I did it! I did it!
It took me a while to round up the ingredients again. I'm constantly weighing in mind the benefits of organic/humane food and the monetary cost (which on my budget is sometimes near-impossible), and tiramisu is not something to take lightly... six eggs, mascarpone (prices vary wildly for some reason) and ladyfingers...
Anyway. I had purchased all the ingredients except the mascarpone the other day because an 8oz. container was four dollars!! So I waited until I was across town to stop into another grocery store where I knew the same exact product was only $2.29. Because I needed two, I couldn't justify paying practically double. No way.
Ladyfingers can be hard to find -- at least the ones that are necessary for this recipe. They need to be the dry, sugary ones as opposed to the refrigerated moist ones. I tried that kind once, and they ended up getting soggy and breaking apart because they were already moist. The brand I usually find around here, if the store carries them, is Alessi.
Because they get dipped in coffee, they have to be pretty dry to start. And then they get arranged and poured over with the mascarpone mixture.
And then there's the coffee. Yum, coffee.
I use a French press for the coffee -- it's quick and I can make however much I want. I used Alterra Coffee Roaster's Black Earth dark roast (yum!) ...and I would like to take this opportunity to share how cute my little tin coffee canister is! I found this and a matching flour one (missing the sugar and tea, unfortunately) at a thrift shop in Park Falls, WI a couple of years ago... It's darling, and so retro.
Citrus makes a big difference -- it adds a brightness to the whole thing. And better to use a fresh orange than orange juice from a carton; it's lighter and usually a little sweeter.
Finally, all the ingredients on hand today, I put a tiramisu together which rivals any I've made thus far. I paid close-close-close attention to the egg-sugar-mascarpone mixing, because, need I remind you, it was a massive, massive failure last time.
Also, I remedied the soppy ladyfingers by dipping them very, very swiftly in the coffee and not allowing nearly as much to soak into the cookies. That made a huge difference. So. Here's the love. Just keep in mind: there is no baking involved, and these egg yolks are raw. Tiramisu isn't really tiramisu without the raw eggs. ;)
1-2 cups espresso/strong coffee
2 tablespoons rum or vanilla rum, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks at room temperature
16oz. mascarpone (2 containers)
1/4 cup orange juice, divided (1 fresh orange)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 24+ ladyfingers (one single package is 24, but a few extra are nice)
shaved semi-sweet chocolate for garnish
Beat egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high for about three to four minutes, or until thick and light yellow. Lower the speed to low and mix in the mascarpone until smooth. With mixer still on low, add 1 tablespoon of the rum and the vanilla. Stir until combined.
Pour coffee, the remaining rum, and the orange juice in a shallow bowl. Dip each ladyfinger quickly into the mixture, evenly coating with coffee, but not allowing the cookie to soak through. Arrange ladyfingers in the bottom of a pan (I used an 8.5x11x2" oval pan), and fill spaces with pieces. Pour half the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfinger layer and spread evenly. Add second layer of ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture.
Smooth the top, cover, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight. Sprinkle the top with shaved chocolate and serve cold. Serves 6-8.