My favorite Italian dessert has always been tiramisu. Not gelato. Not zabaglione. Or however it’s spelled. Tiramisu. My favorite place to order it? Olive Garden.
Over the years, I have read several copy cat recipes. Todd Wilbur’s recipe (of Top Secret Recipes fame) seemed the best bet. But where I lived in the 90s and early 2000s, you couldn’t easily find lady fingers. And if you could, it was often cheaper to purchase an entire tiramisu from Olive Garden than to purchase the way-too-expensive ladyfingers and other ingredients.
In stepped Kroger a few months ago. They ran a sale for a few weeks on Italian items that led to them having a lot of excess stock. As a result, the ladyfingers went on sale for $1.49 a package. I seized my opportunity.
I made tiramisu by Todd Wilbur’s recipe, and it was spot on fantastic! And easy!
I found the recipe at Food.com. This recipe is not only Muffin Approved, but it’s also Muffin’s Granddaddy Approved. This was the man who told my mom that the tiramisu was “terrible. Terribly good.”
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups mascarpone cheese (2 packages—bring this to room temperature—Trust me!)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
20 -24 ladyfingers (one package)
1/2 cup cold espresso (I used instant espresso powder with water)
1/4 cup Kahlua
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
In a double boiler, whisk egg yolks, milk and sugar together in a the top pot, then place the pot on top of the bottom. Whisk the mixture often for 8 to 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Remove the bowl from the heat, and to it add the of mascarpone cheese and the vanilla. Whisk the cheese until it smooths out. In a separate bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer until thick. Slowly fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until it’s completely incorporated, but don’t over mix or it will lose its fluff and flatten out. Combine the espresso and Kahlua in a large, shallow bowl. One-by-one, quickly dip each ladyfinger in the espresso. Arrange half of the dipped ladyfingers side-by-side on the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch serving dish or baking pan. Spoon about half of the cheese mixture over the ladyfingers, then add another layer of soaked ladyfingers on top of the cheese mixture. Spoon the remaining cheese mixture over the second layer of ladyfingers and spread it evenly. Put two teaspoons of cocoa powder in a tight-mesh strainer and gently tap the side of the strainer to add an even dusting of cocoa powder over the top of the dessert. Cover and chill for several hours.
As I said, this recipe is Muffin Approved!