I saw on the Food Network a chef, can't remember his name, making an unrecognizable tiramisu, this Italian dessert that has been around for over 20 years. Recently I sampled a similar awful tiramisu, they both had a very rich chocolate cake instead of lady fingers, chocolate ganache, and no mascarpone cheese. The one I tasted did not have a hint of coffee flavor.
Last Wednesday the Washington Post Food section had a 3 pages long but entertaining article about the dessert and the Italian man who claims he invented it. You can read the article and his recipe here. I have always made tiramisu with brandy and after reading the article I added marsala and I like it very much. I have loved this dessert, either store bought or homemade, both the rich and the lighter recipes.
The recipe below is a lighter version of TIRAMISU, adapted from my cookbook THE ESSENTIAL DESSERT COOKBOOOK
3 tablespoons custard powder
1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons sugar
8 oz mascarpone cheese (or crème fraîche and mascarpone)
2 egg whites (powdered)
2 tablespoons sugar
1½ cups strong espresso coffee, chilled
4 tablespoons Marsala wine
1 tablespoon unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- Stir the custard powder in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of the skim milk until dissolved. Add the remaining milk with 2 tablespoons sugar and stir over medium heat until the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap and cool at room temperature.
- Beat together the cooled custard and mascarpone for 2 minutes. Cover and cool in the refrigerator while preparing the egg whites. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat for 1 minute. Fold egg whites into the custard. Set aside.
- Pour coffee into a dish, stir in the wine. Using half of the lady fingers, quickly dip each cookie in the coffee mixture and arrange in a single layer on a serving dish.
- Using half of the custard mixture, smooth it evenly over the cookies. Repeat layers of dipped ladyfingers and custard. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to develop.
- Lightly dust top of cake with cocoa powder before serving.