The Very BEST Tiramisu–America’s Test Kitchen

YOU. Yes, you sitting there with your finger hovering over the mouse ready to click away at a moment’s notice and sneak cyber-stealthily away before reading the rest of this post. YOU WILL WANT TO STAY FOR THIS.
(Besides, MY TIRAMISU SEES YOU. So still those finicky fingers and sit yo bum down while I tell you about a fail-proof tiramisu recipe you just have to make. I do NOT use the appellation “very best” lightly.)
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#filter #nofilter
If you have been following my blog in recent months (or even if you haven’t–here comes the spoiler), you’ll know that I have been going slightly cray-cray lately studying for my qualifying exams. Which are coming up very, very soon. As in January soon. And if you have ever been through a period in your life when you’ve gone cray-cray crawfish style, you’ll know that you just don’t have time, the emotional capacity, or the sanity for the big heart-sinker: FAILED DESSERTS.
So of course I was uber-excited when I came across this no-bake, utterly fail-proof tiramisu recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.
And made it.
And it was AMAZEBALLS.
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I find that the deeper I trudge into the wilds of study hermitage territory, the less refined my language and blogging gets. OH WELL. #girlsjustwannahavefun
(On a sort of related note, I also find that I’m much more comfortable now with not just creating one “writing voice” when I blog, but using whatever writing comes most naturally to me when I scroll through my photos for the day. I love feeling like my photos and I have conversations before I sit down (or stand up, usually, at my bizarre makeshift stand-up desk) to type out my day’s work. Kind of like Gollum and his alter-ego. I’ll let you decide whether or not that’s worrisome. But the main takeaway here is that I hope you guys also feel that these photos and stories together tell more than just their component parts, which is something I’ve been working hard to make happen through my recent photoseries blog posts. (You can check out some of my cool photoseries posts here, here, and here.))
–Aw shucks, it’s almost like I’m getting attached to you guys or something, *sniff.* <3

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^ Seriously. What the photo said.
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But back to this tiramisu. I told you not to click away, and here is the big reason. This is not only the very best tiramisu I have ever eaten, or made, or served.
It has received the ultra-rare, more-elusive-than-Atlantis Mommy Stamp of Approval.
Which is basically like if a scientist walked up to you today and proved that dodo birds aren’t really extinct. IT’S REALLY MIND-BLOWING.
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(I love this picture. My dad walked up to me in the middle of my photoshoot–he has been so good about ignoring all of my weird baking/blogging habits–and started dangling my Stitch pillow pet in all sorts of poses over the tiramisu. I guess Stitch needs tiramisu lovin’, too <3 )
I made it for my mom’s birthday, and after taking a bite, she held onto her fork, turned around to face me, and said, “You can open a bakery now.”
This coming from the lady who is assured that all I do in the kitchen is spawn devil pups all day, Or something. I mean, what ELSE could I be doing in the kitchen that could make it “so so so messy,” right?
Just kidding. I love you, Mom!
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I have to vouch for this recipe 100% to the 50 bajillionth power. Everybody who ate it loved it–plus the recipe is make-ahead friendly, no-bake, and just so darn good. It’s slightly sweeter than most other tiramisu recipes I’ve tried, and I added a lot more Kahlua/coffee than the original recipe called for (there is no such thing as too much Kahlua here!)–I’ve noted the suggested changes in the recipe below–but otherwise this recipe is THE. VERY. BEST. If my strangely experimental cross-lit edited photos and less than witty taglines have not convinced you of this fact already. (Give a girl a break, will ya?)
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I got my forks. And I got my stretchy sweatpants on. Check, and check.
Now go do yourself a favor and go make this tiramisu. And then make sure you stop by the post office to pick up a box big enough to hold a cooler and this cake. I will even offer to pay for postage, if you get my drift. Heh.
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Happy Stretchy Sweatpants Tiramisu Day, every day!

Ala Tuesday Talent Show Link Party at Chef in Training! It is held weekly and has some amazing link ups!

Will Cook For Smiles

1

The Very BEST Tiramisu–America’s Test Kitchen
Yield: 9×13-inch baking dish
Original recipe below from America’s Test Kitchen. Alterations to the recipe or comments made by me are indicated in blue.
Ingredients:
  • 2-1/2 cups strong brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons instant espresso granules–I had instant coffee granules on hand and used about 4 tablespoons of that instead.
  • 9 tablespoons dark rum–I added about a tablespoon or two extra Kahlua in step 2.
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1-1/2 pounds mascarpone
  • 3/4 cup cold heavy cream
  • 14 ounces (42 to 60, depending on size) dried ladyfingers (savoiardi)–note: you will want to buy the hard variety of ladyfingers.
  • 3-1/2 Tablespoons cocoa, preferably Dutch-processed
  • 1/4 cup grated semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (optional)

Directions:

1. Stir coffee, espresso, and 5 tablespoons rum in a wide bowl or baking dish until espresso dissolves; set aside.

2. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat yolks at low speed until just combined. Add sugar and salt and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula once or twice. Add remaining 4 tablespoons rum and beat at medium speed until just combined, 20 to 30 seconds; scrape bowl. Add mascarpone and beat at medium speed until no lumps remain, 30 to 45 seconds, scraping down bowl once or twice. Transfer mixture to large bowl and set aside.

