Tiramisù is the most well-known and loved Italian dessert, both in Italy and abroad. And for good reason.
Coffee and Marsala-flavoured sponge biscuit, layered with a luscious egg and mascarpone cream, and sprinkled with cocoa powder: so simple, yet amazingly delicious. And the good thing is it’s quick to make and there’s no need to bake it! The ideal dessert to make and eat during the scorching summer days or to satisfy a sudden craving.
Ingredients (serves eight):
6 large eggs –very fresh
120 gr caster sugar + 2 tbsp. for the coffee
500 gr mascarpone
400 gr of Savoiardi biscuits (also called boudoir/sponge fingers)
300 ml of good quality strong coffee
120 ml Marsala wine
Take all the eggs, separate the yolks from the whites and put them in two different bowls. Add 60 grams of sugar to the yolks (yellow) and beat them with a balloon whisk until you obtain a clear and frothy cream (when you lift your whisk, the egg should form a thick ribbon). Add the mascarpone to the egg cream and beat until smooth.
Whisk the egg white with the other 60 grams of sugar until it becomes firm and white (it should look and feel like snow). Be careful not to whisk it too much, otherwise the egg white will go floppy and will have to be discarded).
Carefully, add the beaten egg whites to the egg yolk and mascarpone cream, and fold them slowly with a spoon (a movement from the bottom to the top.). Once uniformly mixed, refrigerate the cream for at least one hour to firm it up.
Once the cream is ready, prepare the coffee, and add the sugar and the Marsala, stirring to mix it well.
To assemble the tiramisù, soak each savoiardi biscuit in the liqueur, and arrange them on a platter or a glass oven dish vertically to form a roughly square base. Pour a layer of cream and sprinkle some chocolate chips. Then another layer of savoiardi (this time arrange them horizontally), cream and chocolate chips.
Carry on like this (alternating the direction of the biscuits on each layer) until you finish all the ingredients, finishing with a layer of cream, chocolate chips and cocoa powder.
Keep the tiramisù refrigerated and consume within 48 hours.
A little word of caution: the traditional recpe for tiiramisù requires raw eggs. Please use carefully and don’t give to very young children and older people, as there’s a chance of salmonella. If in doubt, leave the eggs out or use powdered egg instead.
Silvana Lanzetta. Photo: Private
Silvana Lanzetta was born into a family of pasta makers from Naples and spent 17 years as a part-time apprentice in her grandmother’s pasta factory. She specializes in making pasta entirely by hand and runs regular classes and workshops in London.