Sunday, August 9, 2009

A little pick me up, Tiramisu

It has been a while since I made Tiramisu, especially because we have not been entertaining guests for a while. The perfect opportunity came to make this desert when it was the day to celebrate our last Italian lesson, and we were each assigned to bring a little bit of food to celebrate this fiesta. My dear friend, cara Gabi, came over and we "assembled" this desert together. I use the word "assemble" because there is no baking involved in this dolce!

Tiramisu is a coffee-based desert, which literally means a little pick me up after a meal.

( Tira= pull, mi = me, su=up)

I guess the "pick me up" comes from both the sugar and the coffee. This simple desert has a lot of variations, but I believe that the simplest version is often the best. It only takes a couple of simple ingredients to make Tiramisu. I personally add a little bit of Grand Marnier to the espresso, and a hint of vanilla extract to the mascaporne, but you can always make it as sweet as you want by adding more or less sugar.

Gabi beating the egg whites

Gabi mixing the mascaporne cheese


Lady fingers, savoiardi, about 3 packs ( 30 ladyfingers)
fresh brewed espresso or coffee ( 5 - 6 shots)
Mascaporne cheese
one - 2 eggs, room temperature, egg yolks and whites separated
good quality cocoa powder
optional: grand marnier and vanilla extract


Make fresh coffee or espresso, stir in about 1- 2 tablespoons of sugar ( depending on how sweet you'd like the coffee), and let it cool to room temperature. Add 1 - 2 tablespoons of grand marnier, if desired. Pour the coffee in a bowl that is easy for dipping the ladyfingers.

In a large bowl, incorporate the mascaporne cheese with 2 tablespoons ( or more) sugar, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Gently mix in the two egg yolks until the yellow color has dissolved, do not over-stir the mascaporne mixture.

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer and beat the egg whites until it forms soft peaks. Pour the beaten fluffy egg whites into the mascaporne cheese, and gently fold. The purpose of the egg whites are to soften the creamy mixture and make it even more fluffier, so be careful when folding the egg whites, allowing it to make the mixture light and creamy.

Next steps are to layer the tiramisu.

Using a large serving dish or baking tray, gently dip the ladyfingers in the espresso and evenly layer it in the serving dish. Spoon on a coat of mascarpone mixture across the layer of the lady fingers, using about 1/2 of the mascarpone mix. (The covering should be about 1cm. thick) Repeat this process by dipping another layer of savoiardi in the espresso, and overlay them on the mascarpone mix. Add the final mascaporne mixture as the top cream layer, and smoothen it out. The last step is to sift with good cocoa powder, cover and refrigerate.

It is essential to let this sit in the refrigerator for several hours ( 4 - 6 hours at least) before serving.

Buon Appetito, and I hope everyone enjoyed the tiramisu!


  1. You two are so cute! The tiramisu was molto bene! See you in Settembre! Caterina

  2. Great blog!! Great team!! Great dessert!! Thank you very much for sharing your tiramisu recipe and your culinary secret for making it so delicious!! I really enjoyed it!! Esperanza

  3. This looks great! I'll bookmark this recipe. Thanks for sharing.