Since I was young I have been making tiramisu. It started one day when my mum bought mascarpone cheese and I followed the recipe under the lid. About 15 years later here I am with my perfected recipe. I have altered proportions of the ingredients and at times added optional ingredients. Although there is one thing that I can say remains the same, everyone always polishes their plates clean. The Italian dessert when translated means ‘tira’ pick, ‘mi’ me, ‘su’ up! This is most likely a reference to the coffee and alcohol content in the dish. If you don’t like your dessert too strong on these ingredients I say you should always measure ‘to taste’. So apart from getting the measurements right for the eggs and mascarpone for a thick and silky cream, the sugar, liquor and coffee should all be measured to taste.
This dessert is best enjoyed with coffee, or dessert wine and of course good company!
4 Eggs (Free range or Organic are best)
5 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Liquor
500 gr Mascarpone Cheese
1-2 packets of Savoiardi or Pavesini Biscuits
Italian Espresso Coffee
A little milk
1 block of Lindt Milk Chocolate
Separate the eggs with the whites in one bowl and the yolks in the other. Whip the whites into soft peaks.
Add sugar and liquor to the yolks and mix well.
There are many different types of liquor that you could add to the mixture. I quite like the Italian Galliano in the vanilla (pictured) or amaretto flavours. I have also used Baileys, Cognac and Limoncello in the past, which have all worked well. My family in Italy suggested the Limoncello variant.
Add the mascarpone cheese to the egg yolk mixture. The best way to avoid lumps and get a smooth, silky cream in to stir from the centre of the bowl making small stirring circles to begin and then gradually make them larger until the whole mixture is combined.
Gently fold in the egg whites with the mascarpone cream mixture.
The result should be a light and fluffy mixture that will melt in your mouth. This mascarpone cream mixture is also great with berries as an entirely separate dessert.
Set aside the cream mixture and make some espresso coffee. I used a Nespresso pod machine although any method is fine, so long as you get a nice hot coffee with a lovely crema – as pictured. If you do prefer a weaker taste of coffee you could dilute it with milk. Also if you want a really strong liquor flavoured dessert you could also add more alcohol to this mixture. Another variation is to melt a block of good quality Lindt chocolate in the coffee while it’s hot and mix through. Even though it is not strictly traditional I almost always add the chocolate to my recipe!
Warning this part gets messy and fiddly! Take your biscuits and one by one dunk the biscuit in the warm coffee mixture. Be sure to let the coffee soak through the biscuit. Then squeeze out as much liquid out of the biscuit as possible while keeping it in one piece. It is important to do this otherwise you will have a soggy dessert. Some people don’t let the coffee soak through the entire biscuit. Personally I don’t like this method. I find that the tiramisu takes the form of a dryer cake rather than a pudding. It takes a little extra effort but I believe my method is what keeps people coming back for more! If this is your first time trying this method I suggest you use Savoiardi biscuits rather than Pavesini, because they are slightly more manageable.
Consecutively layer the cream and biscuits until your dish is full. Be sure to start with a biscuit layer and finish with a cream layer. In regards to the size of your bowl this is a little unpredictable because I find that every time I make it, it can change. This is why I’ve listed 1-2 packets of biscuits. You can make indivudual serves in dessert serving glasses which are quite nice. However keep in mind that the layering process while be more time consuming because you will have to delicately layer each glass. I have found that the best way of serving this dish is in a rectangular glass Pyrex dish. The final step is to dust cocoa, (which is more traditional) or grated chocolate over the top of the dessert.
The final step is to place the tiramisu in the fridge to set. I find that the best results will occur if you can leave in to refrigerate over night.
The finished product.
While not strictly traditional it is a nice colourful option to add berries when serving.