I’m gonna warn y’all up front that this recipe is a bit on the high maintenance side. Now any of you who know me know this is not my norm. I don’t have the time or the attention span to dilly dally over something I’m gonna put on the table. It has nothing to do with skill, just lack of will :).
When it comes to Tiramisu though, I have to give in from time to time due to my sheer adoration of this decadent dessert. If you want to make a showstopper to really impress folks, this is your new best friend.
This is one of those recipes that my grandmother refers to as “Eye-talian”, the old South’s pronunciation of “Italian”. Next to Southern food, Italian is one of my all time favorites. My husband likes my tiramisu but he always says “It would just taste so much better if it didn’t have that coffee flavor..” ~laughs~ Bless his heart, he kinda misses the whole point of Tiramisu, doesn’t he?
Even though it may be a bit on the high maintenance side, this is STILL easy, YOU CAN do it, and it is so very worth every bit of additional effort!
You’ll need: LadyFingers, granulated sugar, eggs, whipped topping, cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar, and cream cheese.
You’ll need 20 ladyfingers so you will most likely have to get two packages to get this amount. This package has twelve.
Katy thinks the name “Lady Fingers” is hilarious. I think her smiling face is precious.
Alright, back to food now.
You’re also going to need some coffee liqeur and strong coffee.
You can use instant coffee granulated and water if you like but I am using the coffee concentrate I make for my iced coffee.
For Coffee Liqueur, the original recipe called for Kahlua. I made my once a decade pilgrimage to the liquor store (I always feel like I’m going to get in trouble for going in there! I know, I’m an odd bird but my dad was a cop and as a result, I just never did anything wrong as a kid. Now, here I am a full grown adult and the programming is still there!) and when I saw how expensive Kahlua was, I opted for a cheaper version. This was a full ten dollars cheaper and I can’t tell a bit of difference in my Tiramisu. You’re only going to use two tablespoons of it and you can certainly leave it out if you like.
Using it in two tablespoon increments, this bottle is going to last me twenty years, I swear.
Add your coffee liqueur to the strong coffee. If you’d rather leave out the liqueur just use two tablespoons more coffee.
This is purely a matter of personal taste and your Tiramisu will be every bit as good no matter which way you go here.
Add 2 T sugar. Stir until dissolved.
Layer 1/2 of your ladyfingers in the bottom of an 8×8 dish.
Ladyfingers come split in two already so just take the tops or bottoms and layer them cut side up so they absorb the most liquid.
Drizzle 1/2 of coffee mixture over ladyfingers.
They will be kind of spotted looking like this. They don’t have to be evenly coated so don’t fret over it.
In mixing bowl, place softened cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar.
Mix until smooth and creamy.
Gently mix in 1 cup of whipped topping. Mix until smooth and creamy again.
Now comes the high maintenance part.
Like I said, it is not difficult at all, just a little more “babying” than I usually give my dishes. Southern food tends to be “hardy stuff” that you can just whip up and beat into shape! Tiramisu is a bit more delicate, but well worth the trouble.
Put some water in the bottom of a double boiler and bring it to a boil, place top pan in over the boiling water.
I don’t use a traditional double boiler because my pots were designed to fit together like this to make a big ole double boiler.
Add in sugar…
We need to separate our three eggs because we are just going to be using the whites in this recipe. There are egg separators you can purchase if you like that make this really easy. What I do though is just crack my egg open and gently allow the white to fall off. It will actually roll off the yoke if you just give it a second and be gentle with it. You might want to separate each egg in a new bowl to make sure you don’t taint your whites with yoke because if you get any yellow at all in there, they whites won’t whip up like we need them to.
You can do this! Don’t get intimidated if you’ve never separated an egg before, just get a few extra and practice. If you mess it up a time or two, save the egg to use later and try again. Once you get the knack of this you’ll be able to do it easily for the rest of your life.
Pour the egg whites into the top pot of your double broiler.
While your water in the bottom of the double boiler is simmering, beat the contents in the top with an electric mixer.
Make sure your beaters are perfectly clean because if they aren’t your whites won’t form peaks like we need them to.
First, they’ll start to get a little foamy.
Then they’ll get a LOT foamy…
This is almost to “soft peak” stage.
This is meringue that has formed “stiff peaks”. If you’ll look just to the right up near the top you’ll see where I pulled my beaters out and there are two points still sticking up. If the points remain standing, they are stiff peaks. If they droop a bit after you pull your beaters out, they are soft peaks.
We wanted stiff peaks and we got it! Do you know why? Because you are utterly brilliant, of course!
Add about a cup or so of that to your cheese mixture and beat it in.
Until it looks like this. Now add in the rest of your meringue and gently mix it all in.
You can do this by hand or with your mixer on it’s lowest setting.
Spread half of the cheese mixture over your ladyfingers.
Add a second layer of ladyfingers and drizzle the coffee mixture over them like before.
Add the remaining cheese mixture.
Top with remaining whipped topping and sprinkle cocoa powder over the top.
Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
This is pretty rich but every bite is about as close to heaven as a body can get!
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -Thomas Alva Edison
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