I am definitely using the word deconstructed lightly here, as this is something new that I am trying out. I’ve developed a love and an affinity for plating and making an art out of food. I was craving tiramisu, but I was missing two key ingredients: lady fingers/biscotti and mascarpone cheese. So I decided to have my own take on a classic favorite dessert of mine. Let’s start off with making the cake:
- Strong coffee of your choice
- Rum (or any liquor of your choice)
- Sugar (for the coffee)
- 2 1/2 cup flour
- 2 cups of sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Cream cheese icing
- Whipped Cream
preheat oven to 350 degrees
prepare the coffee bath by brewing strong coffee and add sugar, be generous with sugar. Let it cool then add liquor of your choice. Some people like a more coffee taste, while others want to have that liquor taste. It’s up to you. I did not have any rum or liquor to use, but it was still fine! Set aside and let cool.
mix 2 1/2 cup sugar and eggs in a bowl; blend until light and airy
mix flour slowly; then add milk, vanilla and vegetable oil
mix for about one to two minutes until well blended, but do not over mix
bake in a greased parchment paper in a baking pan (round or rectangular, it’s up to you) for about 30-40 minutes. At the 30 minute mark, check the center with a toothpick to see if it is still runny. You want it to have a nice light brown color. If you bake it for too long, it will lose its fluffy/airy texture.
That was easy enough! Now for the fun part: deconstruction.
A typical tiramisu recipe calls for layering of the lady fingers/biscotti dipped in the coffee bath topped with mascarpone, then coated with cocoa powder and then repeat. Since I didn’t have the two main ingredients, I decided to make a simple vanilla cake then let my imagination run freely.
I’ve always wanted to try doing the cocoa powder outline that I saw on the internet. It’s such a simple concept, yet adds an innovative and dramatic effect to any dish.
Simply place a teaspoon where you want the outline to be. Then using a very fine strainer, lightly sprinkle cocoa (or any type) powder on top of the spoon. Remove the spoon and it will reveal a nice outline in the absence of the spoon. Very simple, yet beautiful.
Next up I wanted to work on the actual tiramisu. With the vanilla cake cooled down, I started to form the dessert by using a wine glass. Start layering by adding a small bit of vanilla cake, then pour a small (emphasize on small) amount of the coffee bath (you do not want the cake to be soaked, just lightly flavored).
Then here’s something that I would’ve never thought of in a million years: cream cheese icing. Like I said, I didn’t have mascarpone, which is a vital component to a traditional tiramisu. But I did have two things laying around in my kitchen: cream cheese icing and whipped cream. So I used those two. Then added strawberries. Then I repeated the same process until I’ve hit the top of the glass.
Another thing that I wanted to experiment with is the chocolate ganache presentation. Sure, you can drizzle it, but that’s basic and a last resort if you want to use chocolate but have no idea what to do with it. My recent craze is creating a half wave motion from a drop of chocolate. Instead of using a spoon to smear it, I decided to use a fork and that ended up perfectly!
To top it off, I used my favorite Polish chocolate, E. Wedel. I love Polish chocolates, especially this one because it has a liquor filling inside! I cut one in half and added it to the plate for a nice addition. And the result: something unique, and a whole new take on my favorite dessert.
The cream cheese icing definitely brought a lot to the dessert by giving it a more sweet yet tangy taste that mascarpone does not provide in a traditional tiramisu. The vanilla cake made a perfect substitution for the biscotti/lady fingers. But what I love about it the most is the plating of the dessert. Definitely had loads of fun making this brilliant dessert!