Tiramisù Classico

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A dessert served widely around the world, tiramisù is definitely Italian in origin. Some culinary historians even trace it back to the 17th century. That's a lot of history for a dessert. Most agree it was first made in Veneto, and, amazingly, has since been made with the exact same five ingredients: Savoiardi lady fingers, mascarpone, egg yolks, coffee and cocoa powder. Happy to report nothing has changed in this recipe. Well, maybe just the addition of Marsala, a wine produced in Sicily that complements it so so well.

Tiramisù ... how you lift me, pick me up and cheer me up. Exactly what you are supposed to do! And that is quite literally what it means ... pick me up. I suppose the espresso does that for you. But it's the creamy mascarpone, the soaked Savoiardi fingers and the bitter hit of the dusting of cocoa that truly cheers me up. The smooth silky texture on your palate is definitely one you would want to relive over and over again. 

That is exactly why it's a family favourite. I've made tiramisù many times before, and in one instance had 4 tiramisù cakes for the quads' birthday! Si, ci piace mangiare tiramisù.

This recipe is as authentic as all authentic tiramisù recipes go. Just my take on it with more Marsala. I mixed it into the zabaglione and in the espresso dip. Because there is really nothing better than more booze in dessert ;) There is also another layer of lady fingers because ... I like them ... a lot! 

And while most recipes will have you construct it in a rectangular shallow pan, this one is made in a long loaf pan because as we have seen, most every dessert is sexier when taller :D

Belle was here to celebrate Christmas with us and this was the only dessert she asked of me. I was more than happy to oblige. In fact I made two of them, a classico and a matcha tiramisù, the recipe of which I will be posting soon.

Surely you can't pass up on Italy's most famous culinary export, so do give this a try. This recipe makes a 24x12 cm or a 9x5 inch loaf pan. To fill a 33x22 cm or 13x9 pan, double the recipe. I used a 12x4 loaf pan for this recipe and it worked wonderfully as well.

120 ml or 2 double shots of espresso
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp marsala (or a coffee liqueur)
3 large egg yolks
65 g (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
2 tbsp marsala (or a coffee liqueur)
225 g (8 oz) mascarpone
120 ml (1/2 cup) heavy cream
48 Savoiardi fingers
Cocoa, to dust

1. Line the loaf pan with cling wrap, leaving enough to cover the top when filled.
2. In a bowl, combine the espresso, sugar, and liqueur and leave to cool.

3. In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, beat the eggs and sugar until tripled in volume.
An electric beater is your saviour here. This may take 5 to 8 minutes.
4. Turn off the stove and remove from the bowl from the heat.
Congratulations! You have just made zabaglione, which is superb when enjoyed just on its own!
5. To the egg mixture, whisk in the marsala and mascarpone.

6. In another bowl, beat the cream until stiff peaks form.
7. Gently fold the whipped cream into the egg and mascarpone mixture.

8. Working one at a time, dip the Savoiardi fingers into the cooled espresso mix and lay them on the bottom of the pan. You may need to trim some pieces to fit.
9. Spread half of the mascarpone mix on the fingers.
10. Dip more fingers, and lay them on top of the filling.
11.  Spread the rest of the mascarpone on them and top with the remaining fingers.

12. Cover with the overhang of the plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.
13. Half an hour before serving, remove the tiramisu from the refrigerator, and invert it onto a serving platter.
14. Remove the plastic wrap, dust with a generous layer of cocoa powder, and let stand. It is so much better chilled, rather than cold.

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