One of life’s greatest pleasures is dessert and for those of you who love something sweet, but lack baking skills, you’re in luck! Made from mascarpone, eggs, ladyfingers, coffee and chocolate, tiramisu is a no-bake delight.
Tiramisu is said to have been invented near Treviso in the 1960s, yet some debate that it may have been created near the end of the 17th century in Siena, what we do know for sure, is that there is no mention of recipes named “tiramisu” in cookbooks before the 1960s. This relatively “new” dessert translates to “pick-me-up” in English, perhaps it’s because of the coffee, but some say there is another reason thanks to its aphrodisiac qualities, either way, it’s an excellent dessert.
Authentic tiramisu is made with raw eggs, so use the very best you can find, preferably fresh from the farm and organic, otherwise, consume raw eggs at your own discretion.
When it comes to the coffee the best kind to use is an Italian brand like Lavazza made in a Moka pot. Don’t have a Moka pot? Don’t worry, you could also brew regular coffee at double strength with success.
Tiramisu also contains alcohol, Marsala is a good traditional choice, and Amaretto Disaronno is a special treat, otherwise a coffee flavored liquor like Kahlua, rum, or even a nice brandy will do just fine.
6 egg yolks, at room temperature
4 egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups (16-ounces) mascarpone
Freshly grated orange and lemon peel, to taste
about 36 Savoiardi ladyfingers
1 1/2 cups Italian coffee made in Moka pot, cooled
2 tablespoons Marsala (Amaretto Disaronno, Kahlua, rum, brandy or preferred liquor)
1/4 cup grated dark chocolate or enough to top the tiramisu
For the coffee: Begin by brewing the coffee and allow it to cool to room temperature in a small bowl, large enough to dip the ladyfingers into. Add 2 tablespoons Marsala (or Kahlua, rum, brandy) to the coffee and set aside.
For the cream: In a separate large bowl, whisk egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar until pale and doubled in volume, about 3-4 minutes. Next, begin whisking in the mascarpone a bit at a time until incorporated. Add the freshly grated zest of orange and lemon to taste, and set aside.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites and remaining sugar until stiff, glossy peaks form and then gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.
The original shape of tiramisu is round, however, the ladyfingers fit better with the shape of a rectangular or square pan, so choose whichever works for you. I also make individual servings in clear glass ramekins, like you see in my photo. For these, you will need to cut the ladyfingers in half to fit the ramekin. I use two ladyfingers per ramekin, one ladyfinger halved for the bottom layer and another for the top layer.
To begin assembling your tiramisu dip the ladyfingers quickly into the coffee and arrange in a layer in the bottom of your dish of choice (square, round or individual). Note: don’t drench the ladyfingers in the coffee or your tiramisu will turn out soggy, a nice swift (2 seconds) dip to absorb the coffee will do.
Once the pan is covered with a layer of ladyfingers spread half of the mascarpone mixture on top of them. Top with another layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers and spread the remaining mascarpone mixture evenly on top of ladyfingers. In the end you will have two layers.
Refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving or overnight if you prefer a tiramisu that is firmly set. Before cutting and serving, dust the top of the tiramisu with chocolate shavings.