OK – I’m about to tell you Alessio’s Grandma’s recipe for Tiramisu. But you have to promise me that you won’t tell anyone you got it from me. It’s not that it’s a secret or anything, but, well, you know….I’d just feel safer with her not knowing… ;)
In my opinion, tiramisu (literally translated, ‘pull me up’, though I prefer ‘pick me up’ as if sounds better to my foreign ears) is the quintessential Italian dessert. The one that people think of when they think of Italian sweets. I could tell you about the various crostate and other pastries that you might find (each specific to their region and each the best only in THAT region) but I digress.
This recipe can be made quickly and only requires a few things from the grocery store that you might not already have on hand. Lady finger biscotti and marscapone. If you’re like me, you probably already have staples such as eggs, sugar, and amaretto available at all times.
There are a few tips to remember here when you’re whipping, and layering, and tasting – one, tiramisu can be adjusted for sweetness if you like it really sweet, or prefer it a little more delicate; two, keep the final product in mind when you’re mixing up the ingredients so they don’t get too soupy (I didn’t do this the last time I made this and ended up with tiramiSOUP); and three, though tempting, don’t go crazy with the amaretto.
Enough from me, onto the recipe!
This authentic, quintessential Italian dessert is adaptable to all tastes. Nothing says 'pick me up' like Tiramisu!
- Eggs (medium) - 5
- Marscapone - 500 grams
- Sugar - 5 soup spoon fulls
- Salt - pinch
- Heavy Whipping Cream - 100 ml
- Espresso (or strong coffee) - approx. 1 cup
- Amaretto - to taste
- Lady Fingers (I use Pavesini) - 1-2 full packages
- Chocolate shavings - optional, for garnish on top
Nonna's recipe for Tiramisu. Easy and quick with just enough sweetness.
The above ingredients are good for a 9x13 inch Pyrex glass pan. You should get about 8-12 servings but this depends entirely on how much you want to let any guests eat. ;)
Before we go on though, I need to discuss proportions. You might have noticed that in the ingredients there are 5/5/500....this is the proportion I'm talking about. If you want to make more, or less, tiramisu, always keep 1 egg and 1 soup spoon full of sugar per every 100 grams of marscapone. Remember this and you can't go wrong.
0. Make STRONG coffee, put it in a bowl, add some amaretto (if you want to make a sweeter tiramisu, also add sugar) and let it cool while you're doing everything else.
1. Crack open the eggs and separate the yolks and whites into two large bowls.
2. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and blend. I use my handmixer. Blend until you can pick up the bowl and tip it and the egg whites don't move.
3. Add the sugar to the egg yolks. Blend.
4. Add the marscapone to the egg yolks and sugar. Blend.
Before we go onto the next step I need to tell you about the Heavy Whipping Cream and how it incorporates itself into the recipe. It doesn't play nice with others. In the intro to this very recipe, I stated that you should keep the end product in mind so you don't end up with a soup. THIS is why. It could be my own lack of experience, but I have never successfully been able to determine the exact right amount of whipping cream to add to the marscapone/eggs/sugar that gives me the results I want. I will tell you that the longer you refrigerate the tiramisu before you serve it, the better, but this is just something to keep in mind.
5. Add the heavy whipping cream to the mixture. Blend. (Add a little at a time, you want to have a thicker, custard-like consistency.)
6. Start to gradually add in the beaten egg whites. Blend. (Nonna does two spoonfuls at a time, I tried that for about 1 minute before I dumped it in in 3 equal portions.)
7. Gather your Pyrex, your Lady's Fingers (if she doesn't mind), and the coffee/amaretto mix and get to work!
8. Dip each Lady Finger on ONE side only in the coffee. Then TURN IT OVER so the dipped side is facing up, and place it in the pan. Thanks to gravity, the coffee will continue to seep down through the biscotti leaving you with a perfectly spongy texture instead of a soaking wet mess (of course, if you like that sort of thing, who am I to judge!)
9. After you have one layer completed, spoon the creamy mixture you have been blending and slaving away over from steps 1-6 over the biscotti. Just enough to cover is fine.
10. Repeat with the biscotti.
11. Repeat with the spooning. ;)
12. Go til your finished.
13. Got chocolate shavings? Sprinkle'em now! (Optional)
14. Refrigerate. The longer you can do this, the better, but I'd advise 3 to 4 hours before you need to serve it.