Sometimes I have moments that I have to wake up and remind myself that, although it does to some extent, the rest of civilized society does not completely revolve around food like it does in my head. Oh, the pain of facing reality.
When I first started blogging my idea of exotic food was probably limited to the familiar things on a take-out menu. Let’s just say that it was much different than it is now. Ever since I started wanting to cook though, I’ve had the urge to make as many foods from as many cultures as possible so I’m constantly surrounding myself with ideas.
You see, life’s all about perspective and from my point of view it seems like everyone is already familiar with famous desserts and dishes from around the world because I am constantly seeing them and reading about them while searching for inspiration. It isn’t until I try making one of them for the first time that I realize there are certain things that are not as common to those of us from small-town USA. Okay, I’m not talking about these kinds of dishes. Not having a clue what Tabouleh is or how to pronounce it is one thing, that I understand, but come on, tiramisu isn’t all that uncommon, right?
Well it is in this house and I’ll admit that I’ve never made or even tasted a traditional Italian Tiramisu, but I’ve wanted to since before I started blogging. I’m happy to say that I can now check it off the list of culinary mysteries yet to try. I also made it from scratch and it really it’s really pretty simple in case, like me, you’ve never made it.
Something else that I have been reminded of lately is the raw egg thing. I have a new friend that is extremely freaked out about the idea of eating a raw egg and it made me remember how that was a common scare where I grew up, and personally, I think it’s a bit of a sheltered view of things. Hello, have you heard of mayo? I am certainly no expert and I do know that there are potential dangers in eating raw eggs if not carefully handled, but I’ve somehow survived doing it my entire life (Shake hands with the world’s biggest cookie dough/cake batter fan, that would be me.) and so has most of the world throughout history.
Speaking of the world, that has been something I’ve discovered in learning about traditional cooking. So many recipes call for raw eggs too. Tiramisu is just one of the many examples and Italians have been serving this up since forever. I think I am just trying to make myself feel better because I have guilt issues if I feel like I am serving someone something that’s dangerous. Rationalizing it is how I deal.
I know there are many recipes for eggless, or cooked egg tiramisu out there but I like trying things in the traditional way and that includes raw eggs sometimes. If you also have concerns about eggs I get that. I’d always recommend buying your eggs fresh and locally from a trusted source (brown eggs are so much prettier), storing them safely, and washing before you use.
This is a really awesome and pretty easy dessert that I hope you still want to try after all of my babble. I added Nutella because that’s me, I tend to want to add everything,so just be thankful I left it there. I made it in glasses because I don’t have pretty dish at this moment but you can do it either way. You just need to make it!
- 12 - 18 ladyfingers, packaged or recipe follows
- 2 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese *see note
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup nutella
- 1 1/2 cups strong black coffee
- 3 tablespoons Kahlúa
- cocoa powder for dusting tops
- 4 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup flour
- powdered sugar for dusting
- butter or oil for pans
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C) then line 2 baking trays with parchment and grease with butter or oil. Place egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat until soft peaks form, Slowly add in 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Scrape whites into a separate medium bowl and add yolks and 2/3 cup sugar to mixer bowl. Beat until light in color and frothy. Add extracts, salt, and baking powder and mix well.
- Fold in egg white mixture with a rubber spatula until mostly mixed, then sift in flour and continue folds until evenly combined.
- Fit a piping bag with a 1/2 inch round tip and fill with mixture. Pipe into 4 1/2 inch lady fingers, about 1/2 inch apart on trays. Dust with powdered sugar and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on the outside. Remove and cool.
- Combine yolks and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (no need to wash after lady fingers) and beat until light in color. Add mascarpone, salt, and vanilla and beat until smooth. You should have about 3 cups, so take 1 1/2 cups out and add nutella to the remaining mix and beat until creamy smooth.
- You can make this in a trifle dish, 13x9 pan, or individual glasses. Mix coffee and Kahlúa in a small bowl and dip lady fingers as you add them. Layer coffee dipped lady fingers, then white cream, then nutella cream, then a dusting of cocoa and repeat layers until dish or glasses are full.
If you can't find macarpone you can replace it with: 1 1/3 cups softened cream cheese, 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream, and 1/4 cup sour cream, beaten together until smooth