tiramisu with (and you’ll have enough for at least 7 batches).

There’s really not much of a saving to be made and you’ll end up with a substandard tiramisu.