A rich and creamy Italian dessert, Tiramisu is derived from the words "Tira mi su" which means "pick me up" or "carry me up". To be honest, a mouthful of the creamy moist cake and I journeyed all the way to heaven and back. Traditionally made with ladyfinger cakes (savoiardi) dipped in coffee-marsala mixture and layered in between soft peaks of mascarpone cheese, this is an insanely decadent dessert and must be had in small proportions. I must warn you that it is dangerously rich and can be extremely addictive:)
It is also believed that Tiramisu was invented in Treviso at Le Beccherie Restaurant by Francesca, the god-daughter of a confectioner named Roberto Linguanotto. Her maiden name was Tiramisu and the story goes that Linguanotto named the dish in honor of Francesca's culinary skills. Nevertheless, the sweet creamy layers of my vanilla cake sprinkled lightly with the coffee-rum mixture and dusted with cocoa was a heavenly decadence that you have to take a bite to believe!!!
1 cup sugar for yolks
3 cups or 1 (750-gram) container mascarpone
4 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered gelatin
3 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar for whites
1 cup whipped topping
2 1/2 cups cooled espresso
1/4 cup Rum or Kahlua(I used Rum)
1 Box Duncan Hines Vanilla Cake Mix
1 cup cocoa powder
1. At first bake two 8 inch round cakes per instructions on the back of the Vanilla Cake Mix. Cool on a rack and slice each into two rounds of equal thickness.
3. In a mixer with the whip attachment, whip yolks and sugar until thick and pale in color. Add mascarpone and whip until well incorporated.
4. Place water in a small bowl then pour powdered gelatin over it. Do not stir. Allow gelatin to absorb all of the water for about 15 minutes then place the bowl on top of a small saucepan containing simmering water. Immediately turn off the heat and allow the gelatin to dissolve completely.
5. Whip the egg whites to a soft peak using a clean dry bowl gradually adding sugar, then slowly drizzle in the dissolved gelatin. Whip to a stiff, glossy peak. Fold whites into mascarpone and yolk mixture then fold in whipped cream.
6. In a separate bowl, combine espresso and Rum or Kahlua.
7. To assemble, place a sheet of wax paper on a pretty platter. Place the bottom round of cake on it. Pour 1/4 of the mousse over the cake and smooth with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle a Tblspn of the mix from Step 6.
8. Create another layer with the next cake round Sprinkle a Tablespoon of Liquid from Step 6, then 1/4 of the mousse and repeat for all the cake rounds. The cake is tall and beautiful but make sure that it all holds together.
9. Cut a simple design like a flower or heart onto a firm paper and place it at the center of the cake, dust with Cocoa and chill until set.
10. Before serving remove the paper from the center. It leaves a beautiful design where the frosting was not dusted with cocoa and you have a gorgeous decadent dessert to please a large crowd.