project52: recipe #1 –> tiramisu

One of my new year’s resolutions was to try a new recipe each week and this week, I’ve decided to try Tiramisu.  This is an actual picture of the finished product–not near as pretty as the picture in the magazine–but they never are, are they?  I know food photojournalism is an art form in and of itself–and that people do all crazy kinds of things to get the food to look pretty on film.  Me?  I’m not that bold.  I stick to the recipe.  Always.  There’s a reason for that too.

When I was in middle school, all students were required to take a foods class, and as a student, you suddenly found yourself in a not-so-happy family of four, trying to share the kitchen and its responsibilities.  It was horrendous.  I never cooked at home, so I either didn’t understand the importance of carefully reading a recipe or didn’t care.  Probably a little bit of both.  I was 12.

So, when it came my turn to measure out 1/2 cup water for the chili con carne, I read it as 1 1/2 cups and literally drowned our meat and seasoning.  Either my vivid imagination likes to exaggerate the profound effect this screw-up had on my psyche, or this next part really happened:  part of our grade was determined by how we ate the food.  I watched my group suffer through eating the soupy chili while the other groups gorged themselves on the pure deliciousness of chili, macaroni, and cheese.  I don’t remember who was in my group–and if you’re out there reading this, carefully planning your revenge–I’m sorry.  But you’ll be glad to know that I hardly ever cook still, and I’m very fortunate my husband is a good sport about it and also a very good cook.

But–I’m branching out and conquering my fears.  I even made cheesecake from a bona fide springform pan with my coworker over Christmas break.  So yay.

So, without further ado–the tiramisu recipe:

  • 1.5 packages of ladyfingers (alright locals, Schnucks carries them: they’re by the Hostess cakes and stuff)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 package of vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1.5 teaspoons of instant coffee granules
  • 1 tablespoon of powdered cocoa (though I only used half of that *shrug*)

I did steps 1, 2, and 4 simultaneously.

  1. Whip the cold milk and vanilla pudding until thick.  Set aside to continue thickening.
  2. Beat the heavy whipping cream until it starts to thicken.  Then add the powdered sugar.  Beat until soft peaks begin to form.  (Note:  Remember I am still relatively new to this cooking thing, so I had never cooked with heavy whipping cream before.  It comes in a carton and you find it by the milk in the grocery store.  It’s somewhat of an amazing thing to watch a semi-thick liquid turn into sweet, fluffy goodness.  Just a side note.)
  3. Fold the whipping cream and sugar into the pudding.  Put in refrigerator.
  4. Boil 1/2 cup water and dissolve the coffee granules.
  5. Separate the ladyfingers and arrange half of them in the container, cut side up.  I chose a small pie pan because I’ll take it to work, and I don’t want to bring home dishes.  I’m sure this would look much prettier in a glass container.
  6. Drizzle half of coffee on ladyfingers.
  7. Cover with a layer of the pudding/whipping cream mix.
  8. Repeat layer.
  9. Sprinkle with powdered cocoa.
  10. EAT.

Who ate it:  my eLearning colleagues

Their reactions:  like!!

Any other tiramisu recipes you would recommend?


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Stephanie on January 6, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    It has to have a little rum in it! 😉


    * 6 egg yolks
    * 3/4 cup white sugar
    * 2/3 cup milk
    * 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
    * 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    * 1 pound mascarpone cheese
    * 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
    * 2 tablespoons rum
    * 2 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies
    * 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder


    1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour.
    2. In a medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form. Whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth.
    3. In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum. Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise and drizzle with coffee mixture.
    4. Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a 7×11 inch dish. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, until set.


  2. […] I followed the recipe and it all turned out fine in the end.  You all know what happened the time I didn’t follow the recipe.  Also add the strained pineapple juice if you haven’t already into the batter.  Mix the […]


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