I've never been one for making desserts because I always had a preconception that it's too much work for something that disappears so quickly :D

However Mum's birthday was coming up and she wasn't a fan of commercial cakes so I thought, what dessert is easy to make without baking? A quick Google search came up with tiramisu as the answer. 

Tiramisu is Italian for "Pick Me Up", which is befitting as it is really easy to make and delectable. I've no experience in making tiramisu so I read Malaysian blog entries (for tips on ingredients that I can procure locally) and browsed YouTube videos for 2 days before Mum's birthday. I noted the following:

1) Need strong coffee
I don't have an espresso machine and I don't intend to purchase espresso from outside; I then remembered that I bought 2-in-1 Angkor coffee from my recent trip to Siem Reap. Granted, it came with sugar but I just reduced the sugar in the cream (detailed in the instructions later) and it turned out pretty well! 

2) Need liquor
My main reference is Gordon Ramsay's recipe. He called for Marsala wine but I didn't have any so I opted for Bailey's Irish Cream. In the end product, I couldn't taste any liquor but a friend of mine could instantly taste the alcohol so I guess everyone's palate will be different. 
Gordon Ramsay's Easy Tiramisu

3) Eggs or eggless?
The traditional tiramisu recipe requires eggs. However, since you don't bake tiramisu, you technically have raw eggs chilled and sitting in this dessert, which is an idea I am not comfortable with. This is another reason why I liked Gordon Ramsay's recipe: it's eggless! 

So read on for my tiramisu recipe :)

250g Tatua's mascarpone cheese

250mL Pauls thickened cream
3 tsp icing sugar: I used the typical fine sugar - no problem
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream - you may replace with Marsala wine or Kahlua

100 + 50mL strong coffee - I split the measurement for easier preparation

24 pcs gullón lady fingers

1) You need 3 bowls: 1 bowl for the cheese, 1 bowl for the cream and 1 bowl for the coffee
2) The ratio of ingredients above was perfect for 24 pcs of lady fingers
3) Double cream is NOT thickened cream

1) Make the coffee then chill
- it's important for the coffee to be cool, as you will dip lady fingers into the coffee later and if the coffee is too warm, the lady fingers can disintegrate easily

2) Mix the cheese + liquor + 50 mL coffee + vanilla and whip
- as per the Chef Ramsay's instruction, whip until you get a lather-like texture

3) Add sugar to the cream and whip

4) Fold (3) into (2) and mix well

5) Pour 100 mL of coffee into another bowl
- dip the lady fingers in the coffee. Do not soak the lady fingers so that they won't be too soggy later. 

6) Line the container with lady fingers then pour a layer of your cheese-cream mix on top. Add another layer of lady fingers followed by a layer of cheese-cream mix. This is similar to the layers of cheese and meat in a lasagna. 

7) Once you're done layering, put the product in the fridge
- it should be done in 20 min but I went ahead with 3 hrs. 

8) Sprinkle cocoa powder when you're ready to serve

Attempt 1 - I dipped the lady fingers a little long so the tiramisu was a little soggy but the cream was good. I didn't have cocoa powder so I shaved some Cadbury milk chocolate on the top

Attempt 2 - I used cold coffee, didn't dip the lady fingers too long and the tiramisu was much better as it was firmer and my layering was tidier, plus I used the cocoa powder to dust the top surface so the result was finer

Mum was happy with the 1st attempt so my task was complete! :D

Update: Final batch was really amazing!

Gordon Ramsay's recipe is here

My next challenge is the banoffee pie. Stay tuned! Feel free to post opinions/tips! :)

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