Herein I set out to create the ultimate tiramisu – everything is basically from scratch. The cheese, the creme, the lady fingers. I tried to use the best ingredients and recreate that richness and subtlety of secondary flavor that is the hallmark of great Italian desserts.
By far the most complex thing in real Tiramisu (which is a complex 2-3 day dessert) is the creme filling. It consists of four different components:
Mascarpone is one of the simplest cheeses going, although it’s certainly tasty enough. It has basically two ingredients: cream and lemon juice. In this case, you heat heavy cream (pasteurized, not ultra-pasteurized, as the ultra is dead and can’t make cheese) slowly to 180 degrees, turn off the heat, and add lemon juice (about one lemon worth for this quart of creme).
Zabaione (sabayon in French) is an eggy custard with a delectable subtle lemon and masala flavor.
The Pastry Cream
The third of four components to the tiramisu cream, a thick pastry cream.
and in this case a mixture of sugar, rum, and expresso (fresh brewed). For good measure that bottle of Gosling’s Dark Rum (which we bought in Bermuda) had a whole fresh Tahitian vanilla bean shoved inside… in 2001! By now, it’s had time to really absorb the flavor.
And a closeup of the cross section in the pan. That white stuff might look like simple whipped creme, which is what lame tiramisus use, but you know better. It has this wonderful rich, creamy, cheesy, lemony, vanilla, marsala, eggy taste. Wow! Everyone who tried it was unanimous in declaring it “the best tiramisu ever” and several went so far as to call it “organismic” or “best desert ever!”