The first tiramisu I ever made. Looks yummy, right?
I brought it over for Easter dinner at my in-laws' house a couple weeks ago (and of course I forgot my camera that day so I had to get my brother-in-law Kevin to email me his photos - thanks Kev!)
Also a big thank you to our friend Bob for recommending his favorite tiramisu recipe (from Cooks Illustrated). I found the same recipe online, Tiramisu Without Raw Eggs, at America's Test Kitchen (requires free registration). There's also a version with the traditional raw eggs, but I chose the cooked egg version since I was feeding it to a crowd.
Making the tiramisu was very straightforward but required me to finally take my brand new KitchenAid mixer out of the box after 9 long years (I know, the SHAME). I also experienced some sticker shock when shopping for ingredients - 1 1/2 pounds of mascarpone cheese is expensive! But this recipe feeds a huge crowd, making 10-12 generous servings. I also followed Bob's advice and substituted Kahlua for the rum (but you might want to stick with the rum if you prefer more of an alcoholic 'kick'). And I topped it off with both cocoa powder and chocolate shavings (you can never have too much chocolate).
I probably could have divided the mascarpone filling a little more evenly to get perfect-looking layers, but the tiramisu sliced up beautifully, with very clean-looking edges, just like what you would get at an Italian restaurant. The end result garnered a lot of 'oohs' and 'ahhs'. And the taste? A-MA-ZING! Not too shabby for my first time.