I love tiramisu. It has always, always, always been a family favorite. We tried making it once maybe 6 years or so ago and it came out okay. We overestimated the amount of time lady fingers need to soak in the rum/coffee mixture and consequently produced a torte that would knock even the stoutest fellow off his feet.
Since going gluten-free I have yet to encounter any sort of tiramisu that is gluten-free. It was only recently that I came across Schar Lady Fingers which made me think of how delicious tiramisu use to be. I did a little research and discovered that most store-made tiramisus are really poor substitutions for the real deal. Also since I am obsessed with The Pioneer Woman, whenever I am looking for a new recipe I check if she has a version first. I did a quick Google search for "Pioneer Woman Tiramisu" to see if she has a tried and true recipe. Lo-and-behold, she does!
After reading through the recipe I realized that I had no idea how an authentic tiramisu is constructed. It is truly a labor of love. Several different steps need to be performed before assembling and consuming. You must make a zabaglione and a creamy mixture and soak the cookies and then layer them carefully into a dish.
As you look through the ingredient list you will realize that to make a tiramisu, especially a gluten-free version, costs an awful lot. The mascarpone cheese alone would have cost over $25. Not to mention fresh brewed espresso. I went with several shortcuts and it still tasted fantastic, your guests will never know the difference. I've listed these at the bottom of the post.
I had never made a zabaglione before so it was an adventure. I had always wanted to try to since seeing a Food Network episode about it but some how an eggy alcoholic mixture never really seemed like something I could persuade my family to eat. Well, I made it and it is good! Not sure if I would eat it alone, but in a tiramisu it was delicious.
Here is the beginning of the zabaglione. Half way through it, I thought it was never going to thicken up, but have no fear, for it does eventually. Mine is also very dark because I used a very dark rum. Making it with the wine or brandy might produce a different color.
You then make a mascarpone cheese,* whipped creamy mixture. Whipped cream happens to be one of the first solid foods I was ever fed. I take that as a point of pride. Who wants to eat baby cereal anyway? Not me, for sure.
You then combine the two to make a scrumptious filling for your tiramisu.
Here is the espresso based mixture. It was around ten at night so no Starbucks was open to provide the good stuff, so I went with instant espresso. Tasted perfectly fine and it saved me quite a few dollars. Unfortunately the gluten-free lady fingers are about $4 a carton. I bought mine online and saved a few pennies, but then I realized that they sell them at the Stop & Shop and the Whole Foods right near my house. Also I needed at least two boxes of them for a whole tiramisu, as opposed to the one box the recipe calls for.
The recipe says to use about a tablespoon of the mixture on each lady finder, but since the gluten-free fingers are so much more crunchy than the regular ones, I would recommend at least 1 1/2-2 tablespoons per cookie. I made mine about 20 hours before we would be eating it, but if I make this again I will do it at least 24-30 hours before hand. The gluten-free cookies stand up much better to the moisture than the gluten-full ones do. I also scored my cookies so the liquid would more easily absorb. I would say dunk them, but then you don't have control over the amount of liquid used.
Here is what the final product looks like! Sorry they are so zoomed in, I was very ready to try it! For the actual recipe click here! I highly recommend this recipe. It was SO good!
For mascarpone cheese:
I also substituted dark rum for the marsala wine. I had it on hand and I knew it would work just fine.
As always, if you have any questions feel free to ask!