Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tiramisu` Bars - Take Two

Hey look! I'm posting a recipe with actual chocolate, not just talking about chocolate. Sorry about that in the last post.

One of the first flops I ever posted was my recipe (or lack thereof) for Tiramisu` Bars. I had this idea that I wanted the flavors of tiramisu` in a portable form. I baked a coffee-flavored shortbread crust and topped it with a mascarpone cheesecake-like topping tinged with booze and chocolate.

The recipe baked up just fine, but I considered it a flop because the taste disappointed me. I couldn't just enjoy the cookies for what they were. The main issues with the cookies were:

1. The coffee flavor didn't come through in the crust.
2. The mascarpone topping just didn't have a tiramisu`-like flavor. It tasted more like a flan.

I don't know what made me decide to try something like this again. I guess I had to realize the original recipe wasn't all that bad. I brought the bars to work and my coworkers ate them all. They didn't taste bad. They just didn't taste the way I had hoped they would taste. If I made some tweaks, they might be a little more along the lines of what I was looking for.

My immediate supervisor's birthday is this week and you know I like to bake to kiss butt. I decided to make another attempt at Tiramisu` bars as a birthday present. Is a coworker worth the expense of all of that mascarpone? Well, she's leaving our company to take a higher position with our parent company, so why not do something a little special for her?

I made three tweaks.

1. I add more coffee powder to the base.
2. I changed the liquor in the mascarpone topping. I used kahlua this time. I know that's not traditional tiramisu` liquor, but brandy didn't do it for me, I love kahlua, and I don't like the more traditional sweet wines in my desserts. I often make a chocolate tiramisu` that uses kahlua.
3. I added lots of chocolate chips instead of chocolate shavings. This is totally untraditional, but everything is better with more chocolate.

In the end it still didn't quite taste like tiramisu`, but it was still pretty good. Supervisor ate them and shared them with a few other coworkers who said they liked them. I wonder if I'll ever get the inspiration to tweak these further.

Chocolate Chip “Tiramisu`” Bars

For Shortbread Base
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup instant coffee granules

For topping
3 4oz containers mascarpone
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup kahlua
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place flour, salt, and coffee powder into a food processor and process until the coffee powder is well incorporated. Add brown sugar and process that in. Cut butter into small pieces and process with all of the other curst ingredients until it has a pebbly texture. Sprinkle mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan and press evenly onto bottom. Bake shortbread in middle of the oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare your topping.

Beat together eggs, mascarpone and kahlua. Slowly stir in your chocolate chips.

Spread mixture over the baked crust. Bake an additional 30 minutes or until puffed and golden and a little puffy.

Cool thoroughly before cutting. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight to really allow the mascarpone to set.


Sue said...

Yay for chocolate!

I love the idea of the Kahlua. I think that was smart. I don't see how Tiramisu could EVER taste bad. They look yummy too.

Emily said...

Mmm these bars look great! I love the shortbread crust. I love shortbread in general.

Bellini Valli said...

I heard my own mom in the background...If at first you don't succeed try try again. It seems as though it was definitely worth it.