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Old 08-02-2005, 03:59 AM   #1
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Tiramisu Cake

Hi guys I am very new here. Recently I tried making my favorite italian desert which is called Tiramisu. I didn't use lady fingers, instead I tried to make sponge cake and it was an absolute disaster. The cream part didnt solidify, the sponge was overly wet with the rum, and the sponge cake part was not soft, but hard. I guess I didnt really know how much of each ingrediant I was to use, because there are so many ways to make it, and that got me really confused

I have several questions in making the desert, here they are:

1) Mascorpone cheese is traditionally used in making the cream part, but does cream cheese taste better? Has anyone tried making it with cream cheese?
2) I am trying to be more health concious, instead of white flour for the sponge cake, can I use whole wheat flour?
3) I am also going to use Splenda for baking (mixture of real sugar and splenda) will that have any affect on the taste?
4) I also used puerto rican rum for the rum part, is a certain type of rum I should buy or any rum will do?
5) There are so many ways to make this, and there is no right or wrong way, but I wiould like to know the EXACT amount of each ingrediant to be put in according to my previous questions, and I want it to be close to the traditional way of making it using the sponge cake method.
I want the serving size to be for 5 people.

Thanks for your help guys! I really appreciate it!

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Old 08-02-2005, 08:25 AM   #2
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This is the recipe that I use (think it's by Anthony Worral-Thompson or Delia Smith, not sure!) - however there is no WRONG way to make the dish, it's individual taste that decides what you use!

3 large egg yolks
75g/3oz caster sugar
a good splash or two Kahulua or coffee liqueur
2 x 250g/9oz tubs mascarpone cheese
200ml/7fl oz strong coffee or espresso, cold
14 boudoir biscuits or sponge finger biscuits
25g/1oz plain chocolate, finely grated
cocoa powder
Using an electric whisk beat the egg yolks and caster sugar together until pale and thick. Add the mascarpone and whisk slowly until the mixture is pale and smooth. Add 1 tbsp of the coffee liqueur and whisk gently.
In a separate bowl, mix the coffee and remaining coffee liqueur.
Dip half of the boudoir biscuits into the coffee mixture place in the bottom of 4 glass coffee cups or small bowls. (Alternatively, place in a single glass bowl to make one large Tiramisu).
Spoon over half the mascarpone mix and sprinkle with half the chocolate. Repeat with another layer of biscuits, mascarpone and chocolate. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours and dust with cocoa powder before serving
I've never used anything but mascarpone - but then I prefer to keep classic dishes to the classic ingredients!

I suspect that the reason it doesn't work with a sponge cake is that the cake is too absorbent - the boudoir fingers are much drier and able to absorb a greater quantity of liquid wthout disintegrating.

I've never used Splenda - but believe it is unsuitable to make cakes... more of a sprinkle on substance... but others here may be able to help you.

Any coffee flavoured liquer would do - or any rum for that matter!
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Old 08-02-2005, 08:47 AM   #3
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Hi Buff,

I do prefer to use mascarpone, but you can sometimes find it in a low fat (and/or organic) variety. I like to use Italian “oo” flour for most of my cake baking, especially in Italian recipes. But if you're forgoing the traditional I would use a pound cake or Madeira loaf instead. Unless you really scale back the liquid volume, I tend to think that sponge cake will not give you satisfactory results. I’ve gotten rave reviews when I make it with Marsala wine, not rum, and a splash or two of coffee liqueur. But I’ve also used (the somewhat overdone) trick of Kahlua, and for St. Paddy's swapped the rum for Bailey’s and added small chunks of dark and white chocolate between the layers.

For more tiramisu recipes than you could make in a lifetime (including a “healthy” section) check out this link:

http://www.heavenlytiramisu.com/recipes.htm
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Old 08-02-2005, 10:22 AM   #4
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Hey Buff -
After reading a few of your posts, it's like a deja vu! Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, and I, too, am hooked on a blueberry Jamba Juice drink.....(great minds think alike)
Anyway, I have also used kahlua in my tiramisu, but for a different kick, I use one of my favorite rums, Malibu. It's a coconut rum and it is tasty in this dish!!!

