First things first: I am so NOT a baker. I don’t even cook that much. It’s not that I don’t like to cook, I’m just busy. But whenever I do try my skills in the kitchen, my dishes are usually really good. Weird, right? The running joke in my family is, “Courtney made this??”, which I’m totally ok with, but by now my culinary street cred should not be such a shocker.
On Easter Sunday my family and I were eating at home since we just returned from a fabulous, taco-and-tequila-filled week at the ahmazinggg Nizuc Resort & Spa in Cancun, Mexico..check out my Instagram account for all the ridiculous photos. After all that restaurant food and a week’s worth of laundry, we decided to make it a chill stay-at-home dinner. On a whim, I decided to try making my favorite dessert-tiramisu.
Tiramisu is one of those desserts that just looks difficult to make, right? After Googling “easy tiramisu recipes”, the search options had me scared. Phrases like “double boiler” and “egg white peaks” are way above my pay grade. Whoa, I don’t even know what a double boiler looks like. But my steely determination would not give in, so I pressed on and..voila! There it was!
Giada DeLaurentiis had a recipe that looked really easy..in fact, so easy it felt suspect. Surely, it must suck. Plus, a lot of my foodie friends have said her recipes come out with varied degrees of success. But, this was so moron-proof I had to at least give it a try.
Whenever I read a recipe online, I immediately read the reviews. They are chock full of comments from people far more adept at cooking than I am and I find them very useful. There was some talk of it not being sweet enough, but other than that things looked pretty stellar so I decided to go for it. Now, one of the reasons I don’t bake is because in cooking, as in life, I’m not great at following the rules. I prefer eyeballing over measuring and this tends to be my downfall. This recipe was no exception, but it somehow worked in my favor this time.
As I was making the tiramisu, I tasted it and decided to make a few adjustments:
I added more sugar. I used 1/2 cup, she said a few tablespoons.
I added a teaspoon of Pure Vanilla extract, she did not list this in the ingredients. (I think a teaspoon of vanilla makes everything better)
I added some Cabot’s Whipped Cream-a big squeeze is my best description. Redi-Whip would be fine but I’d shy away from Cool-Whip since it has a distinct flavor and it grosses me out.
I didn’t have cocoa powder or one of those flour sifters, so I used some Easter chocolate I stole from my kids and shaved it on a fine grater. A broken bunny ear did the trick!
After I completed it, I covered it with foil and put it in the refrigerator for three hours.
If you want to try something new this weekend, this is easy and divine!
Let me know how yours turns out and if you made any changes, too!
Giada DeLaurentiis Tiramisu (with a few changes)
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 pound mascarpone cheese
A big dollop of whipped cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups strong espresso, cooled
24 packaged ladyfingers (one package)
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings or cocoa powder, for garnish
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes
Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth
Add whipped cream, vanilla
Add 1 tablespoon of espresso and mix until thoroughly combined.
In a small shallow dish, add remaining espresso. Dip each ladyfinger into espresso for only 5 seconds. Letting the ladyfingers soak too long will cause them to fall apart. Place the soaked ladyfinger on the bottom of a 13 by 9 inch baking dish, breaking them in half if necessary in order to fit the bottom.
Spread evenly 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers and top with remaining mascarpone mixture.
Cover tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 8 hours.