With the craziness of planning a big meal to feed the family around the holidays, dessert can often end up as an afterthought. Especially if you aren't too keen on the whole baking thing. This tiramisu is the perfect antidote to that. Impressive enough for a big dinner and yet simple enough that anyone can make it. Since it is best after it has been left to cool for at least four hours you can easily make it the night before or the morning of your dinner.
The key to making this really work is all in the cookies. On most restaurant menus you'll see ladyfingers listed as an ingredient for tiramisu. It is important to note that they are specifically Italian ladyfingers, known as Savoiardi biscuits. Many large grocery stores will carry them either in the cookie aisle or with the Italian food. You can also find them at any Italian market or specialty food store.
This has been layered into a large trifle dish to add to the wow factor as it's placed on the table. It is best served with a large spoon, much like a trifle, giving that rustic quality that is so common in Italian food. It also works nicely in an 11"x17" baking dish.
8 eggs - separated*
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups mascarpone
1/4 tsp vietnamese cinnamon
2 cups espresso - cooled - instant is fine if you don't have an espresso maker
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1. In a large bowl beat the eggs whites with an electric mixer until they are form stiff peaks. Set aside.
2. In a second large bowl whisk together the eggs & sugar. Add in the mascarpone, this works best if it is at room temperature. Then whisk in the ground cinnamon.
3. Fold half of the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture until just combined. Repeat with the remaining egg whites. PLace the bowl in the refrigerator while preparing the serving dish.
4. Pour the espresso into a shallow dish and coat the Savoiardi biscuits in espresso. Place a single layer of coffee soaked biscuits at the bottom of your trifle dish** (you may have to trim some of the biscuits to get an even single layer) and then around the sides of the dish. Pour half of the mascarpone mixture into the dish.
5. Top the mascarpone mixture with another layer of coffee soaked biscuits (again you may need to trim some). Add the remaining mascarpone mixture, cover with foil and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, with longer being better.
6. Sift cocoa powder over the top just before serving.