Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas - 8 Textured Tiramisu

Merry Christmas, all of you. It's such a joyous season, I feel blessed just to be here. There are so many unique holiday traditions out there, I really appreciate the diversity. My family does the whole Italian seafood thing; it's the one time of year I eat baked clams and lobster - yum. 

I made an extra special dessert as well : 8 Textured Tiramisu from the sadly now defunct blog Almost Bourdain. It's based off of this amazing cake from the Australian restaurant Quay, and it's really a showstopper (you'll see). Oh, and if you're wondering, the 8 "textures" are ladyfingers, zabaglione, vanilla pastry cream, whipped cream, mascarpone, hazelnut praline, grated chocolate, and hot ganache. 

Okay. This tiramisu seems incredibly daunting at first. I promise you, it's not, if you're organized, and I will make sure my directions are. The work really pays off. When it finally came time to present this, I felt so accomplished. Mm. It's a nice feeling. Anyway, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Innocent enough...


Hehe. Cool, right? Merry Christmas guys, you're the coolest. 

8 Textured Tiramisu
from Almost Bourdain (the website has been deleted, aw man!)


Zabaglione Recipe
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar/50gms
1/4 cup/60ml Marsala wine (or port or coffee)
1/4 teaspoon/ 1.25ml vanilla extract
Heat water in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place a pot with about an inch of water in it on the stove. Place a heat-proof bowl in the pot making sure the bottom does not touch the water.
In a large mixing bowl (or stainless steel mixing bowl), mix together the egg yolks, sugar, the Marsala (or espresso/ coffee), vanilla extract and lemon zest. Whisk together until the yolks are fully blended and the mixture looks smooth.
Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler or place your bowl over the pan/ pot with simmering water. Cook the egg mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 8 minutes or until it resembles thick custard. It may bubble a bit as it reaches that consistency.
Let cool to room temperature and transfer the zabaglione to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled. 
Vanilla Pastry Cream Recipe
1/4 cup/55gms sugar
1 tablespoon/8gms all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup/175ml whole milk

Mix together the sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. To this add the egg yolk and half the milk. Whisk until smooth.
Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling.
Add the remaining milk a little at a time, still stirring constantly. After about 12 minutes the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble. (If you have a few lumps, don’t worry. You can push the cream through a fine-mesh strainer.)
Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled. 
Momofuku's Hazelnut Praline Paste
(Makes about 1 cup)
1/2 cup (70 g) whole hazelnuts
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
Tiny pinch of kosher salt

Heat the oven to 325F.
Spread out the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 7ish minutes, until they're warmed through and aromatic. Remove from the oven and let cool. Grind them up in the food processor until fine, but not a paste. Don't start making the caramel until this is done.
Put the sugar in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Leave it alone and let it start to caramelize around the edges of the pan before you begin to stir it with a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon. Patiently and attentively shepherd the sugar into a state of delicious caramelization: stir it slowly and constantly, until it's medium amber - like the color of Grade B maple syrup - and is very fluid. Working quickly, pour the caramel into the food processor with the nuts and salt and process until it is a well blended mush. Get it out of the food processor! Put your dishes in the sink and soak them in hot water immediately unless you want to be scrubbing pots for the rest of your life. 

Okay. You're going to need a springform pan, and a small food ring or can (I used a mandarin orange can and it was perfect) or something. My pan was 9.5 inches (the original was 20 cm, or close to 8 inches) and it turned out fine. Don't use anything bigger). 
To make a chocolate disk : Turn a 9 inch cake pan upside down and place a circle of wax paper on the bottom of the pan. Melt 100 g chocolate and spread it evenly over the wax paper. Put it in the fridge to set and take it out a bit before you're ready to serve the tiramisu.

Whipped Cream Recipe
1 cup/235ml chilled heavy cream (we used 25%)
1/4 cup/55gms sugar
1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract
Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer or immersion blender until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside. 
Mascarpone Cream Recipe
1/3 cup/75gms mascarpone cheese 
Vanilla pastry cream
Whipped cream
In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold. Add the prepared and chilled zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.

Line the outside of the pan with ladyfingers (I ended up needing two packages in total). Take your can, food ring, whatever, and place it in the center of the bottom of the pan. Then line the bottom of the pan with ladyfingers brushed with the coffee or espresso. Sprinkle half the praline mixture and half the grated chocolate on the ladyfingers. Spread half the mascarpone cream on top of this, making sure it's smooth and even. Then repeat this process once more, layering brushed ladyfingers, praline, chocolate and cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 
Hot Chocolate Ganache Recipe
(Makes about 2/3 cups)


125 g good-quality dark chocolate, cut into small chunks
65 g unsalted butter, cut into chunks
25 ml water

Put the chocolate, butter and water into a medium-sized, heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Let the chocolate and butter melt, stirring the mixture frequently, until the ganache is smooth. (I use a small flat sauce whisk for this, as it gets right into the corners of the pan where the chocolate tends to clump a bit.) The most important thing to keep in mind when you're making ganache is that it mustn't get too hot and boil; if it does, it becomes oily and grainy and there's not much chance of salvaging it. Once it's silky smooth, take it off the heat. Let it cool until it's barely warn and of a thick pouring consistency before using it.
Pour any leftover ganache into an airtight container, seal it tightly and store it in the fridge. When you're ready to use it, gently warm it over very low heat, then let it cool to the right consistency.

Top the tiramisu with the chocolate disk, and slowly pour the ganache over the center until it caves in. Ooh and aah.


  1. Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts. Kudos to you for going all out to make this stunner of a dessert. I have not made one, but it is on the to do list (which is getting longer instead of shorter). You definitely have a reason to be proud of this one-I would have loved to have had a slice. Well done!

  2. Thanks, Tina! I have a different tiramisu recipe I usually use that's more like a trifle or parfait. It's excellent. But I just wanted to try something special this time.

  3. Wish You Advance Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year 2016
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