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Irish Cream Tiramisu

Asked by gid. Answered on 25th April 2013

Full question

Hi, I tried to make Nigella's Irish Cream Tiramisu but it didn't quite come out the way I expected. I followed the recipe using 500g of 40% fat mascarpone cheese and folded this into the whisked yolks and sugar. The problem is that after I added in the 75ml Baileys everything started looking too wet and how do I fold 75mls of Baileys in to the eggs? Not a moussy mixture and even after refrigerating overnight it was still a bit liquidy at the bottom. Please give me some idea of where I went wrong! Thanks a million! Gidon

Our answer

We suspect that the problem with a liquid filling for the tiramisu may have been caused by the egg yolks not being whisked sufficiently in the first stages of making the tiramisu. The egg yolks and sugar should be whisked until they are pale and thick and roughly double their original volume. This is known as "ribbon stage" and if you lift the whisk or beaters than the mixture should drop in a ribbon rather than a thin stream and should be visible on the surface of the egg yolk mixture for a few seconds. It is possible to overbeat the mixture at which point it will go quite grainy, so it is a good idea to check the mixture regularly as you whisk.

You should also add the sugar to the egg yolks just before you whisk them together. If the sugar and yolks are left to stand in a bowl the sugar will start to act on the proteins in the egg yolk, causing them to harden (also known as "denaturing") and this may prevent them from whisking properly.

You can fold or whisk the 75ml Bailey's into this mixture, followed by the mascarpone. If the mixture is a little runny then you could whisk it a little as this may help the mixture to thicken up, though do this very carefully as it is easy to overbeat mascarpone due to its high fat content. The egg white should be whisked until thick and frothy - or "soft peak" stage, where if you lift the whisk the egg white forms a slight peak with the top point flopping over. Always fold in the whisked egg white, to preserve as much of the air in the egg white as possible.

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