Tiramisu (“pick me up”) is so named because of the caffeine in the espresso and cocoa in this popular Italian dessert. This version is rolled up and coated with Mascarpone cream, then tucked under a chocolate shell. The chocolate shell and white chocolate garnishes are optional.
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons, melted
- Egg Yolks - 10 large
- Sugar - 1-1/2 cups, plus sugar for sprinkling
- All-Purpose Flour - 3/4 cup, unbleached, sifted
- Vanilla Extract - 1 tablespoon
- Egg Whites - 8, large
- Salt - 1/8 teaspoon
- Cream of Tartar - 1/8 teaspoon
- Mascarpone Cream
- Heavy (Whipping) Cream - 2 cups
- Egg Yolks - 3
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Mascarpone Cheese - 8 ounces, at room temperature
- Coffee Syrup
- Brewed Espresso - 1-1/2 cups (alt. dark french roast coffee)
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Myers’s Rum - 2 tablespoons
- Kahlua Liqueur - 3 tablespoons
- Cocoa Powder - 1/2 cup, unsweetened
- Chocolate Sauce - 1 cup
- Bittersweet Chocolate Cage
- White Chocolate Lattices
To make the cake: preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a 13-by-17-inch sided baking sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper and brush it with the melted butter. In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks with 1 cup of the sugar. Place over simmering water and beat until the mixture is pale in color and doubled in volume, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the flour to the yolks and mix in briefly, then add the vanilla and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, then the salt and cream of tartar, until stiff, glossy peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture and spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.
Sprinkle the top of the cake with sugar, then invert onto a sheet of parchment paper or waxed paper.
To make the Mascarpone cream: In a deep bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In a double boiler over simmering water, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale in color and thick, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cheese and continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth. Let cool, then fold the egg yolk mixture into the whipped cream. Refrigerate until chilled.
To make the coffee syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the coffee and sugar and heat over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Let cool to room temperature, then add the rum and Kahlua.
To assemble the tiramisu: Soak the cake with about 1-1/2 cups of the coffee syrup. Reserve the remaining coffee syrup. Reserve about 3/4 cup of the Mascarpone cream in the refrigerator; spread the remaining cream on the soaked cake. Smooth the surface, going all the way to the edges. Using the parchment or waxed paper to lift and roll the cake, tightly roll the cake lengthwise into a log.Transfer, seam-side down, to a pan and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours.
To serve: Put the chocolate sauce in a squeeze bottle and drizzle a little over a serving platter large enough to hold the tiramisu. Unwrap the chilled tiramisu and transfer it to the serving platter. Brush it with the remaining coffee syrup. Spread the outside with the remaining Mascarpone cream and dust well with cocoa powder. Lightly dust cocoa powder on a few areas of the rim of the platter. Drizzle the tiramisu lightly with more chocolate sauce. Gently place the curved chocolate “cage” over the tiramisu. Garnish the edges of the tiramisu with white chocolate lattices. When serving, break the chocolate cage into large pieces. Cut the tiramisu into slices and serve each slice with a bit of the chocolate cage and a white chocolate lattice.
Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick liners or heavy flexible plastic. Have a large empty soda bottle or similar large-diameter cylindrical item ready. Place each chocolate in its own small saucepan set over a larger pan of hot water and melt the chocolates. Put the chocolates in separate squeeze bottles. With the bittersweet chocolate, drizzle chocolate over one of the pans in a latticework design measuring about 12 inches by 17 inches. Let it stand about 30 seconds, then crisscross it with a small lattice of white chocolate. Let stand until the chocolate loses its wet shine. Lift the entire pan liner or sheet of plastic and place it flat on the work surface. Lay the soda bottle on its side in the baking sheet. Lift the liner or sheet of plastic and arch it over the bottle in the pan; do not try to wrap the sheet down tightly around the bottle, but just let it gently drape over. Place in the refrigerator to set. With the remaining white chocolate, make small 4-inch square lattices on the remaining prepared sheet; put in the refrigerator to set.