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Tiramisu, To Scale

This tiramisu image by Shok is pretty much what mine looks like. Image reused under Creative Commons with thanksA friend of mine had her New Zealand citizenship party the other night. I plonked a tiramisu on the dessert table between the New Zealand flag sponge cake and the pavlova. It was the perfect creamy transition between the two. I’ve been asked for the recipe, so here it is!

Sometimes I want to make tiramisu for a small, intimate dinner party. And sometimes I want a bathtub-sized tiramisu to take along to a 50-person bring-a-plate. I get tired of scouting around for the right sized tiramisu recipe, so here is one recipe to fulfill all your tiramisu needs.

Creamy and oozy, utterly natural, if you want this to behave when served, prepare it in individual serving ramekins/cups/bowls. If you want a tiramisu cake, which is guaranteed to “plate up” neatly, here’s a grand recipe anointed by many a food blogger.

The Small one is for 2 to 6 servings, and it can be split between cups or ramekins for that number – it’s a bit richer than the two larger versions. The Medium is a good one for a larger party, 6 to 10 servings. And the Giant, perfect for a 9″ x 13″ tray, is for when you want to feed the world 18+ servings.

Ingredients Small / In Individual Cups / 2 to 6 Servings
Medium / Loaf Pan / 6 to 10 Servings Giant / 9″ x 13″ Tray / 18+ Servings
Mascarpone 200 gm 500 gm 1000 gm
Ladyfingers/savoiardi biscuits Half a regular packet One regular packet Two regular packets, one food service packet
Eggs 1 yolk 2 yolks 4 yolks
Confectioners sugar 2 tablespoons 3 tablespoons 6 tablespoons
Vanilla extract or paste ½  teaspoon 1 teaspoon 2 teaspoons
Rum 1 tablespoon 2 tablespoons 4 tablespoons
Espresso 2 tablespoons 3 tablespoons 6 – 7 tablespoons
Cocoa powder 1 tablespoon 2 – 4 tablespoons 4 – 5 tablespoons
Whipped cream 75 ml cream, whipped with 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar 150 ml cream, whipped with 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar 300 ml cream, whipped with 4 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  1. Tiramisu by FrancescaV, reused under Creative Commons, see link below.Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale and frothy. Use an electric mixer/beater for best results.
  2. Add 2/3 of the rum, the confectioner’s sugar, the vanilla, and the mascarpone. Whisk until blended.
  3. Assemble the base layer of the tiramisu using the lady fingers. Put the coffee and the rest of the rum into a flat bowl. Dip a ladyfinger in the coffee/rum briefly on each side, then place it in the base of your dish. If using a ramekin/teacup/etc., break ladyfingers to size, then dip and place. Repeat until the base is covered in one layer.
  4. Pour enough mascarpone mix over the ladyfinger layer to cover. Sprinkle cocoa powder generously over the layer.
  5. Repeat this until your dish has layers. A loaf pan takes 2 to 3 layers, the 9 x 13 pan recipe takes 2 layers.
  6. Refrigerate overnight, covered.
  7. Cover with whipped cream before serving and sprinkle with a final dusting of cocoa powder.

Sugar Note: You can substitute caster sugar for confectioner’s sugar. Confectioner’s will give a better result, but it contains corn starch, which some people are allergic to.

Food Safety Note: If this is being served on a buffet or for a “bring a plate”, keep it cold and bring it out at dessert time. It contains raw egg yolks. Making the Giant one in a heavy glass or ceramic pan keeps it colder for longer on your table.

Mix it up with: Cinnamon, berries, cherries, chocolate shavings, more booze but not too much more.

In-process image courtesy of Francesca V – her very similar tiramisu recipe is here, in Italian. She wrote a book on tiramisu!

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