Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gingerbread Tiramisu

This is my very first ever tiramisu.  I have been meaning to attempt to make tiramisu for some time now, but it always felt very daunting.  It also felt like a dessert I should make for a special occasion.  I might have just be thinking this way because one of the restaurants I worked at during college served the most amazing tiramisu cake that I totally had as my birthday cake one year.  So, when Shanan in my office suggested I try making this dessert this holiday season, I thought why not.  Then when we started to plan the office holiday lunch I thought to myself, this is as good a time as any.  Plus, lets be real here folks.  This is a time intensive dessert, and you could definitely break up preparing this between two days (make the gingerbread on day 1 and complete the tiramisu on day 2), but I had a Sunday afternoon of movie watching with my mom on my hands.  Therefore, time was on my side.  

Some how this very complicated dessert only needs two words to name it.  This only seems strange to me because I can have cupcakes or even donuts for that matter that need four and five words to really name them.  (Like maple donuts with maple glaze and bacon crumbles or  browned butter vanilla bean cake with brown sugar cream cheese frosting.)  However, when describing this dessert there are a multitude of words that come to mind...moist, spicy, decadent, creamy, rich, light, gingery...this tiramisu is full of flavor and well worth the time and effort.  The gingerbread adds this warm, cinnamon, ginger molasses flavor that goes surprisingly well with the cream filling and coffee flavors.  So, if you have a little time on your hands, and want to make a dessert this holiday season that is bound to impress, give this one a try and Enjoy!

Part 1: Making the gingerbread

Getting together the dry ingredients: flour, spices, baking soda and salt.

Dry meet wet and then whisk in the...

...hot water and ready for the pan.

Out of the pan and cooling.  While the gingerbread cools, prep the tiramisu filling.

Part 2: The filling and espresso mixture

This is a slow process, but after several minutes it will thicken up.

Like this...

Then in goes the mascarpone and since I didn't buy enough mascarpone...cream cheese.  You can definitely substitute half of the mascarpone to save a few dollars.

Then cut the gingerbread into 3/4 - 1 inch slices and then cut each slice in half so they are easier to fit into the pan.

Layer one, then pour over the coffee-liquor mixture.  

Then spread out a layer of filling, then down goes the last layer of gingerbread with more coffee-liquor mixture and a final layer of tiramisu filling "cream."

Gingerbread Tiramisu:
*makes one 9 x 13 inch of tiramisu
Gingerbread: (recipe adapted from allrecipes.com)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup molasses
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water

Coffee-Liquor mixture: (recipe adapted from Epicurious)
2 cups boiling-hot water
3 tablespoons instant-espresso powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
3 tablespoons Kahlua (or any coffee liqueur)

Tiramisu Cream: (recipe adapted from Epicurious)
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup dry Marsala (or red wine if you don't have Marsala on hand)
1 pound mascarpone (2 1/2 cups) or 1 cup mascarpone with 1 cup cream cheese
1 cup chilled heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Then, beat in the egg and molasses until fully incorporated.

3. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. 

4.  Whisk into the creamed mixture and then stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared baking pan.

5. Bake 40-45 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes and the remove to cooling rack.  While cake is cooling prepare the tiramisu cream filling and espresso mixture.

6.  Stir together water, espresso powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, and Kahlua in a shallow bowl until sugar has dissolved, then cool.

7.  Beat egg yolks, Marsala(or red wine), and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water using a whisk or handheld electric mixer until tripled in volume, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove bowl from heat. Beat in mascarpone until just combined.

8.  Using an electric mixer, beat the cream in a large bowl until it holds stiff peaks.

9.  Fold mascarpone mixture into whipped cream gently but thoroughly.

10. Once cake has cooler, slice width wide into 3/4 - 1 inch thick slices and then cut in half.

11.  Line the bottom of a 13- by 9- by 3-inch baking pan with one layer of ginger bread.  The pour about 1/4 cup of espresso mixture over each pieces. Next, spread half of mascarpone filling on top. Then layer the remaining gingerbread and top with the espresso mixture.  Carefully spread remaining mascarpone filling on top and dust with cocoa powder and cinnamon. Chill, covered, at least 6 hours.  Enjoy!

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