3. In now-empty mixer bowl (no need to clean bowl), beat cream at medium speed until frothy, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Increase speed to high and continue to beat until cream holds stiff peaks, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes longer. Using rubber spatula, fold one-third of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture to lighten, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Set mascarpone mixture aside.

4. Working one at a time, drop half of ladyfingers into coffee mixture, roll, remove and transfer to 13 by 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish–I used one 9×9-inch springform baking pan (it makes for a great appearance) and one 4×6-inch casserole dish. (Do not submerge ladyfingers in coffee mixture; entire process should take no longer than 2 to 3 seconds for each cookie.) Arrange soaked cookies in single layer in baking dish, breaking or trimming ladyfingers as needed to fit neatly into dish.–Helpful tip: What the instructions mean hear is basically that you should lightly and quickly roll your ladyfingers in the coffee mixture; don’t dunk them in for a long period of time, or they will get soggy in your tiramisu.

5. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers; use rubber spatula to spread mixture to sides and into corners of dish and smooth surface. Place 2 tablespoons cocoa in fine-mesh strainer and dust cocoa over mascarpone.

6. Repeat dipping and arrangement of ladyfingers; spread remaining mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers and dust with remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons cocoa. Wipe edges of dish with dry paper towel. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 to 24 hours. Sprinkle with grated chocolate, if using; cut into pieces and serve chilled.

16 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cakes & Cupcakes

16 Responses to The Very BEST Tiramisu–America’s Test Kitchen

  1. You don’t have to convince me to want to make this-you had me at tiramisu! Yum!! I love all your pictures, especially the one with stitch.:)

  2. Fantastic article with amazing pictures. Looking forward to trying out this recipe. I am glad you were specific in saying to use the HARD variety of lady fingers. As well when you said “quickly roll your ladyfingers in the coffee mixture; don’t dunk them” that is really important.
    In case you were wondering, and I RARELY have to, you CAN freeze tiramisu to save for later. You can read how here- http://www.besttiramisu.com/can-you-freeze-tiramisu/

    • Thank you for reading and the kind words, Troy! That’s a great article that I will have to note for future use (because yes, sometimes we do like to make desserts ahead of time and pull them out of the freezer for unexpected visitors). Cheers!

  3. Tifa

    I used to work as a prep/pantry cook in a restaurant my first couple years of college. Somehow, I ended up in charge of desserts too (to the point that one day, while I was off work, they ran out of some and realized that no one else there knew how to make it…oops). The first time I was asked to make tiramisu, I had no idea what it was! I had to make three of them before they looked this good. Seriously, this came out beautiful.
    I especially like the Stich photos. Your dad sounds like a fun guy. Of course, you had to get your sense of humor from somewhere, huh? Great post. ^_^

    • Wow, that’s amazing! Being a pastry and dessert chef must have been a dream–I’ve always wondered what it would be like to do that in a professional setting, and I can only imagine how you guys put out so much quality (and beautiful) stuff while the clock ticks away. Thanks for all the super kind words, Tifa!

      • Tifa

        It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun too. Experimenting with new desserts/recipies was my favorite part. You’re quite welcome.

  4. kitchenriffs

    Thoroughly entertaining post. Great pictures, witty writing. Oh, and the tiramisu looks darn good too! Fun stuff – thanks.

  5. Stacy

    Looks great! is there a good substitute for the Rum? we don’t use alcohol. Thanks

  6. Pingback: Irresistible Tiramisu Recipes | Favorite Food RecipesFavorite Food Recipes

  7. Jeanne

    Looks incredible! Is it ok to use straight espresso in place of the strong coffee and espresso granules? If so, how much should I use? Can’t wait to try this! Thanks for sharing!

    • You got it–the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 tablespoons of espresso granules, but you can up the amount if you prefer a stronger coffee flavor. Thanks for stopping by, Jeanne, and happy holidays!

  8. Tony

    Been using this recipe for quite some time. As wallflourgirl says, it is amazing. Love your tweaks & comments to the recipe. Instead of ladyfingers, I use twinkies and spray them with the coffee. We love the extra cream from the twinkies…sounds bizarre BUT its works!!! Love your site…

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