Sunday, July 17, 2016

Tiramisu with Homemade Ladyfingers

It's been over a month since I graduated high school. I have a month left of summer now. Before college. Before life away from home. Life, man.

Seriously, where has the time gone? Seems like Grad Nite was just last week when I was dancing my life away with purple glittery space buns and eating gigantic hot dogs at 2 AM. Of course, the summer I actually get to enjoy to the fullest is the one that goes by the quickest. And to think that I once thought summer was boring and was eager to get back to school. Oh, middle school aka The Dark Ages.

The phrase time flies when you're having fun has never been realer. So much spontaneous meet ups with friends, lots of good food (clearly putting in the effort for that summer body), and of course hours on end of simply relaxing with just me, myself, and I (creds to the one and only Queen B). There were so many things I wanted to do during the summer, FUN things, and yet I find myself scrolling through video after video on Tasty and Tastemade. I'm procrastinating on the many fun things I planned to do. But ya know what, it's the Golden Summer and I'll be a procrastinator if I want to. 

Although the feeling of endless freedom and absence of responsibilities is absolutely wonderful, I am excited for college. I'll be attending USC, in LA- which means I get to live in the foodie heaven I've always wished San Diego was. SD, you're wonderful don't get me wrong, but the foodie scene just doesn't quite match up to the level in LA. SO PUMPED to visit the 40+ aesthetic cafes and restaurants I have saved on Yelp and screenshotted on my phone for years now. Dreams becoming reality. And I'll probably regret thinking this, but after months on end of minimal usage of my brain, I'm sorta looking forward to actually learning stuff again and making good use of the gray lump in my head. 

Lots of good stuff planned for the blog though! When I first started this blog I wanted it to be a mix of recipes and restaurant reviews, but so far I only have one restaurant review. After eating at some incredible places, I determined that needs to change. Also have been baking quite a bit with my girl Diane, which has been SO GOOD, SO GOOD. Some super exciting eclairs will be coming soon on the blog! We also started The Great British Bake Off and I am addicted. Completely addicted. I have so much affection for that show.

Now, about this tiramisu- it's been something I've always wanted to make, since I've never actually had an authentic tiramisu before. Although I did have it once at an Italian restaurant before, I'm not counting that experience because the tiramisu was watery. Desserts should never be watery. Not good. Also, the combination of flavors in a tiramisu are just heavenly. I mean, coffee, chocolate, and mascarpone? So classic and so good.

I knew it was going to be good, but guys- tiramisu makes you feel things. The feeling of the unbelievably light texture of the dessert enveloping your tongue brings so, SO much incredible pleasure. The ladyfingers are so fluffy and soak up that coffee so beautifully, the mascarpone cream is so luscious and light at the same time because of the whipped egg yolks and whipped cream, oh this is such a beautiful dessert I can go on and on about it. Thank you, Italy, for blessing the world with such a gorgeous dessert. 

I originally planned to use Savoiardi ladyfingers from the store- they're crisp cookies imported from Italy instead of the super soft, cakey ones you would find in the baking section. Most recipes recommended the crisp cookies because the soft ones could become too soggy after they're soaked in coffee. But Ralph's didn't have them unfortunately, and I was not about to buy 4 packs of sad pale-ass ladyfingers for 12 bucks. Homemade ladyfingers would cost like 2 bucks at the most.

So I made the ladyfingers from scratch too! And so glad I did. The ingredients could not be simpler- eggs, flour, and sugar. No fat! They were so delicious even on their own- so fluffy and airy with the perfect amount of sweetness. But they had a bright future ahead of them- getting transformed into one of the sexiest desserts I've ever tried, drenched in coffee and smothered in a velvety mascarpone and Kahlua cream.

{whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks}

{folding whipped whites into yolks}

{finished batter at ribbon stage}

{not too shabby for a Ziploc bag}

{beautiful golden brown babies}

{ribbon stage of yolk mixture for mascarpone cream}

{finished mascarpone cream}

I was worried that the soft homemade ladyfingers would get too soggy and end up making a horrific watery tiramisu, but they were absolutely perfect! If you use a pastry brush and just brush the ladyfingers with the coffee, you can control the amount of coffee they soak up very easily. I would err on being too light with the coffee than heavy to avoid making it too soggy. Trust me, you don't ever want a watery tiramisu. It's gross.

Wow, this is one long ass post. I was feeling particularly wordy today. Summer got me feeling things, ya know? Also this tiramisu. Tiramisu makes you feel things.

Ladyfingers Recipe
Adapted from delicious days

Makes about 40 ladyfingers (I only used about 20 to make the 8x8 tiramisu)

6 large eggs, divided
180 grams granulated sugar, divided into half
2 tsp vanilla extract
120 grams AP flour
~4 TBSP confectioner's sugar (I didn't find this necessary)

1. Preheat the oven to 390 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. I ended up having more batter, so I also used a small sheet pan from my toaster oven as well that I just filled with batter to make a single sponge cake layer.
2. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Starting at a lower speed will help make a stable meringue. Add the first half of sugar (90 grams) around a tablespoon at a time. Continue to whip (at a higher speed) until stiff peaks form and the meringue is nice and glossy.
3. To the egg yolks, add the remaining half of the sugar. Whip the egg yolks and sugar until very pale, when the color is more white than yellow. It's ready when you lift the beater and the batter leaves a ribbon shape on the surface as it falls down. This took about 5-6 minutes with a hand mixer on high speed. Mix in the vanilla extract.
4. Sift the flour into the whipped egg yolks and fold in, retaining as much air as possible. 
5. Take a scoop of the whipped whites and mix it into the egg yolk mixture. Don't worry about keeping the air here, this just helps lighten up the mixture so it's easier to mix in the rest of the whites.
6. Now carefully fold in the rest of the whites a third at a time. Do not overmix the batter.
7. Transfer the batter to a piping bag or Ziploc bag that is cut about a 1/4 inch at one of the corners. Pipe the batter onto the baking sheets about 4 inches long. Leave about half an inch in between each ladyfinger.
8. In the middle section of the oven, bake for about 11 to 13 minutes, or until golden brown.
9. With a thin spatula, remove the ladyfingers from the pan when still warm. Let them cool on a cooling rack completely.

Tiramisu Recipe
Adapted from use real butter

4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
a pinch of salt
8 oz. mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
~20 ladyfingers
1 cup of freshly brewed espresso
2-3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Preparing the yolk mixture for the mascarpone filling- Add the egg yolks, sugar, Kahlua, and salt into a large bowl set over a pot of simmering water. With a hand mixer or whisk (much faster with a hand mixer), beat the yolk mixture until creamy, thick, and pale. It should leave a ribbon on the surface when lifted with the beater. This took me about 8 minutes. Set the bowl over an ice bath to cool. Stir occasionally. 
2. In a large bowl, add the mascarpone cheese and heavy cream. Whip these together with a hand mixer or stand mixer until stiff peaks form. When the yolk mixture is completely cool, carefully fold in the whipped mascarpone into the yolk mixture a third at a time until smooth and uniform.
3. Layer the ladyfingers into the bottom of a pan. Dip a pastry brush into the coffee and brush the ladyfingers, making sure that every bit of ladyfinger has soaked up coffee. Spread a third of the mascarpone mixture on top of the ladyfingers. Dust the top with cocoa powder. Repeat with another layer of ladyfingers, mascarpone, and cocoa powder.

Bonus tip- Adding freshly whipped cream on the top as the final layer was super delish!


  1. I live for your blog!! Also I need some of that tiramisu stat!! Love ya girl xoxo grace