Alright – I have something to confess. You might want to sit down for this. Seated? Okay. Here it goes: despite priding myself on being a good cook and being very skilled in Italian cuisine, I had never, ever – up until this post – made tiramisù, the most well-known Italian dessert and arguably one of the most popular Italian recipes. How did that happen, you ask? Perhaps it’s because I knew that I could always get a good tiramisù in any restaurant here in Rome; perhaps it can be chalked up to all the different components needed to assemble and make tiramisu; perhaps it is because I am not a coffee drinker (except for my morning cappuccino) and thus do not have a Moka machine at home to make the coffee the recipe calls for. Perhaps it is a combination of all of these things. In any event, it seemed wrong to have now submitted over 20 recipes and posts to the Bostoniano without including one for such a classic and beloved dish. So, I made tiramisù for the first time in my 12 years of cooking.Let me just say that I regret waiting so long to make my own tiramisù, because this was absolutely delicious – while tiramisù is always delicious, this recipe is a particularly good one that takes this dessert over the top. The cream to cake ratio is just perfect, the coffee flavor is present (not always a given in some tiramisus I’ve tried) and perfectly balances out the sweetness of the mascarpone. These are great for a dinner party as they can be made in advance, and would even be perfect for a summer dinner as they are no bake and should be served cold.
Note that while I made individual tiramisùs using ramekins, you can also prepare this dessert in a big serving dish. I garnished some of the tiramisùs with the traditional cocoa powder and others with mini chocolate chips – both were fantastic. Enjoy everyone!
- 1/4 + 1 tablespoon cup sugar
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 7 ounces lady finger or Savoyard biscuits
- 1-2 cups espresso (enough to soak the biscuits)
- 3 medium eggs
- Cocoa powder or chocolate chips to garnish
Prepare the coffee (this varies according to your coffee maker), pour it into a bowl and whisk in one tablespoon of sugar. Set the coffee aside and allow it to cool. Next, separate the egg whites and egg yolks, putting the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another. Using electric beaters, beat the egg yolks with half of the sugar until pale and foamy. Add the mascarpone cheese to the yolks, and fold in until smooth.
Wash the beaters well, and beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until peaks begin to form. Add the rest of the sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture with a spatula, being careful not to deflate them. The mixture should be pale and creamy.
Dip the lady fingers or Savoyard biscuits into the coffee for a second or two on each side, being quick enough to avoid the biscuits falling apart. Lay as many biscuits as you can (one next to the other) to fit on the bottom of your desired serving dish. Add spoonfuls of the mascarpone cream on top of the biscuits, and layer with more biscuits dipped in coffee. Repeat until you have used up all of your biscuits and all of your cream, ending with a layer of cream. Dust each tiramisu with sifted cocoa powder or chocolate. Refrigerate the tiramisu for at least two hours, covered, before eating. Serves 8-10.