Cooking Lessons with Mum: Tiramisu

Mum's Tiramisu

My parents were away in Japan (lucky ducks) for about three weeks and have only just returned from recouping at the beach. It’s been lovely to hear all about the relaxing time they’ve been having while I’ve been at work, sort of. I am really glad they’ve had such a great holiday, but it did mean as a result my dad missed father’s day. Normally on Father’s Day we would do something special for him to show him how much we love him, but because he was away we sort of missed it. So my sister and I decided we could do a nice mid-week dinner for him as a belated Father’s Day celebration, just so he didn’t feel like he had missed out on anything, and to give him some love.

Mum's Tiramisu

But what to make? Well, my sister got right on a beautiful slow cooked lamb dish which was absolutely amazing. But for me, I decided that I could work on the course that I enjoy making the most: dessert, of course! And when it comes to dessert, I know the way to my dad’s heart. Although he will often have some berries and yogurt for dessert midweek, I know if he could have tiramisu every night he would. I am pretty sure it is his favourite dessert, as he’s always ordering it when we go out, and we will often share one together when we go to our local Italian restaurant. So not only was it a favourite of his, it brings fond memories back to me of enjoying food with dad, which was really nice.

Mum's Tiramisu

The benefit of having mum back is that she was around to teach me a thing or two about making the perfect tiramisu. I know there are a lot of ways to make this beautiful Italian dessert, and everyone prefers a different type. I know a lot of people enjoy a really cakey tiramisu that stands on its own and is full of biscuits and chocolate. My partner, who comes from an Italian family, loves his tiramisu with custard, which I myself am not the biggest fan of, but each to their own! My experience with tiramisu has come from the one my mum makes which is beautiful and creamy, and almost like a trifle. She uses this aged newspaper clipping for a mascarpone cream that she collected years ago, and then makes this into a tiramisu. It reminds me of special occasions when she would make it, and it was so delicious. We rarely make desserts at home, so I thought this might be a way to make the dinner extra special for my dad. So mum taught me the tips and tricks for making her perfect tiramisu, which meant that I ended up with the perfect dessert for my dad!

Mum's Tiramisu

This tiramisu recipe results in a trifle like dessert with a rich, beautiful mascarpone cream and flavours of brandy and Grand Marnier. These mix perfectly with real espresso soaked biscuits and chocolate shavings over the top. It’s a truly decadent dessert, perfectly Italian, and I think it’s everything anyone could want in a classic tiramisu. What’s more, not too difficult to make, and you easily make it ahead and pull it out when you are ready to eat. I love that you can whip it up quite quickly as you don’t even need to bake it, and the resulting dish is truly delicious.

Mum’s Tiramisu

Mum's Tiramisu

Preparation Time 20 minutes
Cooking Time No bake
Serves 6-8

Ingredients

·         250 grams of Mascarpone Cheese

·         4 eggs – separated

·         4 tablespoons of caster sugar

·         1/8 cup of Brandy

·         1/8 cup of Grand Marnier

·         About 1 cup of freshly brewed espresso coffee

·         1 packet of Savoiardi biscuits

·         Dark chocolate to shave over the top

Method

1.       In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer with the whisk attachment on high, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form (about 2 minutes). Make sure that there is no egg yolk or water in the egg whites as otherwise they will not whip up. Set aside.

2.       In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture goes light yellow and firm. This should take about 2 minutes.

3.       Mix in your Mascarpone to the egg yolk mixture. Use a fork to blend it together with the egg yolk mixture before beating to avoid wrecking your whisk. Once this has started to combine and the Mascarpone has softened, use your whisk to blend until smooth.

4.       Using a spatula, fold the Mascarpone mixture into the egg whites. Be careful not to overmix, and just make sure you lightly fold it until it has just combined. The egg whites should still be visible throughout the thick Mascarpone mix.

5.       Pour the Brandy and Grand Marnier into the mix and fold until combine. The mixture should be fluffy but combined completely.

6.       Place your espresso in a mixing bowl, and get out a trifle bowl or another bowl to serve the tiramisu in. Begin dipping the Savoirardi biscuits in the espresso to coat lightly on both sides. Once you have dipped quickly, shake each biscuit to ensure they are not too wet. Layer these across the bottom of the dish.

