At least a month ago...maybe longer...Amy, her friend from San Francisco Aaron and I went on a day trip to Santa Barbara Wineries. We came home with more bottles of wine than we anticipated among them a Raspberry Desert Wine that has an intense flavor. At the tasting, we decided we should get together again to make some Tiramisu with this crazy raspberry port at a later date.
Last night was that later date.
Here's what we came up with:
Layer #1 -- Lady Fingers -- The perfect cake egg cookie
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 7/8 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Splash of Vanilla Extract
- Confectioners sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with wax paper.
- Place egg whites in bowl and beat on high until soft peaks start to form. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue beating until stiff and glossy. In another bowl beat egg yolks and remaining sugar. Whip until thick and very pale in color.
- Sift flour and baking powder together on a sheet of wax paper. Fold half the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Fold in flour, and then add the remaining egg whites and a splash of vanilla extract. Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet, spread evenly.
- Bake 8 minutes. Dust with confectioners sugar. Cool, then cut to desired size.
Layer #2 THE SYRUP - Coffee/Raspberry Goodness:
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup of raspberry port (we recommend Mosby Sofia Raspberry Dessert Wine)
- 1/4 cup very strong brewed coffee
Layer #3: THE FILLING-- The heart!
- 1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese
- 1.5 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 cup amaretto
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 (1 ounce) squares dark chocolate, grated (we recommend Hershey's Special Dark)
- 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (again, Hershey's does quite nicely) for dusting
- To make the syrup, stir together sugar, boiling water, coffee and raspberry port until sugar is dissolved. Set aside. Wasn't that easy?
- To make the filling, combine mascarpone, confectioners' sugar, amaretto and almond extract in a large bowl. Whisk together until completely smooth, scraping the bottom of the bowl to remove any lumps. Gradually whisk in the heavy cream. Whip with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Stop whipping when the mixture shows the first sign of graininess.
We had all the layers together...so we've got the lady fingers, our syrup, the filling and our extras (chopped up Hershey's Special Dark and Cocoa powder).
Start with a layer of lady fingers, and drizzle syrup over them just to get them moist. Add a thick layer of filling, add your extras as you like them, another layer of lady fingers but this time soak those suckers with the syrup! The last layer is more filling! But top it off to look pretty with your toppings...a little chopped chocolate goes a long way!
We made 4 mini-bread pans of this stuff. To enjoy our first one right away we assembled our first tiramisu and stuck it in the freezer while we cleaned up and finish assembling the rest of our little loafs of goodness.
The strength of the flavors diminishes a bit in the settling/cooling process, so this step is important. Let your tiramisu cool in a fridge or freezer for a period of time to allow everything to mix and party.