Our first 2001 recipe makeover column begins with a request from Judy Halvorson of Mililani for a tiramisu recipe that is lower in fat and calories.
Lean, trim tiramisu
still flavorful treat
Tiramisu is a trifle-like dessert from the Tuscan region of Italy that literally means "lift me up." It is a heavenly concoction of ladyfingers, mascarpone (an ultra-rich Italian cheese), eggs, espresso coffee, Marsala wine, and chocolate. There are probably as many variations for tiramisu as there are lovers of this dessert.
Don't be fooled by tiramisu's light texture. The fat and calorie content of traditional recipes is anything but light.
For example, David Rosengarten, host of "Taste" on the TV Food Network, offers a tiramisu recipe for 12 that includes 30 ladyfingers, 8 eggs, a pound of mascarpone, 1 cup of heavy cream, 2/3 cup brandy, and 2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate.
Gourmet magazine's "favorite" tiramisu recipe which serves 8, includes 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate, 4 egg yolks, 8 ounces of cream cheese, 1-3/4 cups whipping cream and a 12-ounce pound cake.
The approximate nutritional information per serving of basic tiramisu varies considerably. Total calories running from 425 to 600 and total fat from 28 to 40 grams. In our makeover, we've substituted pasteurized egg whites for whole eggs, ricotta cheese for cream cheese, and Lite Cool Whip dessert topping for heavy cream. We've added half and half and pure vanilla extract to add fullness to the flavor.
Combine espresso coffee with the brandy. Set aside.
Lighter Tiramisu2 cups cooled espresso coffee
2/3 cup brandy
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Nulaid Egg Whites
1 pound ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 cup half and half
2 cups Lite Cool Whip Dessert Topping
30 lady fingers
2 ounces grated bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1/8 cup sifted Dutch-process cocoa powder for garnish
Mix the sugar into the egg whites and blend well. Set aside.
Mix ricotta cheese, vanilla extract and half and half until smooth. Then add a little ricotta cheese mixture to the egg white mixture and whisk until stiff peaks form.
Spread about 2/3 cup dessert topping on the bottom of a 4-6 quart glass baking dish or serving bowl. Slightly spread 1/3 of ricotta mixture over top. Dip a lady finger into the espresso and brandy and lay it on the ricotta mixture. Continue laying dipped lady fingers side by side to cover the bottom of dish. Top with grated chocolate.
Repeat layers and cover with another layer of espresso-soaked lady fingers. Top with remaining Cool Whip and ricotta mixture and grated chocolate. Dust top with grated chocolate and cocoa powder. Chill 2 hours to set. Serves 12
Approximate nutritional information per serving: 270 calories, 9 g total fat, 5 .5 g saturated, 110 mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium, 10 g protein, 31 g carbohydrate
If you want a lower-fat makeover of your recipe, mail recipes to Recipe Makeover, Features Department, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, HI 96802. Or email to email@example.com using Recipe Makeover as your subject title. Make sure to include your name and phone number or email address.
Barbara Burke is a Hawaii-Pacific University instructor who has been teaching
and writing about food and nutrition since 1975.
Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S., is a food and nutrition consultant
and owner of Exploring New Concepts, a nutritional consulting firm.
She is also responsible for the nutritional analyses
indicated by an asterisk in this section.