Two weeks ago on Easter Sunday, four of my five children came to my house for Easter dinner. My daughter Kiki made a gorgeous Pizza Rustica (an Italian timble much like a French quiche, but much bigger), and everyone else brought hors d’oeuvres, pies and wine. I made a ham, an enormous spaghetti Caruso, a cream filled sponge cake and a Tiramisu.
The sponge cake suffered a sad fate when my cat Crumpet jumped on the buffet, caught her claw in the crocheted edging of the cloth runner and ,in one thunderous crash, sent the cake stand, with the sponge cake sitting on it, flying to the floor, where it shattered into pieces. I was now down to one dessert, but the Tiramisu could definitely feed a crowd, and happily, my oldest daughter arrived with two pies. I also put the sliced strawberries and whipped cream reserved for the spongecake into a bowl as a fruit dessert. Voila – all was well again.
Tiramisu was once all the rage as a favorite Italian dessert in Italian restaurants and homes, but it traditionally contains raw egg yolks. However, by substituting pasteurized eggs or an egg substitute, I remove any possibility of salmonella contamination. Happiness. I could at last enjoy making and eating Tiramisu.
I used Trader Joe’s lady finger biscuits in this dessert and they were perfect. They held up well after being dunked in coffee and even after being covered in custard and refrigerated for several days. Tiramisu lasts three or four days after the holiday, so guests can take some home and enjoy it with other leftovers. Of course, as the hostess, I can also keep some in my fridge and enjoy lovely spoonfuls of it for days. Yum.
I doubled the following Tiramisu recipe to serve ten people, so just cut the amount of ingredients in half if you are serving 4 – 6.
3/4 cup of egg substitute or the equivalent of pasteurized eggs
1 cup espresso or strong coffee, cooled
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cognac or brandy
8 0z mascarpone cheese (I used BelGiosio)
1 pkg Trader Joe’s Lady fingers or some Italian brand of crisp lady fingers
2 tbsp cocoa
Step 1: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip, combine the egg substitute, 1 tbsp espresso, sugar, and brandy.
Beat 2 0r three minutes until egg and sugar are thick like egg nog.
Step 2: Pour the espresso into a shallow bowl. Working quickly, dip each lady finger into the espresso and then lay it flat in the bottom of a 9 x 9 glass serving dish. (I use a glass pyrex baking dish.) Cover the entire bottom of the dish with espresso dipped lady fingers.
Spread the mascarpone mixture all over the ladyfingers from end to end of the serving dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or foil and place in the fridge until ready to serve. Just before serving, place the cocoa powder in a small strainer and dust the cocoa all over the top of the cake .
I need to make it again and take a picture of the finished dessert which, sadly, I forgot to do on Easter. I am substituting a similar dessert I made another time that looks like the tiramisu I made on Easter just to give you an idea of how delicious a cake and custard dessert can look.