As you may know, I’ve got a major sweet tooth. I have never, however, made tiramisu. I know it’s a simple recipe, but I’ve just never bothered to try it. When Paula Jones of bell’alimento sent me her tiramisu recipe for inclusion in my Italian recipe collection, I realized just how easy it is. And now I might just have to try it. Thanks, Paula!
The Italian word tiramisu, literally translated, means “pick me up” – which is a reference to the ingredients in this traditional Italian dessert – and there are as many varieties of tiramisu as there are myths about its origin.
Tiramisu is an Italian layered cake that is flavored with coffee and, sometimes, a type of liquor. Original recipes did not include liquor as it was primarily intended for young children and the elderly.
Classic tiramisu is made by soaking savoiardi (Italian ladyfinger cookies) in espresso coffee. The soaked ladyfingers are then layered with a mixture of egg yolks, sugar, liquor & mascarpone (Italian cream cheese). This cream mixture is known as zabaglione in Italian. The finished cake is sprinkled with cocoa powder or garnished with chocolate shavings and is best served a day later.
The origin of tiramisu continues to be debated, although most people agree that tiramisu was invented in fairly recent history, in the 1980s, at a restaurant called “Le Beccherie” in Treviso (a city in the Veneto region). Regardless of when it was created tiramisu is a favorite dessert of restaurant-goers & home cooks all over the world – including me!
- 6 fresh egg yolks – room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 small containers Mascarpone – room temperature
- 2 packages of Ladyfingers
- 1/2 cup Amaretto di Saronno
- 4 cups Espresso – cooled
- cocoa for garnish
- In a mixer, add egg yolks & sugar. Using the whisk attachment, mix for 5 minutes until eggs are creamy, fluffy and light in color.
- Add mascarpone and continue to mix until smooth & creamy. Add 1/4 cup of the Amaretto & mix until smooth.
- In a separate dish, pour the cooled espresso & remaining 1/4 cup of Amaretto. Lightly dip your ladyfingers into espresso mixture & then transfer to a 9 x 12 baking dish until bottom is completely lined (cut/break the ladyfingers if necessary).
- Spread 1/2 of the cream mixture on top of ladyfingers. Add a second layer of dipped ladyfingers. Spread remaining cream on top.
- Cover your dish with plastic wrap & refrigerate over night.
- Before serving lightly dust top with cocoa powder.
original photos: recipe box by brighterworlds on Flickr, tiramisu photos by Paula Jones (and may not be used without permission)
Paula Jones is a self-taught cook who is passionate about food, especially Italian food. She is also a featured publisher on foodbuzz. She acquired her passion for all things Italian while living in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of Italy for many years. Her recipes, photos and stories are featured in her blog, bell’alimento (Italian for “beautiful food”). Her philosophy is simply that beautiful food doesn’t have to be complicated.
Paula lives in North Carolina with her husband & 3 beautiful children. All the while dreaming of Italy and visiting as much as possible until she can convince the family to move there!