Tiramisu is a classical Italian dessert that consists of layers of ladyfingers (savoiardi) flavored with strong coffee (espresso) and a cream made of egg yolks, mascarpone, and sugar, topped with cocoa powder. In modern versions, alcohol is added to the coffee before dipping the ladyfingers, usually Marsala wine or Amaretto. Original tiramisu didn’t have added alcohol and the egg yolks were used raw. However, due to health concerns, nowadays eggs are first pasteurized before being mixed with mascarpone. Also, instead of ladyfingers, sponge cake is also used for making the cake.
The origin of tiramisu is not known. In Italian, tiramisu means “pick me up” and a lot of stories revolve around its origin. It was believed it had aphrodisiac properties, therefore was served in brothels. Nowadays there are different variations of tiramisu, although some of them resemble more to a trifle than to the original recipe. This recipe is so easy to make: you don’t need an oven and even using a stove can be skipped if cooking the egg yolks is not required. No wonder everyone enjoys this dessert.
Ingredients for original tiramisu ~ 6-8 portions:
- 6 egg yolks
- 500g mascarpone
- 100g caster sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 30 savoiardi (ladyfingers) ~ 300g or 2 layers of sponge cake
- 400ml strong coffee (espresso)
- cocoa for powdering
- 50ml amaretto/marsala/other liqueur ~ 3tbsp (optional)
Prepare the strong coffee and let it cool down.
Making the cream for tiramisu:
I like to pasteurize the eggs to make sure they are safe to eat. If you have eggs from a trusted source, you can use them raw and just mix the egg yolks with the sugar, salt, and mascarpone.
- Prepare a water bath for the cream.
- Take the mascarpone out of the fridge.
- Mix the egg yolks with a pinch of salt and sugar.
- Put the bowl on a water bath and mix until it reaches a temperature of 75°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, you will need to pay attention to how the egg mixture looks like: in the beginning is rather liquid, with sugar granules and a dark yellow color. By heating, the mixture will get thicker, lighter in color, and with sugar granules almost gone. Pay attention not to overboil it since the eggs will taste like omelet instead of a fine cream. If you are starting to feel an eggy smell, take the mixture out of the water bath.
- Let the mixture cool down before mixing it with mascarpone.
- Mix the egg mixture with the mascarpone until everything is combined. You should get a soft rich cream.
Add liqueur to the coffee if desired.
Assembling the cake:
you can use any form or individual glasses.
- Add a little bit of cream to the bottom of the recipient.
- Soak each ladyfinger in the cold coffee for about 5-8 seconds. If you plan on serving the cake soon, you should soak them for 8 seconds. If left overnight in the fridge, 5 seconds of soaking are more than enough. After a few hours, the cake will be soft.
- Create a layer of soaked ladyfingers and then add half of the cream.
- Add another layer of soaked ladyfingers and add the remaining cream.
- If you want to serve the cake the next day, it is recommended to add the cocoa powder on top before serving so it doesn’t get humid and bitter. You can use foil to wrap the cake so it doesn’t get bad smells from the fridge and let it rest overnight.
- Powder the tiramisu with cocoa before serving it.
Super easy to make and super delicious.