Tiramisu, meaning "pick me up" is a cafe-flavored Italian dessert. It is made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar and mascarpone cheese and flavored with cocoa powder. Its origins are often disputed among Italian regions Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. Tiramisu can be made with or without alcohol. If so, the most commonly used spirits are Marsala, Madeira wine, Rum, Amaretto or coffee-flavored liquors such as Tia Maria and Kahlúa.
Make this dessert 2 days prior to serve. Any silicone mold shall be used for this recipe. Yields one 9.75''X3.5''/25X9 cm (1000g capacity).
Make 2 days ahead.
Use leftover sponge and filling to make extra serving cups.
Roll out pastry into a 3 mm thick sheet, prick with a fork and freeze for 30 mins. Cut pastry into a 10''X3.5"/25.5X9 cm rectangle and freeze until ready to bake. Sandwich pastry between 2 parchments or baking mats and tray. Bake for 20 minutes at 350ºF/180ºC. Let cool and Keep crust at room temp for up to 48 hours in a dry area.
Line a large baking tray 13''X18"/33X45 cm with parchment or baking mat and lightly grease it with oil or cooking spray.
Sift flour and set aside. In the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites with cream of tartar and one-third of the sugar on medium speed. Always allow egg whites to incorporate as much air as possible before turning into meringue. Meanwhile, turn oven on and increase mixer speed to high. Turn oven on to 400ºF/205ºC. Lower temp to 375ºF/190ºC if using convection oven. Continue beating until stiff peaks adding remaining sugar gradually. Lower mixer speed and add egg yolks and vanilla. As soon as they are incorporated, stop mixer and fold in the sifted flour with a spider skimmer. This way, the starch incorporates faster preventing from deflating the mixture too much. Transfer mixture onto the prepared sheet pan and spread evenly using an offset spatula.
Bake ladyfinger sponge for 12 minutes. Let cool completely and freeze until ready to use. Un-mold sponge from tray. Make 2 rectangle cuts: 9.5''X3.5"/24X9 cm and 9.5''X2''/24X5 cm. Save leftover sponge in the freezer for later use.
*In some recipes such as Opéra Cake in which sponge is heavily moisturized, the addition of gelatin in punch/syrup prevents from oozing out. Soak gelatin in cold water to soften and drain well. Make a few strong espressos, stir in soften gelatin and add alcohol; set aside. Use punch at room temperature.
Reduce espresso with sugar to coffee extract (you should have about 40g left in the pan). Or, you can skip this step if using Trablit coffee extract. Add 15g Trablit + 25g water.
Combine remaining sugar with agar agar and reserve. Add remaining espresso in the coffee extract along with the alcohol and agar-mixture. Bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes. Cool coffee mixture on ice water and chill to set completely. Smooth out with an immersion blender prior to use.
To make the coffee gel insert shaped into a cylinder, use acetate cake collars and seal with carton sealing tape. Insert the plastic tube inside a cardboard tube or plastic pipe that should be around an inch/2.5 cm in diameter and slightly larger than the length of the mold. Seal one end with tape and fill it up with the coffee get. Close top with tape and freeze overnight. Extract the frozen coffee gel with a long handled wooden spatula. Keep it frozen until ready to use. Save leftover coffee gel for later extra cakes.
The bottom of the yule log silicone mold can be used for the coffee gel insert as well. To do so, pipe out about 200g of coffee gel mixture inside the mold and top with the sponge if wanted (sponge can be added during the montage too). Freeze overnight and demold.
Soak gelatin in cold water to soften and drain well. Meanwhile, in the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat mascarpone and heavy cream on low speed. Once homogenized, increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form. Do not over mix, it should remain supple. Transfer mascarpone mixture to a large pastry bowl; set aside.
For the pâte à bombe (sabayon): clean mixing bowl and throw yolks and the egg in and beat for 30 seconds or so. For the cooked sugar, in a small saucepan combine water and sugar. Put the lid on and turn on the heat – bring to a boil, remove the lid and continue to cook until the sugar thermometer reads 245ºF/118ºC. To stop the syrup cooking process, quickly immerse bottom pan in cool water. Pour hot syrup in thin stream into the eggs; beating swiftly. Then, beat on full blast for 8 mins until fluffy and at room temperature. Microwave the soften gelatin for ≈10 sec until melted and incorporate it immediately in the pate a bombe – beat for a few more seconds and stop mixer.
Fold room temp pate a bombe into the mascarpone mixture.
Pipe out 300g of the mascarpone filling in the yule log mold and coat the sides with a spatula. Add the first and narrower sponge, lightly press down and soak sponge with the coffee punch. Pipe out 300g mascarpone filling and add the frozen coffee gel cylinder – press down. Add more filling and the sponge and soak in coffee.
Spread some filling on top of the sponge and place the chocolate crust. Place log in the freezer overnight. De-mold and keep frozen until ready to glaze.
Bring heavy cream and honey to a boil. Pour in the barely melted chocolate – let sit for a couple of minutes. Add cocoa powder, oil and mix using an immersion blender without incorporating air. Tap container over the countertop to remove any remaining air bubbles.
Line a tray with a couple of sheets of plastic wrap and top with a cooling rack. When chocolate glaze is at 105ºF/40ºC, place frozen cake on the rack and glaze. Remove excess glaze with a piece of acetate cake collars or plastic wrap. Carefully transfer yule log onto a yule log cake board and mark the glaze with a fork to resemble a log and dust cocoa powder. Let cake thaw overnight before serving.
Instead of glazing the cake, you have the option of covering it with mascarpone chantilly (beat to medium peaks). Top with milk chocolate shavings and cocoa powder. Let it thaw overnight before serving. Merry Christmas!