Our editor's tried and tested version with tips
We love a big fancy impressive dessert that really becomes a show-stopper at the end of a big dinner party. Cakes are easy to make and common—anyone with a box mix can make them or your money can buy them. But what if you want to stand out?
We bring you our best Tiramisu recipe, tried and tested by one of our editors, Mahim Maher, for 10 years. She makes it on special occasions. She has done this in her Karachi kitchen with imported and local ingredients that are available. The results are so fantastic and she shared tips and tricks on how to make it.
Tiramisu is available in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad as far as we know. It is a sponge and cream combination that most bakeries will offer. However, they tend to use gelatin in them or cheap cream cheese, which is the completely wrong ingredient. This recipe calls for the Italian marscapone cream, which to be honest, only fancy superstores carry. The downside for this dessert is that it is expensive to make. You will need two tubs of marscapone and that will cost you at least Rs1,500. The Savoy ladyfingers are also not cheap. So your total cost can be Rs3,000.
But if you consider how much the bakeries charge for second-rate Tiramisu, you won’t mind making it once a year, budgets permitting.
The process itself is extremely simple, but you must be comfortable working with egg whites. You will also need an electric whisk. They are not expensive machines and worth investing in if you really like baking. We recommend that you first take one egg and use the electric whisk to see how it responds and how far to go.
(One important note: This dish has raw eggs in it. So best to avoid for elderly and pregnant women. This is why it is essential to use fresh eggs and eat on the same day.)
The other part that makes people nervous is separating eggs. We recommend you tap and crack the top, take a little of it off, then pour the gloopy whites out into a bowl until you see the yellow yolk. Then let the rest fall into the cup of your palm. Once the majority of the egg white have slithered down, transfer the yolk to a separate bowl. If the egg yolk breaks from its round shape, transfer even quicker. Your goal is to keep the egg whites free of yolk. If any yellow does fleck in, just use a spoon and remove. This takes some practice, so be patient with yourself.
When you whisk the egg whites for this recipe, you’ll start with the transparent slight fluid. Just hold the whisk and let it do its job. You’ll see it turning opaque and white. It will be foamy. Keep going. Just keep the whisk in the same position. After about a minute or two or a little longer, the whites will get stiff. This is when we stop the whisk (while in the whites) and pull it out. If it leaves a mountain peak, you are good to go.
A tip on what to whisk in. You can put your whites in a glass bowl, it will clatter against the whisk. Don’t worry too much about the noise.
You’ll need these dishes:
A broad square glass dish, put the coffee in it
A big square glass dish for the final dessert
2 bowls for your mixing
Now to the ingredients:
This is what you will need:
250ml fresh strong coffee
65g sugar (you can weigh this but it’s like a quarter of a coffee mug)
5 eggs (ensure they are most fresh as this recipe demands fresh eggs, try to wash them before you break them to avoid contamination from the market)
500g marscapone (this will be two tubs, keep in fridge)
300g Savoy or ladyfinger biscuits (about 35) (You’ll need two packets)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (although we recommend extra)
Start by making your coffee. If you make it in a machine, make it extra strong. If using instant coffee, do the same. Make the coffee and add 1 teaspoon of sugar to it. Let it cool down.
Now, separate the eggs into two bowls. Put the whites in the fridge. Work on the yolks first. Beat the yolks with the sugar until pale and creamy. You will see the colour change. Do this in a big bowl.
Add the marscapone cream by the spoonful to the yolks and mix until light and fluffy. The marscapone is thick, so you have to mix quite a bit.
Take the other bowl out of the fridge; whisk the egg whites to firmish mountain peaks.
Next, spoon by spoon, add the egg whites to the marscapone-yolk cream mixture. Keep a very light touch. You want the air bubbles to stay. Do not mix to much. Swirl it in. It will be hard but don’t panic and keep going. The final combined mixture is a pale yellow.
Now put this combined bowl in the freezer.
Next set out your final dish to make the Tirmisu.
Open the packet of biscuits. Dip them long side down in the coffee very quickly just for the underside to absorb a little coffee. These biscuits are very quick to get soggy so don’t totally immerse.
Lie each biscuit in a line in your dish to cover the bottom.
Take the final cream mixture out of the deep freezer. Use a spoon and flat spatula and smoothen two or three spoonfuls over the first layer of biscuits.
Repeat with a next layer of biscuits. Then add cream on top.
You will do this about three times.
One trick is to break the Savoy biscuits to fit them around the spaces left
over. It is like a dessert lasagna.
When done, cover the top with cocoa powder by sifting it like snow.
Put the dish in the fridge for 6 hours. The more you chill it, the better it tastes. So we tend to make it in the morning and keep covered till evening.
It will serve about 10 people.
We hope that you try this recipe as it is totally worth it.