Tiramisu, the Italian Dessert


One of my favorite Italian desserts is tiramisu which is a coffee flavored cake meant to be a type of “pick me up.”

I must tell you that if you have not ever tried tiramisu, you should. If it is made correctly it is the most decadent and delicious dessert ever! Tiramisu is traditionally made with lady fingers that are dipped in coffee. The tiramisu cake is layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar and mascarpone cheese and flavored with cocoa. I know it sounds as though it could be heavy, but it is light and just melts in your mouth. Are you hungry yet?

Tiramisu originated in Italy, although its actual origins get disputed amongst the regions. In the 1960’s in the region of Veneto, Italy the restaurant “Le Beccherie” located in Treviso Italy has claimed to be the place of origin. Tiramisu was presumably created by the owner of the restaurant, confectioner, Roberto Linguanotto and his apprentice, Francesca Valori, whose maiden name was Tiramisu. Nonetheless, it is a wonderful dessert. You can find a variety of recipes for tiramisu, this one is from Allrecipes.com.  It’s very nice and the lady fingers are dipped in rum, which I love.

The ingredients are:
• 6 egg yolks
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 2/3 cup milk
• 1  1/4 cups heavy cream
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 pound of mascarpone cheese
• 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
• 2 tablespoons rum
• 2 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies
• 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

The tiramisu recipe takes 35 minutes to prep and cooks in 10 minutes however, it takes 5 hours to set by chilling. The directions are:

In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour. In a medium bowl, beat cream with vanilla until stiff peaks form. Whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth. In a small bowl, combine coffee and rum. Split ladyfingers in half lengthwise and drizzle with coffee mixture. Arrange half of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a 7×11 inch dish. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours, until set. Do you think you might try making tiramisu?