Tiramisu, a Lightened-up Version

Today marks the beginning of my second year writing this blog, and I wanted to share with you something fabulous.  I think this recipe is certainly that.  Rich, indulgent and just plain delicious!

Tiramisu, with less calories and fat but still rich and delicious.

Tiramisu, with less calories and fat but still rich and delicious.

Most likely you have had tiramisu at one time or another.   You know, the elegant, espresso-soaked sponge cake dessert, which is characterized by its rich layers of buttery mascarpone cheese and sweetened whipped cream, topped off with shaved chocolate.  If you have never had it, then I suggest you try this lightened up version for a treat that still delivers the flavor of the original without all the fat and calories.

Tiramisu, an elegant dessert.

Tiramisu, an elegant dessert.

The classic recipe packs a wallop;  a day’s worth of fat and almost 600 calories.  Mascarpone is Italy’s version of a dessert butter;  delicious to be sure, but you don’t need so much to make a dessert which is still rich tasting.  To lighten it , this recipe subs in 1/3 less fat cream cheese, with still a bit of mascarpone for richness, and mixes it into a lightly sweetened egg custard.  Egg whites are whipped, then folded into the custard, eliminating the need for whipped cream.  Crisp lady-fingers get dipped into Kahlua-spiked coffee and are then layered with the creamy custard-like filling.  A dusting of bittersweet chocolate adds one more layer of flavor for an indulgent treat that will truly be a pick-me-up, for that’s what “tiramisu” means.

Two layers of sweet, creamy indulgence.

Two layers of sweet, creamy indulgence.

We were guests at my  sister-in-law’s home for Easter dinner, and this is what I brought for dessert.  Everyone thought it was divine.  I needn’t have  worried that they would detect it wasn’t the original version. It disappeared so fast no one even questioned it.

TIRAMISU

SERVINGS:    10

INGREDIENTS

Ladyfingers, 2 kinds of cheese, Kahlua, and eggs.

Ladyfingers, 2 kinds of cheese, Kahlua, and eggs.

  • 1  1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup ground dark roast coffee
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons Kahlua  (coffee-flavored liqueur), divided
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 8  ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2  ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 24 crisp savoiardi ladyfingers  ( 1  [ 7oz.] pkg.)
  • 3/4  ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely grated

1.  Bring 1  1/2 cups water to a boil, and remove from heat.  Add coffee; cover and let stand for 10 minutes.  Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a medium bowl; discard grounds.  Cover and refrigerate until needed.  I brewed extra coffee in the morning, then into 1 1/2 cups coffee I added 1 Tablespoon espresso  powder; heated up the mixture to dissolve the espresso, then chilled it.

Espresso mixed with brewed coffee for a strong coffee flavor.

Espresso mixed with brewed coffee for a strong coffee flavor.

2.  Combine  1/4 cup sugar, egg yolks, and 1 Tablespoon Kahlua in the top of a double boiler, stirring well with a whisk.  Cook over simmering water, whisking constantly, until thick and candy thermometer registers 160* (about 9 minutes).  Remove from heat; refrigerate 10 minutes.

Cooking the egg yolks with sugar and Kaluha.

Cooking the egg yolks with sugar and Kaluha.

3.  Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until medium peaks form.  Combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.   Cook, without stirring, until the candy thermometer registers 250*.  With mixer at low speed,  carefully pour hot syrup over egg whites.  Gradually increase speed to high; beat for 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form  (do not over mix )

4.  Combine egg yolk mixture, cream cheese, and mascarpone cheese in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.

Egg yolk mixture beaten with cream cheese and mascarpone.

Egg yolk mixture beaten with cream cheese and mascarpone.

Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into cream cheese mixture;  gently fold remaining egg white mixture into cream cheese mixture.

Fold egg whites into egg/ cheese mixture.

Fold egg whites into egg/ cheese mixture.

5.  Add remaining 1 Tablespoon Kahlua to coffee.  Quickly dip 12 ladyfingers into coffee mixture; arrange in the bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish.  Note:  I used an 8″ x 12″ pan and 15 ladyfingers, without changing anything else, and there was enough coffee and custard to cover adequately.

Ladyfingers dipped and placed into bottom of baking dish.

Ladyfingers dipped and placed into bottom of baking dish.

Spread half of cream cheese mixture over ladyfingers.

Spread with half the cream cheese mixture.

Spread with half the cream cheese mixture.

Sprinkle with half of the chocolate.

Sprinkle with half the chocolate.

Sprinkle with half the chocolate.

Repeat procedure with the remaining ladyfingers, coffee mixture, and cream cheese mixture .  Sprinkle with remaining chocolate.  Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

This makes a full pan.

This makes a full pan.

Cut into squares and remove with a spatula.

Cut into squares and remove with a spatula.

Try it.  I'm sure you will love it!

Try it. I’m sure you will love it!

SOURCE:  Cooking Light

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