This recipe has been with me since my culinary school times. I've lost it, found it, and changed ingredient proportions a few times. But it's still the only one I use when making this exquisite, creamy, coffee infused dessert.
Last time I made it I ran out of coffee and substitute it with Café Patrón, more delicious than ever but not apt if you are planning to drive after having it.
+ In memory of pastry chef Oscar Vidal who shared this and many other delicious recipes with all his students at CESSA Universidad.
4 egg yolks
150 gr sugar
250 gr mascarpone
300 ml heavy cream
2 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water until soft (5 min) and squeezed before being added to the mix
1/4 tsp almond essence
2 packs lady finger biscuits, like this
2 cups strong espresso coffee
30 ml -or to taste- marsala, rum, Café Patrón, Kahlua, tequila... I've used all types of spirits and I'm happy to report they all work well.
200 gr chocolate, half chopped in little pieces and half shaved with a potato peeler for decoration
Cocoa powder to sprinkle over the top
Prepare a double boiler by bringing 5 centimetres of water to a simmer in a saucepan. Place a glass or stainless steel bowl over the top, so that it fits snugly without touching the water below.
Place egg yolks, sugar, and almond essence in the bowl. Whisk until thick, pale and creamy (3-4 minutes). I use the ribbon test: Lift the whisk and draw a line with the mix over the rest of the yolk mix and check. If the line takes a few seconds to disappear in the mix the "sabayon" (the name for this sauce) is ready. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.
Squeeze excess water from gelatine leaves and add to egg mix, whisking to incorporate well. Slowly add mascarpone mixing with folding movements.
Place heavy cream in a separate large bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip to soft peaks. Fold into the egg and mascarpone mixture.
Mix the coffee with the coffee liqueur or spirit. Dunk the lady fingers quickly in the coffee mixture, making sure they are completely immersed. Don’t leave them in for more than a second or two as they can turn soggy.
Layer one third of the sponge fingers in a serving dish (approximately 24cm x 16cm) and top with a third of the mascarpone cream. Sprinkling a bit of chocolate in between. Repeat twice to form three layers.
Sift cocoa evenly over the top with the help of a baby colander and decorate with chocolate curls. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours before serving. I find Tiramisù tastes better the next (or second) day.