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Tiramisł (Without Alcohol)
From The Best of Bugiali , by Giuliano Bigiali


6 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
6 heaping tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 pound mascarpone cheese or 1/2 pound ricotta plus 1 cup heavy cream, blended very well in a food processor until a light cream forms
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
24 very crisp Italian ladyfingers
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon confectioners' sugar
2 cups strong espresso coffee, cooled


Bring water to a boil in the bottom of a double boiler.

Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a crockery or glass bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved and the egg yolks turn a lighter color. Add the milk and mix thoroughly. Transfer the egg mixture to the top part of the double boiler and insert it over the boiling water. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon, always in the same direction, until the cream is thick enough to coat the spoon, just before the mixture is about to start to boil. Absolutely do not allow the mixture to boil. Immediately remove the top part of the double boiler from the heat. Continue to stir for 1 minute longer, then transfer the crema to a crockery or glass bowl to cool, about 1 hour.

Place the mascarpone or ricotta cream mixture in the bowl of a food processor, add the cooled crema and blend very well until a very smooth and light cream forms. Refrigerate until needed.

Chop the chocolate coarsely. Place the ladyfingers in one layer in a jelly-roll pan.

Whip the heavy cream, granulated sugar and confectioners sugar in a chilled metal bowl with a wire whisk. Add the cooled crema-mascarpone and whisk very well.

Soak the ladyfingers with the cold coffee and gently transfer 12 of them to a 14-inch "trifle" bowl. Spread half of the cream on top of the ladyfingers, then sprinkle on half of the chocolate. Make one more layer with the remaining ingredients, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Yield: Serves 12

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