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Very difficult indeed. This is the best I can do… However it was really good!
Besides, it’s very simple to do and it’s sure. Sure in all senses: it has baked eggs inside rather than raw ones. Consider that the traditional Italian recipe relates only about raw eggs, but generally I don’t rely in eggs from common supermarket stores, so here you are this simple yet very delicious variant Tiramisù! Let’s start (and throw away from the window any slimming diet, please)!

Ingredients:

  • 500 g (2,1 cups) Mascarpone cheese
  • about 250 g (8,7 oz) Ladyfingers best known as Savoiardi in Italy (here is a good and… funny explanation)
  • 150 g (0,6 cups) white sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 400 ml (1,6 cups) semi-skimmed milk
  • bitter cocoa powder to taste
  • strong espresso coffè to taste, about 8 little cups (you can add a bit of sugar in the coffee to taste. Personally I prefer a bitter Tiramisù but it’s up to you)
  • a bit of a liqueur of your choice (I’ve used Egg Marsala but Rum or Maraschino Liqueur are fine too)

Instructions

1- In order to prepare this variant Tiramisù you need first to cook a Creme Anglaise, and this is the only difficult part of this recipe because this is a very delicate kind of custard: it’s likely to curdle and it’s no good, trust me! So if you have a family one or a trusted recipe, I advise you to use it. If this is the first time, follow my directions and cross your fingers.

  • Add the sugar to the yolks and beat them with an electric whisk until they become frothy and white.
  • Bring nearly to a boil the milk. I repeat NEARLY to a boil. Remove it from the stove and add, very slowly and always stirring, the beated sugar/yolks mix.
  • Put again the mix on the stove, very low heat, and always stirring to avoid lumps, cook it until it becomes velvety and softer. It needs few minutes.

Don’t overcook! If the cream curdles, and believe me it can easily happens, remove it fast from the stove, then filter the cream with a colander, add a spoon of wheat or corn flour, and, always stirring, put it back on the stove cooking for few minutes. At least it is usable for the Tiramisù!

When you’ve done with the creme, put in the fridge at least for one hour.

2- Make the espresso coffee. Add a bit of sugar if you like it (it depends on how sweet do you prefer Tiramisù) and a bit of liqueur. Let it cool completely in the fridge. An hour at least.

3- When the cream is completely cold, take it from the fridge and add the mascarpone. With an electric whisk or simply with a spoon incorporate into the cream. In this way you obtain a dense and solid cream.

4- Now it’s time to arrange the Tiramisù! First, take a rectangular glass tray (the same used for Lasagna… look a this one for example!). You have to set about 2 layers of the various elements of the Tiramisù.

  • First dip the savoiardi into the coffee, then put in the tray, one beside the other, creating a layer of dipped coffee savoiardi (actually about half of the savoiardi’s pack). Remember: dip a little and don’t soak them! Otherwise you’ll have a soggy Tiramisù!
  • Now create a layer with the Mascarpone cream with a spoon spreading as evenly as possible.  You need about half of the cream at your disposal.
  • Then sift the bitter cocoa powder and sprinkle it on the top of the cream layer.
  • Repeat the operation another time: dip and assemble the savoiardi, add the cream, and sprinkle the cocoa.


Oh, we’ve almost done. At this point you cannot wait to put your spoon into this delicious Tiramisù but sadly you have too wait a little more… Keep it in fridge for at least 3 hours then enojoy it! Ah, one last tip. Before serving, if you think that the cocoa powder atop has been absorbed by the cream, simply add a little more!

Buon appetito!

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Well, actually in Europe many nations claim to be the the creators of this ancient basic dessert recipe.
In Italy tradition states that Pan di Spagna (Spanish Bread in English or Sponge Cake) derives from the creation of  a Genoese Chef who, during a journey in Spain in the late 1700, created this recipe to honour the country he was visiting. I don’t think this is true because this recipe has different names all over Europe…

Whatever the origin, the important thing is that this is the most used base for many desserts. It could be also be eaten on its own.
It’s simple, it’s good, it’s soft, it’s airy and it needs no yeast at all. It has also a low-calories value.
What are we waiting for? Here is the recipe.

Ingredients for 6-8 servings

  • 120 g (0,52 cups) (doppio zero) 00 flour/superfine flour/all-purpose flour
  • 120 g (0,52 cups) powdered sugar
  • 4 eggs (don’t separarate white and yolk!)
  • a pinch of salt
  • butter and flour for the cake pan

Instructions

1- Grease well the cake pan with butter and sprinkle the surface of the pan with some flour. Then turn the pan over and with gentle strokes remove the flour in excess. Remember that eventually you have to remove the Pan di Spagna from the pan, so grease and flour well!

2- Turn the oven on and pre-heat to 170° C or 350°F for about 10 minutes.

3- This cake doesn’t need yeast at all but it needs to incorporate a lot of air in order to leaven in oven. So put the eggs and the sugar in a large bowl and start to beat them very fast. If you use an electric beater, beat to medium/high speed for about 15 minutes or, if you do it with a handy beater it will takes about 30 minutes. You have to obtain a light and fluffy mixture. A little tip: stop beating the mixture only when, rising the beater and pouring the mixture, you can write an ‘8’!

4- Sieve the flour and pour a little at a time into the sugar and egg mixture. You have to gently  blend the flour with a spoon from the bottom to the top.

5- Pour gently the mixture into the bake pan with a palette knife and softly level the mixture off in the bake pan. Bake for about 25 minutes. Never open the oven while the Pan di Spagna is baking. You may test the cooking with a tooth stick. Put the stick in the middle of the cake and if the stick gets out dried the cake is ready. Pan di Spagna has to be golden, well fluffly, firm yet elastic to the touch.

6- Take the pan out from the oven and and let cool for about 5 minutes. Then you have to turn upside down the cake, and remove it from the pan. Put the cake on a baking rack and let it cool well.

Now that the Pan di Spagna is ready, you have many choices! You may deep freeze it and use it another day, or you may eat it plain -very yummy, you may decorate it with a topping like a fudge or icing sugar and you may fill with custard cream or a Chantilly. You may use marmalade or fruit as well, and so on. The only limit is your fantasy!
If you want to fill the Pan di Spagna with some stuffing you have first to divide it in 2 (or in 3 parts if you are able) thin layers with a serrated knife.  The you may use some sweet liqueur (Maraschino or Alchermes) or some sweet syrup to soften the 2 layers. Then fill one layer with a stuffing of your choice and cover with the second layer.

For instance, in the cake in photos I’ve used icing sugar as topping. For the lines I’ve cut several stripes of oven papers and used them as masks while sprinkling the icing sugar with a sieve.

Buon Appetito.

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