Rather than using cake, I prefer to use ladyfingers as the "bready" part. Besides holding the alcohol better, it also makes a really pretty presentation. As for exact amount, it's however many fit into your pan. I like to lay them 2 by 2, like a parkay floor:

ll=ll=
=ll=ll

Also, when I make it, I use just enough rum to touch all surfaces of the ladyfingers without making them swim. Does that make sense?
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Old 08-08-2005, 03:40 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone ! You have been a great help. I ordered Tiramisu desert cake for my birthday from an italian restaurant and that satisfied my urges. I studied the appreacence of my cake that i got, and i forgot the most important part and that is how do i even layer the cake, and put cream between the cake? I mean i had all the ingrediants last time, but the cream part didnt solidify, and the sponge cake part was not soft at all. I guess the biggest thing i am lacking is the technique part, can anyone help me on this? Again, thank you everyone for your posts and helping me out.

*ALSO I PREFER THE SPONGE CAKE METHOD, NOT THE ONE WITH LADY FINGERS* THANKS.
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffwannabe
Thanks everyone ! You have been a great help. I ordered Tiramisu desert cake for my birthday from an italian restaurant and that satisfied my urges. I studied the appreacence of my cake that i got, and i forgot the most important part and that is how do i even layer the cake, and put cream between the cake? I mean i had all the ingrediants last time, but the cream part didnt solidify, and the sponge cake part was not soft at all. I guess the biggest thing i am lacking is the technique part, can anyone help me on this? Again, thank you everyone for your posts and helping me out.

*ALSO I PREFER THE SPONGE CAKE METHOD, NOT THE ONE WITH LADY FINGERS* THANKS.
For a classical assembly for Tiramisu, I open all the packages of my boudoir biscuits(champagne biscuits/ladyfingers--they have so many names--but are all thin crispy finger cookies, very light and eggy),I mix up a quart measure(my pyrex glass measuring cup) of 2c strong espresso and 1/2 c kahlua (you may need more, as it soaks into the fingers). I mix up the mascarpone and cream mixtiure, and whip up some cream lightly sweetened with granulated sugar and flavored with some vanilla, and a 9x13 cake pan
step one is to take the ladyfingers and quickly dip each one into the coffee mixture and place it oin the bottom of the pan. repeat until the bottom f the pan is filled neatly. Then put half of your mascarpone mixture over that, acrefully dropping dollops and spreading them to cover the fingers without squishing or moving them. Then repeat the ladyfinger layer, then the mascarpone layer. Then carefully distribute the whipped cream over the whole top, sealing all the edges(about 1/2" thick) and dust with cocoa powder through a small sifter. Chill for at least 2 hours to meld the flavors and set it up firm for cutting. You could put it in the freezer for 30-45 min.

You can also do it in a springform pan lined with parchment paper on the bottom and a strip taller than the sides all around the sides. Once chilled and set up it makes nice slices. I have also done it in 3" tall sections of 3" diameter pvc pipe, cut on my bandsaw for individual presentations. Just cut a strip of parchment and roll it up, slip it into the pipe and let it unroll to fit. Break the ladyfingers in pieces and place them inside dry, then brush with the coffee mixture and layer as above.
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Old 08-22-2005, 11:56 AM   #7
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Thanks Chefsyn! you have been a great help!
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Old 08-23-2005, 09:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffwannabe
Thanks Chefsyn! you have been a great help!
You're welcome! When I get home tonight, I'll try to find the actual recipe I used and post it for you. It's quite easy and good.
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Old 08-23-2005, 12:51 PM   #9
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Buffwanabe, I make triamisu with cream cheese and it works just fine (actually you would never know that there was no mascarpone in it). I do it because I frequently entertain and my family is rather large. Mascarpone is very pricey and I like to make it a bit more economical on my pocket book.

I just use 8oz cream cheese with a cup and a half of heavy cream. I first beat the cream cheese with a paddle attachment until its rather creamy and light. Next I add the cream and using a wire whisk whip it until light fluffy and slightly stiff. I add sugar to taste and also some almond extract and vanilla extract.

I then use ladyfingers or pound cake (pound cake is stiffer than spongecake) and dip them in just cooled home made coffee (I make it strong). Don't overdip, just dip and remove and layer. Pour some cream mixture (not too much just enough to cover lightly). Follow with another layer of cake or fingers and then top it with cream and sprinkle unsweetened cocoa powder or shaved dark chocolate. I don't use egg yolks or any alcohol in my tiramisu but you can just add that to the cream cheese mixture if you want to incorporate it in your recipe.

The other key as chefcyn said is refrigeration time. I would say that out of all my experimentation the best set tiramisu was the one that was refrigerated for atleast 12 hours.
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