I was requested to conduct a class on Tiramisu making for Father's Day. So I had to test out my recipe before the actual day.
Over the years, I have tried and tested a lot of Tiramisu recipes but none seemed to find its way into my Red Book (my book of treasured recipes).
So I have done some research on the recipes and figure out how the variations in recipes affect the end product.
Types of alcohol used
Before I got my hands on a bottle of Marsala wine, I was making Tiramisu with Rum. Rum is fine as a decent flavour to pair all cakes. But the sweet aroma of Marsala wine will produce a much tastier dessert. So I reckon it is worth all the effort. If you cannot consume alcohol, you have to find Rum extract. Using any other types of liqueur substitute will just spoil the overall taste.
Instant coffee vs Espresso
For the convenience of most bakers, we will use instant coffee. However, don't forget coffee is an integral part of this dessert. Tiramisu means "Pick me up" in Italian. Hence, the coffee used for dipping the savioardi sponge fingers must be a good strong coffee preferably espresso.
Homemade sponge fingers or store bought savioardi biscuits
Although I'm an advocate of making everything myself, in this case I love the Italian sponge fingers. Somehow the aromas that they have included in their sponge fingers make them tastier than homemade. Till I figured out what those aromas are, I'm sticking to store bought.
Whipping cream or Egg whites
Unless you are saving those egg whites for your Macarons making, folding in both whipped cream and whisked egg whites add lightness to the recipe. It also adds volume to your mascarpone mix. Thus, you could use only 250g of Mascarpone for 8 servings.
Egg yolks mixture
I have recentl chanced upon a good article about Tiramisu making using the zabaione (sabayon) method. Instead of simply whisking the egg yolks and sugar till thickened, I whisked it over a Bain Marie. This helps to cook the egg yolks. I was rather pleased that the final product was light and airy. On top of that, it aas much more stable. I could keep the dessert in the fridge without worrying about raw eggs inside.
Cocoa powder or chopped chocolate
Tiramisu is never complete without a generous sprinkling of cocoa powder. Some lush recipe included chopped chocolate instead. After trying both recipes, I have decided to include the both. The chopped chocolate adds the extra lushness to the dessert. The cocoa powder helps to cover up the parts of dessert that the chocolate missed.
After all the talk, here is the wonderful article on Tiramisu (recipe included). Enjoy!