Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Baileys and Espresso

What do you get when you mix black and white? As seen above, you might come up with something that tastes phenomenal. Yep, that's bailey's with espresso. And I'm sure you'll know what happens next:

Soaked fingers

Soaking spongefingers in liquer and coffee is a must for any tiramisu. The alchoholic ones that is. I love tiramisu. In fact, I adore it. I can't remember when exactly did my infatuation with this Italian headturner come about. But I do know that I like a good Tiramisu and I was bent on learning how to make one. I've heard it was time consuming so I put off making it, until NYE. I wanted to make something that'll blow people away at the party. So I decided on my favourite Italian dessert and headed off to get some spongefingers:


There are many ways to make Tiramisu but this time, I followed a recipe found in one of my William-Sonoma Italian cookbook (given to me by good 'ol Mike, thanks mate!). Some people use spongecake but this recipe called for sponge fingers, a.k.a. lady fingers, or as the Italians call it: Savoiardi. You can find this in Carrefour. They look like this:


Oh by the way, the recipe calls for heavy cream, and I tried looking for that in Carrefour but only found whipped cream and thickened cream. I gave my aunt a call and she told me that thickened cream is the same as heavy/double cream. So I bought the Bulla Thickened Cream.

Anyway to cut the long story short, I would say it was a challenge, this Tiramisu. I didn't have enough liquid to soak all the lady fingers so I had to make a second batch. I think I know why. One thing to note when making this - don't soak the fingers too long. You want them just damp, not dripping with liquid. This will cause your tiramisu to be watery at the bottom. Mine was a little, but my friends loved it. In fact, one even commented that it's much better this way but that's because he didn't like his too dry.

Hmm... This won't be my last time trying out a Tiramisu. There'll be plenty more chances. The remaining mascarpone cheese is still sitting in my fridge. Anyone care to contribute a recipe so I could use it up?

My homemade Tiramisu



1/2 cup (4 oz/125g) sugar
2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) freshly brewed espresso
3 tablespoons dark rum
45 ladyfingers or savoiardi

For the filling:
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup (3 oz/90g) sugar
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) heavy (double) cream
1 and 1/2 cups (12 oz/375 g) mascarpone cheese
1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (essence)

unsweetened cocoa powder for garnish

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) water and cook, stirrin frequently, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, stir in the espresso, and let cool to room temperature. When the espresso mixture has cooled, stir in the rum

Pour the espresso mixture into a wide, shallow bowl. Working in batches, briefly immerse the ladyfingers in the liquid. Using a spatula, transfer the ladyfingers to a plate. Set aside

To make the filling, in a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is pale yellow and light in texture, about 2 mintues. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water, or transfer to the top pan of a double boiler set over barely simmering water. Using a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat the yolk mixture until very thick, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and set asie to cool, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, using the mixer on medium-high spped, beat the cream until stiff peaks form when the beaters are lifted.

Add the mascarpone and vanilla to the yolk mixture. Beat with the mixer on medium speed until smooth and well blended. Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream.

To assemble, use a metal spatula to transfer 15 soaked ladyfingers to a 9-inch (23 cm) square cake pan. Arrange them in a singer layer in the bottom of the pan. Using the rubber spatula, evenly spread one-third of the filling over the ladyfingers. Place another layer of 15 ladyfingers over the filling in the pan and evenly spread with half of the remaining filling. Top with the remaining ladyfingers and filling, again spreading evenly.

Gently tap the pan against the counter to settle the ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

To serve, run a thin knife around the inside of the cake pan to loosen the cake. Sift a dusting of cocoa over the top. Cut into slices and serve.

Note: Ladyfingers - light, flat cookies that are as long as a finger - are available in many food stores and bakerires. Savoiardi, the Italian version of these delicate sponge cakes, are sold in specialty-food stores and by mail order. This dish includes eggs that are only partially cooked.

**Note from the baker: You can use Bailey's (like I did) and if you're in Singapore, you can find Savoiardi at Carrefour, under the biscuits section.

Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Italian cookbook


Gabrielle said...

Oh that's what heavy cream is!! I was searching for heavy cream for long as some recipes called for it. Just can't find any in Singapore. Thanks for the input that it's actually thickened cream. :)

Nicholas said...

hey hey!

looks like you had fun with your tiramisu hey?

I realised that with the savoiardi brand, you'd have to dip them longer inthe coffee mix. They don't absorb as much as other brands. I suppose it's a good thing, so that you don't end up with soggy tiramisu.

Oh, if you add Marsala into the zabaglione, it'd add a nice touch too, flavour wise.

Oh, and I prefer using Tia Maria for the coffee mix. I find that it has more body than kahlua.


the baker said...

Gabrielle: glad to help! :) i was also so confused. actually you can go here: for more info on cream. you can actually check the percentage of butterfat on the bottle. that'll give you a good idea :)

nicholas: ya i did! i love tiramisu and I'm glad I finally got down to making it.

yes regarding marsala. where can i get it? been looking but maybe i'm just blind or have been looking at the wrong places. haha i only have bailey's at home that's why. i know i have to try to use Tia Maria or Kahlua someday. I feel like starting on a 'make-the-best-tiramisu prj'. cos I have found so many diff recipes. Some use the egg whites in the zabaglione too...

Angie said...

I used the same Savoiardi to make Tiramisu on Christmas Eve. These fingers are delicious even on their own. :)

Nicholas said...

Hey hey!
You should be able to get Marsala wine at most supermarkets with a wine section or wine shops, like those along Bukit Timah Road.

I know for sure that the wine shop at Paragon in basement 1 has it.

I've always preferred using whipped cream to lighten the mascarpone mix instead of eggwhites. It eliminates any concerns for salmonella. And besides, you'll end up with a richer tiramisu. ;)

Randi said...

I have to make a tiramasu for a clients dinner party on Saturday. I think I'm going to use Ina Garten's( barefoot contessa) recipe. Her's looks similar to yours.

Milkman_662000 said...

Hi, where to get mascorpone cheese? Carrefour also?

the baker said...

angie: damn right you are! hehe i ate some just by itself too.

nicholas: ahh marsala wine is hard to find eh? maybe i'll go down to paragon after all.

randi: sounds good! post about it okay... i wanna see the photo! haha :)

milkman: yep, carrefour sells it

novice baker said...

hi, you may want to try the classic tiramisu recipe from I used theirs, and it was good! and I like your blog!

cleopatra said...

hi, i search high & low for the fingers in cold storage & carrefour but still cant find!

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