Tiramisu

Rich creamy mascarpone cheese is layered between brandy and coffee infused savoiardi cookies and dusted with rich dark chocolate in this traditional recipe.

This is one of my never fail dessert recipes I often make when entertaining. Tiramisu literally translates as “pick me up". I made this dessert for the first time after tasting an amazing Tiramisu in Florence. When I asked the waiter to explain the secret as to why it was so light, he explained that the chef folded whipped cream into the mascarpone cheese. I have done exactly that ever since.

You will find many different types of liquor used in Tiramisu recipes, but I've found that brandy adds a nice flavor, without being overwhelming. I have made the recipe using both an Italian sponge cake as the base, and the traditional savoiardi cookies, and find the cookies are just as good, and less time consuming. I do use uncooked eggs in my recipe which may cause concern to some people. I have made this recipe too many times to count, and have never had trouble with the eggs. If you choose to eliminate the eggs though, you could just add an additional 1-cup of whipped cream which would be an adequate substitute. I have seen recipes where cream cheese is offered as a substitute for the mascarpone. Don't be fooled, the result will be nowhere as impressive as using the real thing!

Serves 4
by Deborah Mele

500 gr. Mascarpone Cheese At Room Temperature

1/2 cup Whipping Cream

4 Eggs, Separated

1 1/4 Cup Espresso Coffee, Cooled

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/3-Cup Brandy

24 Savoiardi Cookies (Ladyfingers)

Dark Chocolate, Shaved

Beat the 4 egg yolks until light. Slowly beat in 1/2 cup of sugar, and then the mascarpone cheese. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold these gently into the cheese mixture. Now whip the cream until soft peaks form, and fold this too into the cheese mixture. Add the brandy to the cooled coffee. Carefully dip in ladyfingers one at a time just until the outside of the cookie is barely damp. Arrange cookies side by side in a dish large enough to hold 12 cookies flat. After the first 12 are layered, spread 1/2 of the cheese mixture on top. Sprinkle with enough shaved chocolate to cover lightly, and repeat these layers once more topping the dish with the remaining chocolate. Refrigerate several hours before serving.

Note: Be careful not to over saturate the cookies with the coffee mixture, or you will end up with a runny Tiramisu.

Variation: If desired, you could make individual Tiramisu portions. Simply lay two moistened lady fingers side by side, spoon over enough mascarpone mixture to cover, and then add a little shaved chocolate. Repeat this layer once more.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2002