Earlier this year I made mousse; French Vanilla Coffee Mousse to be precise, for the first time.
And then I made it for the second time . . . because it was tasty and it turned out to be really easy to make.
They say good things happen in threes so I was going to make it a third time thinking it would be the perfect dessert for my sister-in-law’s birthday, but luckily, I remembered that her favorite dessert is Tiramisu.
Like mousse, I’d never made Tiramisu before but my sister-in-law deserved the effort it would take to figure it out. I compared three recipes and, in retrospect, I think the picture was what sold me on this recipe over the others. I really didn’t pay attention to how much effort needed to go into it.
My mom-in-law and I got together to make it because she keeps me straight when I read recipes.
It’s true–I skip ingredients, measure wrong, skip instructions. She is a patient shepherd in the kitchen and it’s a good thing because this Tiramisu is not your standard coffee-flavored Italian dessert and I would have gotten all discombobulated on my own. I swore I would never make it again.
And then I tasted it. I will definitely be making it again.
You better believe after all the hard work we put in that we dished this up fancy!
We used Frangelico instead of coffee-flavored liqueur and less espresso powder in the syrup. This guaranteed a stronger hazelnut than coffee flavor, which was really lovely. The lady fingers were not soaked, but coarsely chopped and one layer away from the syrup. This, along with the chopped hazelnuts, created slightly crunchy layers to go with the buttery mascarpone and sweet, fluffy whipped cream. Eye-rolling and mmms and aaahs ensued.
Our recipe called for a square springform pan which neither of us own. Instead, we dished the Tiramisu out of a regular, square pan into little brandy snifters like individual trifles. The flavor is what matters anyway and it was excellent! The recipe would work just as well in a big trifle bowl, which I think is pretty common.
I’m sure the process will be faster the next time around (yes, there will be a next time) but the experience was worth the end result. Good luck with this recipe and Enjoy!
Hazelnut Tiramisu – makes 10-12 servings
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 5 eggs, separated
- 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 recipe Espresso Syrup (recipe follows)
- 1 recipe Hazelnut Filling (recipe follows)
- 3 cups coarsely chopped biscotti-style ladyfingers.
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- Optional garnish: grated chocolate, chocolate curls
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease an 11 3/4 x 16 3/4-inch rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; line with parchment paper and spray parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, combine hazelnuts and flour. Process until hazelnuts are finely ground.
- In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks at medium speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Add ground hazelnut mixture, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla, beating until well combined; set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg whites at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
- Fold egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture.
- Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched in center. Immediately loosen from sides of pan, and turn out onto lightly sprayed parchment paper. Remove parchment paper from bottom of cake; cool cake completely.
- To assemble, cut 3 9×3-inch strips of cake. Place cake strips in the bottom of a 9-inch square springform (or regular) pan.
- With a pastry brush, brush cake with half of Espresso Syrup. Spread half of Hazelnut Filling on top of cake; evenly sprinkle chopped ladyfingers on top of filling.
- Cut remaining cake into strips to fit pan. Place cake strips on top of ladyfingers. Brush with remaining Espresso syrup. Spread remaining Hazelnut Filling on top of cake.
- In a medium bowl, beat cream at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream on top of Hazelnut Filling.
- Cover; refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight. Garnish with grated chocolate and chocolate curls, if desired.
Espresso Syrup – makes about 2/3 cup
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder. Double if you want a stronger coffee flavor.
- 1/4 cup hazelnut or coffee-flavored liqueur, depending on your taste
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring sugar, water, and espresso powder to a boil. Boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in liqueur. Cool completely.
Hazelnut Filling – makes about 3 1/2 cups
- 2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- In a medium bowl, combine mascarpone cheese, confectioners’ sugar, chocolate hazelnut spread, and vanilla.
- Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add cream; beat until smooth.