The name “tiramisù” translated means ‘pick-me-up’ or ‘lift-me-up’, due clearly to its richness and large amounts of espresso coffee in it.
There isn’t a classic recipe for tiramisù as such, as there are many different versions in Italy , each of them with some family style variations.
The following one is my family’s traditional recipe – with a hint of fresh whipped cream and no alcohol, to enjoy the intense taste of the espresso.
4 medium sized fresh eggs
200 g of caster sugar
500 of mascarpone cheese
150 ml of unsweetened whipping cream
400 g of savoiardi biscuits (about 48)
700 ml good strong unsweetened espresso coffee
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
Prepare a good coffee using an espresso machine or a “caffettiera”, pour it into a shallow dish and let it cool down. Please do not use instant coffee as this recipe really needs a good quality unsweetened, strong espresso in it. Believe me, that will make a huge difference.
Separate the eggs, using two medium-sized bowls, being careful not to get any yolk or shell pieces mixed in with the eggs whites.
Add the sugar to the egg yolks and beat them with an electric whisk on high speed for about 5 minutes until pale and fluffy.
Gradually add the mascarpone beating thoroughly until the mixture is smooth before adding more.
Wash and dry the beaters of the whisk so they are absolutely clean, then in another bowl whisk the egg whites with a little pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks –they are ready if they hold their shape when you lift the beaters from the bowl.
Wash and dry the beater again. In another bowl whip the cream until firm. Whipping cream is easiest to do when the cream and the bowl are both very cold. To get a better result place both of them in the freezer for a few minutes before whipping the cream.
Now, using a spatula very gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture. When the egg whites are thoroughly incorporated into the mascarpone cream, add the whipped cream using the same technique.
Dip each biscuit into the espresso for only 2-3 seconds, turning them over very quickly. Letting the savoiardi soak too long will cause them to fall apart. Place the soaked savoiardi on the bottom of a 12 by 8 inch (about 30 by 20 cm) baking dish.
Spread evenly ½ of the mascarpone mixture over the biscuits. Repeat with another layer of soaked savoiardi covering them with the remaining cream.
Cover the tiramisù with plastic cling film and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.
Before serving, sprinkle with chocolate cocoa powder.
Folding (versus stirring) is a very gentle mixing method. The aim of this technique is to incorporate delicate ingredients into a thicker mixture retaining as much of their volume as possible.
To do that place the beaten egg whites on top of the egg yolk and mascarpone cream and using a large rubber spatula cut down vertically through the two mixtures, across the bottom of the bowl.
Then very gently turn half the mixture over onto the other half. Carry on cutting down the middle and turning very gently the mixtures on top of each other, rotating gradually the bowl while folding the ingredients. Do not use the electric whisk for this step.
PS. If you like this recipe, please leave me a comment. I love them!