It’s safe to say that I’m in a romantic mood at the moment what with Valentines day just around the corner, how do I know? Because I found myself making one of my all-time favourite desserts, tiramisu. Quite possibly the purest & simplest of desserts & definitely the queen of coffee flavoured treats. It’s my go-to recipe anytime I want to create a romantic meal.
One spoonful of tiramisu & I’m instantly taken away by my memories of a balmy September evening, eating a refreshingly chilled, perfectly boxed take-away tiramisu on the Spanish Steps in Rome (my ultimate happy place, eating any kind of dessert in Italy).
It’s a little unclear where or when tiramisu was first invented, the most common belief is that it was in a restaurant in 1960’s Veneto, but it’s also said that Tiramisu has an aphrodisiac effect & so was served in the brothels of Treviso. Either which way I don’t care, I’m just glad that someone invented this rich & simple dessert.
Unlike what most modern recipes may have you believe, traditional tiramisu contains very few ingredients, just six in fact. Six simple, everyday ingredients put together in a perfect harmony of subtle sweetness, bold flavour & differing texture. I’m a traditionalist (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it), you’ll never find double cream or chocolate anywhere near my tiramisu, just simple quality ingredients. Buy the best quality ingredients you can for this one & you’ll be rewarded infinitely by this one.
(makes one 26cm dessert)
- 250g savoiardi biscuits (ladyfingers)
- 120ml strong coffee
- 500ml mascarpone
- 3 eggs, separated
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- Begin by making up the coffee & pouring into a wide bowl, set aside to cool
- Separate the eggs & place the yolks & white into two separate, large, clean bowls
- Add the caster sugar to the egg yolks & whisk until they become pale
- Add the mascarpone to the yolk mixture & beat this through
- Using a clean whisk, whisk up the egg whites until they form stiff peaks
- Add spoonfuls at a time of the egg white to the mascarpone mixture, carefully folding each of them through until completely incorporated
- To assemble the tiramisu, one by one briefly dip one side of the savoiardi biscuits into the brewed coffee (only for a few seconds you don’t want to soak them & make them soggy) & arrange in a single layer at the bottom of your dish
- Next, spoon half of the sweetened mascarpone mixture on top of the biscuits & spread out in an even layer
- Repeat the same method, adding another layer of coffee dipped biscuits & the rest of the mascarpone
- Place the tiramisu in the fridge overnight to chill
- When ready to serve, remove the tiramisu from the fridge & dust all over with the cocoa powder