These days there are different versions of Tiramisu. Some made with Rum or Marsala wine or Coffee liquor, some made with raw eggs only, while some have Zabaglione in them. Although traditionally it has mascarpone in it, cream cheese or whipped cottage/ricotta cheese is also used as a low fat version. We first had our bite of Tiramisu (imported from Belgium) at Bliss and paid a whopping price of Rs. 150 bucks for a fairly small bite of cake (We finished the cake in just 2-3 bites!). It was heavenly!
I set out to try them at home. I went through a few hazzles while making them. Firstly, the Mascarpone cheese was almost impossible to get in India. I have made ample searches, saw cheddar, mozzerella, gouda, cottage, processed cheese, etc, but absolutely no Mascarpone! Mascarpone cheese is very high in fat and since not easily available in India, I settled to use the low fat version, Cottage cheese which is easily available everywhere.
Initially, I thought of making lady fingers at home. Internet searches gave ample of recipes to make lady finger cakes at home, but the thought of making everything from scratch seemed really tedious and I settled to use sponge cakes instead. It is a bit time consuming as I made cottage cheese fresh at home. However in the end, the cake turned out fantastic.
Prepare the Zabaglione:
6 egg yolks
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract/essence
A hint of salt
Zabaglione generally is made of eggs alone. But we are not very fond of the sole egg-y flavor. So to reduce it's intensity, I made it the custard way. Omit milk in the above recipe if you like the egg-y flavor. Beat the eggs well with sugar. Heat the milk till its hot, but not boiling. Temper the milk into the eggs slowly and carefully so that the eggs don't split or scramble. Transfer to a double boiler and heat through till the custard is thick and coats the back of the spatula. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla essence. Allow to cool in the refrigerator.
Prepare the Cream cheese:
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup whipped cream
Run the cheese along with sugar in a mixer till it is smooth and creamy. Add the heavy whipped cream with the above prepare zabaglione. Gently fold everything. Refrigerate so that it sets well.
You can either purchase store bought cottage cheese, else prepare at home. I made mine at home.
Prepare the Cottage cheese:
1 litre milk
1 tsp lime juice
Heat the milk. Once it comes to a boil, add lime juice. The whey and curdled milk should separate now. The curdled milk will float on top. Allow to cool a bit and strain the whey through a cheese cloth. Allow the mixture to drain for an hour, then take the ends of the cheesecloth and twist to drain any remaining whey. Homemade cottage cheese is ready!
Prepare the coffee mixture:
Either use expresso or make strong coffee decoction at home. Add a 1 tbsp of rum to it.
Assembling the cake:
Keep the cake, coffee mixture, and cream filling at hand. Dip the cake in the coffee and line the bottom of the serving dish. Place the cake side by side till the bottom is fully covered. Next, scoop a big dollop of cream cheese mix and spread well to cover the cake. Lay another layer of cake and cream mix and top it with cocoa powder. Refrigerate overnight and serve the next day for the flavors to blend well. Slice and serve.