They're sleepless over tiramisu, a sensual (not sexual) treat


July 21, 1993|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Staff Writer

Tiramisu, which is pronounced tier-eh-me-zuu, has recently gained recognition in "Sleepless in Seattle," a movie comedy in which a widower played by Tom Hanks thinks tiramisu is something sexual, rather than a light, sweet Italian dessert.

A recipe was in order. Rita T. Werthamer of Baltimore requested the recipe several weeks ago and Chef Syglowski, who tests the recipes sent in, chose those of Joan Demshock of Timonium and Karen Zorn of Ellicott City.

Demshock's tiramisu

Yields 10 to 12 servings

6 egg yolks

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups mascarpone (a soft creamy) cheese

1 3/4 cups whipping cream

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons instant coffee granules

1 1/2 tablespoons brandy

2 (3-ounce) packages ladyfingers

Combine egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until thick and lemon colored.

Bring water in the bottom of the double boiler to a boil, reduce it to low and cook the lemon-colored mixture for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add mascarpone and beat until smooth.

Combine water, coffee granules and brandy and brush the mixture lightly on the ladyfingers. Line the sides and the bottom of a trifle bowl or 3-quart souffle dish with ladyfingers and pour in 1/2 of the filling. Layer remaining ladyfingers on top and cover with remaining filling. Garnish if desired with whipped cream and grated unsweetened chocolate. Cover and chill for 8 hours.

Ms. Demshock offers a substitute for mascarpone, which is most often available from gourmet shops: 2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese; 1/3 cup sour cream; 1/4 cup whipping cream

Use 1 1/4 cups of this mixture in the tiramisu and save any left over to use in cannoli shells.

Zorn's tiramisu

Yield 8 to 10 servings

1 (16-ounce) container of mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar

1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons Kahlua (divided use)

2 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, coarsely grated

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (divided use)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups whipping cream (divided use)

2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee granules

2 (3 1/2 - to 4 1/2 -ounce) packages ladyfingers

1 (1-ounce) square semisweet chocolate coarsely grated

2 tablespoons powered sugar

Combine the mascarpone cheese, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons Kahlua, 2 ounces grated chocolate, 1 teaspoon vanilla and salt. Stir well with a wire whisk.

Beat 1 cup whipping cream until soft peaks form and fold this into the cheese mixture and set aside.

Stir together the remaining Kahlua, water, espresso granules and remaining vanilla.

Separate the lady fingers in half lengthwise; line the bottom of a 10-cup glass bowl with one-fourth of the ladyfingers and brush lightly with 2 tablespoons of the espresso mixture. Spoon 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the ladyfingers and repeat layering procedure twice. Top with ladyfingers and press them lightly into the cheese mixture.

Brush with remaining espresso mixture and sprinkle with 1 ounce grated chocolate, reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish.

Beat remaining 1/2 cup whipping cream until foamy and gradually add 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Put into a pastry bag with a #132 metal tip and pipe rosettes over top of dessert. Sprinkle with the reserved grated chocolate. Cover and chill for 6 hours.

Note: For easy handling, grate chocolate onto waxed paper; put another piece of waxed paper on top and hold the paper together at the sides as you pour or sprinkle the chocolate onto the tiramisu.

Note: In several of the recipes sent in, some of which were very similar, rum, brandy or Kahlua were choices.


Chef Syglowski, with the help of chefs and students at the Baltimore International Culinary College, selected and tested these recipes.

Recipe requests

* Katherine Bartley of Kelso, Wash., wants a recipe for cottage cheese pie. * Catherine L. Helbing of Baltimore wants a recipe for Civil War ginger cake. She remembers 25 years ago she cut one out that had a little story with it about how this cake was baked over campfires by the soldiers.

* Bobbie Nachman of Baltimore wants a recipe for peach cake similar to that sold by Silbers Bakery.

* Melvin A. Kaye of Baltimore writes that he and his wife are retired and he enjoys doing much of the cooking. They both like chicken chow mein and would like to have a recipe similar to the one sold at the Golden Dragon Inn on Liberty Road.

* Mrs. C. M. Dimarco of Baltimore wants a Key lime cake recipe: "My husband and I tasted the cake about a month ago and he says it is the best cake he has ever eaten."

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a long-gone recipe, maybe we can help. Write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and phone number.

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