I have always loved dessert, especially ones that combine the flavors of espresso with chocolate, and tiramisu is the perfect example. My version of this recipe eliminates the need for using raw eggs; I flavor mascarpone with cream sherry, vanilla and cinnamon then lighten it up by folding it with fresh whipped cream. The espresso soaked lady fingers hold together beautifully between the light fluffy layers of airy cream highlighted by a hint of cocoa and dark chocolate shavings.
Serves 8 to 10
Preparation: 4 to 5 hours
2 8 oz containers mascarpone, room temperature
3 tbsp fine sugar
1 pint heavy whipping cream, room temperature
1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder
3 to 4 cups espresso, cooled
2 shots of cream sherry
one dark chocolate bar or mini semi-sweet chips
Start by whipping the heavy cream until it starts to thicken, once the texture starts turning fluffy and can hold shape it is ready. Using room temperature heavy cream helps this process along. In a separate bowl, work the mascarpone with a wooden spoon until the mixture begins to soften, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and stir until dissolved, scrap and add the seeds from the vanilla pod and mix in the cinnamon, then add the cream sherry one shot at a time mixing (using a whisk if needed) until the mixture is completely smooth. Next, add a third of the whipped cream and fold into the mascarpone mixture slowly as you want to keep as much air as possible, once incorporated add more of the mixture and continue until completely incorporated.
Soak the lady fingers in cooled espresso for a few seconds on each side, then layout an even layer in the bottom of the dish you are using, on top of the lady fingers spread an even amount of the whipped cream mascarpone mixture, and then dust each layer with one tablespoon of the cocoa powder. Continue layering until all of the lady fingers and whipped cream mascarpone mixture is gone (or until you reach the top of your dish), dusting the top of the last layer with cocoa powder and using a vegetable peeler to add chocolate bar shavings, or sprinkle with mini chocolate chips. When it comes to this step notice that I have not specified an amount of chocolate to use, for me, it changes with my mood so, use as little or as much as you would like. Cover the tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 to 5 hours before serving. Enjoy!