7.       Once you have your first layer of biscuits, pour some of the Mascarpone mixture over the biscuits. Use a spatula to evenly distribute the mixture across the biscuits.

8.       Repeat with another layer of biscuits, dipping in the espresso and layering over the Mascarpone. Then pour the remaining Mascarpone mixture onto the biscuits and level again. Add one more layer of espresso soaked biscuits over the top. You can add more layers if you want, it’s completely up to you.

9.       Shave dark chocolate over the top of the mixture to completely cover the tiramisu. Place in fridge to keep cool until serving.

Mum's Tiramisu

This tiramisu was the perfect dessert! It was soft and creamy, with just the right amount of espresso flavour and crunch from the biscuits. It’s a truly decadent dessert that would impress any dinner party guests or your family for a special occasion. Or, it is so easy that you could just whip it up anytime you felt like a delicious treat (I won’t judge!) It keeps pretty well in the fridge for a couple of days, but you want to try and eat it as quickly as possible as the biscuits will go soggy over time. I don’t think you will have much trouble finishing it off though; I could have easily eaten the whole bowl of this!

Mum's Tiramisu

My dad was so excited when I pulled the tiramisu out of the fridge after dinner. I don’t think he was expecting such decadent dessert midweek. He truly loves his tiramisu and so I served him a nice big bowl and he loved every bite. I was so glad that I made it for him because it made the dinner a little bit more special. I love that tiramisu is a relatively simple dish to make, but it seems so fancy and special. It’s a great go to dessert when you are a little short of time and want something truly delicious!

Mum's Tiramisu

Has anyone tried making tiramisu before? What is your version? I’d love to hear all the different types of tiramisus people love, because everyone has such different taste when it comes to this classic! I’m just so glad that now I can replicate my favourite one, thanks to my mum showing me the ropes!

Mum's Tiramisu

Until next time, happy baking!

Ella xx

Mum's Tiramisu

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What are Choux looking at?

Coffee Profiteroles

Last weekend was a nice, quiet weekend. You know, one of those ones you wish for when you are super busy, but when you actually get one you wish you had stuff to do? Although I did wish I had more plans, it ended up being quite good. I actually gave my liver a break from busy; unintentionally alcohol fuelled weekends, and took some time to chill out. Despite the strong temptation to watch Netflix all weekend, I decided to set some time aside to tackle a recipe I’ve never tried before.

There are certain things when it comes to baking that I’ve never been game to try. I mean, I love baking, but there are some sweet treats that just seem a little too difficult to replicate. Most of these happen to be pastries, perhaps because they look so flawless and beautiful in the shops. I’ve always seen pastries as some sort of mastery that I couldn’t possibly try. But this weekend I decided to face my fear of pastries, and give them a go. After all, this is what my blog is all about. I want to try those recipes that I would never usually try, and step out of my comfort zone.

Coffee Profiteroles

So I decided to give Choux Pastry a go, which is the pastry that makes up a number of treats I’m sure you would love to eat. One of these recipes is profiteroles, and so I decided to make these on the weekend. I had put on my Pinterest board a while back a recipe for Dominique Ansel’s Choux Pastry. For those of you who don’t know, Dominique Ansel is the amazing baker who invented the original Cronut. I did go to his bakery when I was in New York to try and sample of one the original Cronuts, but sadly I missed out by two people. It was a pretty devastating moment for me (yes, I am emotionally attached to pastry). But it did give me an opportunity to try one of his other creations, the DKA. I would recommend trying this caramelised croissant creation if you ever get the chance to go to his bakery.

Coffee Profiteroles

So I figured, if I was going to try Choux Pastry, the God of pastry himself should guide me. And although I was quite apprehensive about the whole thing, I was actually surprised by how easy it was to do! It really showed me that there is no need to be scared of recipes, because often the ones that seem really difficult don’t turn out to be that bad!

