Hi Christine, I love the idea of making the sides as the EPC, perhaps the raspberry conserve will fit just fine with the coffee flavour, I would say so! Another alternative to the sides I like very much, works very well for square or rectangular shapes, is to chill your cake in the fridge for a couple hours, then with a long sharp knife trim off all the sides straight, like this picture of a chocolate biscuit, then you wrap it with acetate strips. Very elegant, and very appetizing. Be sure to warm up your knife first, for the cleanest slicing.
To assemble Tiramisu as a sheet cake, or in fact, most other shortcakes and sponge/whipped cream cakes, you should assemble the cake directly on your cake plate or board. Use a frame to support the sides as you build up the cake. In industry, we use special metal frames, but at home you can build one with cardboard. If you make your cake round, you can use a 3” high removable bottom pan or a springform pan.
I love genoise, but for tiramisu, please use biscuit de savoie, it is the traditional recipe in Italy. The butter in genoise can be an overload for the rich mascarpone / yolk filling. The store bought lady fingers are great if not better, but only the ones imported from Italy. If I may from experience, let me give you my 2 cents on what I think makes the PERFECT BEST tiramisu in flavor and texture:
1- Bake your own Biscuit de Savoie, or use ladyfinger imported from Italy. Do not use any other store bough ladyfinger or sponge cake.
2- Use marcarpone imported from Italy. Anything else, even from the most fanciful domestic houses, is not the same.
3- Use ILLY espresso shots, made by a high caliber espresso machine or by a Bialetti stove top moka pot. Instead of ILLY, you can use some other roast that has the true Italian roast. French roast is too bitter.
4- Marsala wine is the traditional liquor to use, but Frangelico works well, too. Kahlua would work too.
5- High quality, specially organic, yolks would give you the best color and also taste.
6- For the dusted cocoa top, I love using pulverized chocolate instead, much tastier. Run chocolate chunks in your food processor, thru a zester, or do shavings.
If you follow, specially #1 and #2 (and well, #3 above), you will turn your Tiramisu into the best tasting one. My point is, if you go thru the trouble to make it yourself, DONT make something that is widely sold.
P.S. The tiramisu in the little bowl, is called Spooned Tiramisu. It is a great way to serve Tiramisu (shaped in a bowl), this is a photo taken at a pizzeria in Italia.
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