Tiramisu (from Italian, spelled tiramisu, [tiramisu], meaning “pick me up” or “lift me up”) is a popular coffee-flavoured Italian dessert. It is made of ladyfingers (Italian: Savoiardi, [savoiardi]) dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa. The recipe has been adapted into many varieties of cakes and other desserts. Its origins are often disputed between Italian regions such as Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piedmont, and others.Traditional tiramisu contains a short list of ingredients: finger biscuits, egg yolks, sugar, coffee, mascarpone cheese and cocoa powder. In the original recipe there is no liquor or egg whites.
The original shape of the cake is round, although the shape of the biscuits favors the use of a rectangular or square pan, spreading the classic image “to tile”. However, it is also often assembled in round glasses, which show the various layers, or pyramid. Modern versions have as a rule the addition of whipped cream and / or whipped egg combined with mascarpone cream, in order to make it lighter, thick and foamy. Among the most common alcoholic changes includes the addition of Marsala. The cake is usually eaten cold.
Tiramisu is considered a semifreddo (a dessert served cold, but not frozen). This dessert has many variations, the only constant ingredient being the mascarpone cheese.
Tiramisu cake can be prepared in advance and kept in the freezer. Remember to remove it from the freezer enough time in advance to serve it cold at a refrigerated temperature, but not frozen. Sprinkle it with more cocoa powder before serving.
Tiramisu is made in Italy using raw eggs. Usually the danger of salmonella is always present, and it’s better cook the yolks bain-marie and to substitute whipped cream for the egg whites.
Espresso soaked ladyfingers are layered with a light and airy filling made from mascarpone cheese, egg yolks and cream. One of our favorite desserts, tiramisu is quite simple to make. You just need a little time.
What You Need to Know: This recipe calls for the use of egg yolks, which are cooked over a double-boiler and heavy cream. Instead of using the cream, some recipes call for egg whites which are left uncooked and whipped. In the notes section below, we have shared directions for using egg whites instead of the cream. There is little difference in flavor. If anything, tiramisu made with egg whites will be a little lighter than with whipped cream.
Special Equipment: 9-inch (23 cm) square dish, bowls, handheld electric mixer or whisk.
Created By: Joanne and Adam Gallagher
Yield: One 9-inch square dish, 6 servings
You Will Need
1/2 cup (120 ml) brewed espresso or very strong coffee, at room temperature
1/4 cup (60 ml) dry Marsala wine, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar, divided
8 ounces (225 g) mascarpone cheese (1 1/4 cups)
3/4 cup (175 ml) heavy cream
18 to 20 Savoiardi Italian ladyfingers (from 7-ounce package)
1 ounce (30 g) bittersweet chocolate or cocoa powder for dusting (optional)
Combine espresso (or coffee), 2 tablespoons Marsala wine, vanilla extract and a tablespoon of sugar in a wide, small bowl.
Beat egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of Marsala, and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water until tripled in volume, 5 to 8 minutes. Use a whisk or, to make things easier, a handheld electric mixer at medium speed. (Do not stop beating until removed from the heat).
Remove bowl from heat then beat in mascarpone cheese until just combined.
Whip cream in a bowl until it holds stiff peaks. Once the yolk-mascarpone mixture has cooled a little, gently fold in half of the whipped cream into the yolk-mascarpone mixture, then the remaining half just until fully incorporated (the whipped cream will deflate a little).
Dip half of the ladyfingers very quickly into the coffee, and line the bottom of a 9-inch (23 cm) square dish. (You might find that you need to break a few into pieces to fit them in the dish).
Spoon half of the mascarpone filling over the lady fingers and spread into an even layer. Grate half of the bittersweet chocolate over filling (optional). Then dip the remaining ladyfingers very quickly into the coffee and arrange a second layer over filling.
Spoon remaining mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers. Grate more chocolate on top or dust with cocoa powder. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours.
When ready to serve, dust with extra grated chocolate or cocoa powder. Leave out at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving. (Tiramisu can be chilled up to 2 days, but no longer or else the ladyfingers will break down too much).
Notes and Tips
Egg Whites Instead of Cream: Simply replace heavy cream with 3 egg whites. Beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks then gently fold in half of the beaten egg whites into the yolk-mascarpone mixture, then the remaining half just until fully incorporated. Assemble tiramisu as stated above. If you have concerns about raw egg whites, be sure to use the freshest (and highest quality) eggs possible. Look for clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells. Food Tips My King Cook