Coffee Profiteroles

The recipe I used for the choux pastry didn’t actually have a recipe for the filling. So once I realised that the pastries had actually worked I realised that they would be a bit bland without something to fill them. So I tried another recipe that I’ve never been game to try – Crème Patissiere. Surprisingly, it really wasn’t that difficult either, and was actually pretty fun! I chose one with coffee in it as I felt like it would be nice to give the profiteroles a little twist, and something different. Even my dog was pretty excited by the whole endeavour, and he hung around for most of the cook!

Coffee Profiteroles

Coffee Profiteroles

Coffee Profiteroles

Adapted from Tasting Table and Honey and Spice

Serves

20

Preparation Time 10 minutes
Cooking Time 30 minutes
Assembly Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

Choux Pastry

·      1/3 Cup of water

·      4 tablespoons of full cream milk

·      5 and a half tablespoons of unsalted butter

·      1 teaspoon of sugar

·      1 teaspoon of salt

·      2/3 cup of plain flour

·      3 eggs (for the pastry)

·      1 egg and 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

Coffee Crème Patissiere

·      ¼ cup of caster sugar

·      2 large egg yolks

·      2 tablespoons of corn flour

·      1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

·      ¾ cup and 2 teaspoons of milk

·      ¼ cup of strong coffee (I used espresso), cooled

·      25 grams of butter

Directions

Choux Pastry

1.     Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

2.     Combine the water, milk, butter, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan and place on the stove on a medium heat. Bring this to a boil where bubbles are forming and popping, ensuring you stir the mixture to avoid it sticking to the pan.

3.     Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together and pulls away from the sides. The recipe said about 7 minutes for this, but mine pulled away from the sides pretty much instantly, and I really only had it in the pan for a minute or so. Rather than measuring by time, just go by what the ingredients are doing.

4.     Transfer the mixture to a bowl and use either a stand mixer or a hand held mixer with a paddle attachment to beat the dough. Whip on a low speed, adding the eggs one at a time. Ensure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one.

5.     Cut the tip off a piping bag and insert a plain tip. Use a rubber spatula to transfer the choux pastry dough to the bag.

6.     Line two baking trays with baking paper and pipe out about 4 rows of 3 choux pastries on each sheet. I made mine about 4 centimetres wide. Make sure you leave a gap between each one.

7.     Get your egg and egg yolk mixture and, using a pastry brush, coat each profiterole with the egg wash.

8.     Bake in the centre of the oven for about 10 minutes. Then rotate each tray and bake for another 10 minutes. You will be able to tell that the profiteroles are cooked by them being puffed and golden brown.

9.     Take the profiteroles out of the oven and allow them to cool. You can test that they are ready by tapping the bottom of them. If they sound hollow, this means they are done.

Coffee Crème Patissiere

1.     In a small bowl, whisk together the coffee, sugar, egg yolks and the corn flour until incorporated

2.     Get a small saucepan and mix together the milk and vanilla. Do not place this on the heat just yet.

3.     Stir in the sugar and coffee mixture to the milk and whisk until incorporated.

4.     Slowly heat the mixture, whisking continuously until it becomes thick. I found this took about 4 minutes, but you will really notice the difference once it thickens up.

5.     Add the butter, and beat this in until incorporated.

6.     Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool

Assembly

1.     Get your crème patissiere and transfer to a piping bag using a rubber spatula. Use a small nozzle on the piping bag.

2.     Get your empty choux pastries and pierce the outside with the nozzle from the piping bag. Pipe in enough crème patissiere that you feel the pastry become heavier.

3.     Place on a plate to serve. You can drizzle with chocolate if you would like. Eat as soon as possible to avoid the pastry going soggy.

Coffee Profiteroles

Although it might seem like a lot of steps, it’s really not that difficult. It was really fun to make these, and I think how much fun I had is proven through the amount of mess I made in the kitchen trying to pipe them! Yep, I could definitely work on my piping skills, but I think what mattered was the majority of the crème patissiere ended up in the pastries, or as a taste test! Just check out the mess I made in these photos!

Coffee Profiteroles

The verdict on these was that they were really delicious! And I think once you’ve mastered the choux pastry, you can easily change the flavour of the filling to match your tastes, so it winds up being quite versatile.

Coffee Profiteroles

Anyway, I hope that my trying of new things might inspire some of you to give this a go. Let me know if you would try this on your own!

Until next time, happy baking!

Ella xx