This recipe for tiramisu isn't really a recipe but my cousin and a friend both requested it so here you go. It's not a recipe in my usual method anyway. I have this aversion to posting recipes that require anything pre-packaged. That's why I haven't gotten around to making all these lovely Vietnamese dumplings and various banh. Because while you can easily buy a bag of pre-mixed flour for banh beo or banh bao or banh xeo, I grew up with a mom who's always made her own. To me, it'd be akin to giving you a recipe for cake and my recipe would say open a box of Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines mix. While I'm not saying the results wouldn't be as good, there'd just little point for me to direct you toward a box. Blech! You expect better from me, don't you?
But there I was the other night, having dinner with my cousin at Jazz Cat Cafe in Alhambra. (I got Thai spicy hot pot again, of course.) And while waiting for a table, we stopped off next door at Kiki Bakery. We settled on mango and green tea mousse cakes, but I was really eying the tiramisu. Well, over the course of dinner, I started really, really craving tiramisu. And so did my cousin. Then I recalled Tigerfish of Teczcape's version of tiramisu, substituting whipped cream for whipped egg whites. That clinched it, we decided to make tiramisu for dessert, nevermind that we already bought two mini cakes!
Then we get into this roundabout story where it actually took much longer to gather the ingredients than it did to make the dessert. We got into the car and I saw the clock was 9 p.m. Oh no! Trader Joe's was closed and I knew they had both mascarpone cheese and lady fingers. In no rush at this point, we went across the street to Banh Mi & Che Cali Restaurant to buy some Vietnamese coffee black. I guess I could have brewed my own at home, but then we'd have to wait for the water to boil, and then the coffee to brew, and then for it to cool down. And the whole point of this exercise was expediency.
So after we got our coffee, we went to Ralph's since it was closest. Ralph's had neither mascarpone cheese nor lady fingers, although I did buy heavy whipping cream and cocoa. My cousin suggested we stop at Super-A-Foods because she swears that our youngest uncle's wife used to buy lady fingers for her there. Really? Nope. No lady fingers here either, and definitely no mascarpone. So on to Albertson's we went where I definitely located mascarpone. Except, their lady fingers were soft, there was no sugar, and it was $2.49 for only a small package and we'd need to buy two if not three to do the tiramisu. Huh! So I suggested we use Sara Lee poundcake instead. The weird thing was that the 10 oz and the 16 oz packages were both on sale for the same price. Of course we bought the one pound package.
All that running around took an hour and by the time I got home, I noticed that my clock read 9:08 p.m. How can that be?
That's right, my cousin forgot to set her car's clock back for daylight savings time. :P
Anyway, if you don't want to make your own whipped cream, this tiramisu literally takes about 5 minutes to assemble. Chill for about an hour in the fridge before serving, but ideally chill for several hours.
Tiramisu (The 5-Minute Non-Recipe Recipe)
For a 2-quart-sized bowl, you'll need:
2 cups espresso or Vietnamese coffee black, cooled (If you're brewing your own, follow my method for Vietnamese coffee but omit the condensed milk. You can also prepare Vietnamese coffee in a French press.)
1 16-oz package Sara Lee poundcake
1 to 1 1/2 cups whipped cream (If buying packaged, allow to soften to room temperature before using and decrease sugar to 1/4 cup.)
1/2 cup sugar (1/4 cup sugar if using packaged, since it's already pre-sweetened.)
1 8-oz container mascarpone cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
cocoa for dusting
Whip cream. A 1 pint container should give you enough whipped cream for this recipe. Or do what I did and buy 1 quart, and turn the remaining whipped cream into butter. Set aside.
Spoon about 3 tblsp of whipped cream into a bowl of the mascarpone cheese and 1/2 cup sugar. If you're using packaged whipped cream, decrease sugar to 1/4 cup, unless you have a really sweet tooth.
Beat the mascarpone, sugar, 3 tblsp of whipped cream, and 1 tsp vanilla extract until softened.
Then with a spatula, gently blend 1 cup of whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Taste and add up to another 1/2 cup until it's to your liking.
Now you're ready to start assembling.
Cut the poundcake into 1-inch wide strips.
Using chopsticks, or your fingers, dip the poundcake into the coffee. I like my tiramisu very moist so I make sure all sides of the poundcake are covered. Lay the pieces until the bottom of the bowl is covered.
Add a layer of the mascarpone/whipped cream mixture.
Then dust with cocoa.
Add another layer of the coffee-soaked poundcake.
Then another layer of the mascarpone/whipped cream.
Dust with cocoa powder on top.
Chill in fridge at least an hour to several hours before serving.
My cousin couldn't believe how easy this was. Indeed. That's why it's my non-recipe recipe. :P
How good was it? I served this the following day for dinner and my friends took it all home. All of it. None left for me. :(
Who made my recipe for tiramisu?
Sis of Rain Down on Me substituted with cream cheese and instant coffee and said, "...all the substitutions were fine, and I can say that if real tiramisu is better than this (and I'm sure it is), I just might kill myself on it, HAHA."
The Diary of a Phat Baker said, "This is by far the easiest tiramisu recipe ever!!!!! No baking involved. No eggs needed. Just whip, mix, dip and assemble."
Politicook said, "It's really easy and really, really good."
Who else made tiramisu?
Tigerfish of Teczcape gave me the eggless idea.
Jeannie of The World is My Oyster made it the old-fashioned way by beating raw egg whites.