This happened all because I was munching on a kueh bahulu while searching for a tiramisu recipe. I was looking for something to make to bring to a girlfriends sleep-over, and thought that tiramisu would be a great idea, since the theme was booze, and anything boozy was welcomed
One of the recipe I was going through emphasized how important it was to use only Italian sponge fingers. As always, when someone says 'impossible', I think 'really???'
And then my brain wondered over first to the kueh I'm munching, and then to that giant container of the kueh we have leftover from the Chinese New Year festivities, and the proverbial light bulb went off in my head.
I don't know if anyone has ever noticed, but kueh bahulu is really similar to Italian sponge fingers. They both have a crisp, almost hard outter shell with a softer, but still dry inner sponge. The only difference laid in the shape, which did made it a little tricky.
The result: I thought it tasted really good. In fact, I would say that it suited my taste even better than the sponge fingers, because the kueh is a little more substantial than the fingers, and holds its shape and texture a lot better than the fingers, so you can taste the cake-like texture even days after the tiramisu was made. I've always found restaurant tiramisu to be too soft, with the sponge layer almost disappearing into the cream. I will definitely use this in all future tiramisu.
However, if you are a fan of that exact melt-in-your-mouth texture, like my sister, this then might not be as palatable. My sister found the kueh a little denser than the fingers. But, when all's said and done, if you can use up left-over kueh, [or save a lot of money; these kuehs costs like S$1 for 12] and get a bucketful of fantastic tiramisu, I think its worth a shot
Amelia's very light, very very boozy kueh bahulu tiramisu
25 - 30 kueh bahulu
3 egg whites [if you are uncomfortable with raw eggs substitute with mascapone or cream. This is cheaper and less fattening, since mascapone costs a bomb and cream is fattening]
1 cup of sugar/2 1/2 cup of icing sugar
400 ml whipping cream
250ml mascapone cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup booze [whatever kind you have. Brandy/Cognac/rum, whatever]
1/2 cup coffee liqueur [replace half with expresso if you don't want it ultra boozy. I was making it for girls night in, so of course we wanted it extra boozy]
- Quarter the kueh if you don't mind chunks, or cut into slices if you want nice layers. Lay down the first layer and brush with the coffee liqueur
- Whip cream til stiff peak. [google for tips if its your first time. Seriously, unless u want butter] Set aside in fridge.
- Beat egg whites until soft peak, beat in sugar little by little to make a stiff meringue.
- Beat the rum/whatever a third at a time into the meringue. It'll deflate a little, but its fine. If it starts looking very watery, hold the rest of the booze.
- Stir the cheese into the egg white mixture until smooth. Stir any left-over booze into the mixture now.
- Mix a bit of the whipped cream into the mixture to lighten it first, before folding the rest of the cream into the mixture gently. Don't kill yourself trying to keep everything inflated. Lightness here is a bonus not a necessity.
- Spoon over the kueh to make the first layer, and repeat with as many layers as you want.
- Tastes best left overnight in the fridge. Just before serving, dust top with cocoa powder or shaved/grated chocolate