Tiramisu

Tiramisu

Desserts don’t get much easier than this delicious combination of coffee-dipped sponge biscuits layered with mascarpone lightened with beaten eggs. Meaning ‘pick me up’ in Italian, tira-mi-su is a relatively new creation, first appearing in Treviso (near Venice) in the 1960s. It’s a great dish to have in your repertoire as it doesn’t require any cooking, only needs a few hours chilling and can easily be doubled to feed a crowd. I’ve seen recipes using all sorts of alcohol – rum, brandy, amaretto, coffee liqueur – and some without any, so feel free to experiment. I think the Sicilian fortified wine, Marsala, is the original. Buy an authentic Marsala from a bottle shop with a good selection of Italian wines (such as Amato’s in Leichhardt if you’re in Sydney) and serve the rest of the bottle with dessert. I use Pellegrino Marsala Vergine Soleras Riserva DOC, which is quite dry – I like the way it balances the sweetness of the tiramisu, but if you have a sweeter palate you may prefer a sweeter Marsala. You’ll need about 6 shots of strong espresso coffee and a 2 litre serving dish.

Serves 8

Ingredients
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 300g mascarpone
  • 200ml strong espresso coffee (about 6 single shots)
  • 150ml Marsala DOC
  • 200g Savoiardi biscuits (about 24)
  • 1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
Method
  1.  Whisk egg whites with half the sugar until firm peaks form. Set aside.
  2. Beat egg yolks with remaining sugar until pale and creamy.
  3. Stir mascarpone to loosen it up, then fold it into the yolk mixture.
  4. Fold egg whites into this mixture and set aside.
  5. Combine coffee and Marsala.
  6. Dip half the biscuits into half the coffee mixture, so that they absorb it but aren’t soaked through, and arrange them in a single layer in a serving dish.
  7. Top with half the mascarpone mixture.
  8. Dip remaining biscuits into remaining coffee mixture and arrange them in the dish.
  9. Top with remaining mascarpone mixture.
  10. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  11. Dust with cocoa and serve.

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