I’ve made tiramisu with ladyfingers and I’ve made a version served in wineglasses. Last Sunday, I made yet another variation of tiramisu — with the softest and moistest sponge cake which I drizzled with strong coffee spiked with Kahlua. So, so good.
This dessert is ideal for parties because it can be made a day or two in advance. In fact, it benefits from sitting in the fridge for a day because it gets a chance to become firm while retaining that feathery lightness. Because the sponge cake can dry up over time, I don’t recommend preparing the tiramisu longer than two days ahead.
Mascarpone is traditional for making tiramisu but it is impossible to find in the suburb so I use cream cheese. Because cream cheese is saltier than mascarpone, I simply add more sugar for balance.
Double or triple the ingredients, and use a bigger bowl, for a larger cake. Keep in the fridge, covered, until needed.
- Beat the cream cheese. Stir in the egg yolks until blended.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, little by little, and continue beating until stiff.
- In another bowl, beat the chilled cream until soft peaks form. Fold in the egg whites.
- Fold the cream-egg white mixture into the cream cheese mixture, taking care not to overmix and break the air bubbles in the beaten egg whites and cream. These bubbles make the tiramisu light and feathery so you definitely want to retain them.
- Prepare a bowl that can fit the sponge cake. If like my bowl, the bottom is smaller than the top, you may need to trim one layer of cake to make sure it fits snugly on the bottom.
- Place the first layer of sponge cake on the bottom of the bowl.
- Stir together the coffee and Kahlua.
- Brush half of the coffee-Kahlua mixture on the cake in the bowl.
- Spread half of the cream-cheese mixture over the cake.
- Scatter half of the shaved chocolate over the cream-cheese layer.
- Repeat with the other half of the sponge cake, coffee, cream-cheese mixture and shaved chocolate.
- Cover the bowl and chill for a few hours before serving.