Tiramisu can be lighter and easier to make
By Elaine Magee
Knight Ridder News Service
Q. One of my favorite desserts is tiramisu. I order it at restaurants every chance I get. I would love to know if you have ever lightened this dish up.
A. As I researched tiramisu recipes, I discovered there are literally hundreds of versions out there. I took things I liked from several of them to create one that I hope is easier to make and delicious to eat.
There was no way I was going to make ladyfingers from scratch because I could purchase perfectly good ones from my grocery store. If you can't find them in your supermarket, you cut use thinly sliced light pound cake or yellow cake in their place.
I ended up brewing a tasty syrup (to drizzle over the ladyfingers) using a little bit of sugar (I used less than many of the recipes called for), boiling water, strong coffee and Kahlua.
Now for the filling usually it's made with 8 ounces of mascarpone cheese (which is extremely rich and creamy), 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup rum and 2 cups heavy cream. I decided to whip up a filling using some light cream cheese and part-skim ricotta instead of the mascarpone cheese, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, the rum, and 1 cup of heavy cream. I decided to go with half as much of the real thing in this dessert's case. Light whipping cream will work, but will take longer to thicken. To make up for the lost heavy cream, I added a 6-ounce container of low-fat vanilla yogurt. It all blended together into a creamy, fluffy filling that seemed to work very well with the syrup and ladyfingers. And this stylish dessert was actually quite simple to make (about 20 minutes).
(Original recipe had 315 calories, 19 grams of fat, 12 g saturated fat, 83 mg cholesterol per serving)
- 2 packages (3 ounces each) ladyfingers
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup strong coffee
- 1/3 cup kahlua
- 3/4 cup light cream cheese
- 1/3 cup part-skim ricotta
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup dark or light rum
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 ounces low-fat vanilla yogurt
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/8 cup baking cocoa for dusting
- 16 coffee beans to top each serving
To make the syrup, stir together the syrup ingredients in small saucepan and bring to a medium boil. Let boil for about 5 minutes; set aside.
For filling, put cream cheese, ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, rum, vanilla extract and vanilla yogurt in large mixing bowl and beat on low to blend well, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. With mixer on low, gradually pour in the heavy whipping cream. Partly cover the bowl with plastic wrap (so it doesn't splatter while it whips), increase the speed to medium-high and beat until nicely thickened (about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes).
To assemble, line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform or the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan with a layer of the ladyfingers. Drizzle 4-6 tablespoons of the syrup over the top. Spread half of the filling over the syrup-soaked ladyfingers. Cover with the remaining ladyfingers and drizzle 6-8 tablespoons of the syrup over the top. Spread the remaining filling over the top and use a scraper to smooth the top.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, dust the top with cocoa (using a sifter or dusting cup) and top each serving with a coffee bean.
Per serving: 190 calories, 3.5 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 7.5 g fat (4.5 g saturated, 1.8 g monounsaturated, 0.5 g polyunsaturated), 45 mg cholesterol, .2 g fiber, 135 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 35 percent. Weight Watchers points: 4.
Elaine Magee is author of "The Recipe Doctor Cookbook" and "The Flax Cookbook." Readers may write her through www.recipedoctor.com. Personal responses cannot be provided.