Last Friday I was invited to do a tasting for Dutch TV programme "Meldpunt". With four other panelists including salmon smoker Rien Heemskerk and quality butcher Ben van den Berg I tried a few ready-made Christmas dishes from the supermarket - smoked salmon, pork roast and tiramisù.
Here you can watch the wole episode plus the different fragments dedicated to the specific dishes.
Most of the things we tasted were quite appalling. Ready-made stuff from a supermarket is rarely good and often plain awful, as we were "lucky" enough to taste.
Especially the tiramisu had absolutely nothing to do with the creamy, gorgeous, sexy and not too sweet dream dessert you can prepare at home.
Here's my own recipe, which happens to be the most classic of all, without whipped cream and with fluffy whisked egg whites.
If you make this for children or older people it is probably a good idea to use pasteurized egg whites and egg yolks. You can buy them at the wholesaler (here in Holland the Makro should have them). If you cannot find them, here some tips on how to make them at home.
TIP: instead of Italian lady fingers (savoiardi) you can also use regular lady fingers. These are much less firm than the Italian ones and get quickly mushy when you dunk them in coffee. Be very quick and dip them very briefly in the coffee with rum mixture. Regular lady fingers are a bit smaller than savoiardi so you will need more.
The perfect tiramisù
750 gr. mascarpone
6 organic eggs
120 gr. granulated sugar
1,5 dl. strong espresso
1 dl rum or brandy
48-50 savoiardi (Italian lady fingers)
Prepare the strong espresso and let it cool slightly.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks and beat the whites with a pinch of salt until they are nice and stiff.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until you obtain a smooth, even mixture with a much lighter colour.
Stir the mascarpone with the egg yolks-sugar mixture until you obtain a smooth cream.
Carefully fold the whipped egg whites into the mascarpone-egg yolk mixture.
Mix the rum and the coffee.
Dip the savoiardi in this mixture and arrange them side by side in a rectangular dish of approx. 34 by 24 cm. so that they form a base layer. Spread half of the mascarpone cream over the cookies.
Cover the cream with another layer of coffee-soaked savoiardi and then add the rest of the mascarpone cream spreading it evenly.
Place the dish in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight).
Remove the tiramisù from the refrigerator 10 minutes before serving.
Garnish by sprinkling a thin layer of cocoa powder over the tiramisu using a sieve.