Recipes   /   Tiramisu’

Tiramisu’

Jan 14, 2012 by Gabriele Corcos

DIFFICULTY

Let’s not be of any disgrace to the common Italian Stereotype, and introduce this recipe for what it is…
Tiramisu’ is the Italian food equivalent of Viagra, and it comes without the risk of the “4 hours” side effect!
Eggs, creamy cheese, sugar, cookies chocolate and coffee; in the right proportions this recipe will keep you going for a few days. Just remember, in case you have kids, to use decaffeinated coffee (or prepare two separate trays of cake)… On adults the effects of this cake are spectacular, on kids however, it would not be excessive to describe them as catastrophic! I took my time in these past two weeks to make sure I was working with the best recipe available, and to make some historical research on this dessert that on Google performs about 10 times better than cannoli.
My research started off very well, as the first result I came across was already the only one possible to me: Tiramisu’ was created in Siena during the Renaissance in occasion of a visit of Cosimo De’ Medici from Florence. “Tuscany, there you go, I knew it, it could not have been any different! Tuscany rocks.”
My second possibility though, turned out also to be another very believable one, at least from my perspective: the cake’s origins are in this case claimed by the city of Treviso, where a small restaurant seemed to have been feeding Tiramisu’ to a full brothel, clients and all, for a very extended period of time…. It make sense right?! Yeah, I like this one too!
But here is the twist, as this morning I started working out this post, a chat from a Facebook buddy popped up on my screen: my friend, a journalist at NPR, was all excited because a restaurant close to his house in Washington just went out of business and a big sale of all kitchen equipment was going to happen in a few hours.
“Oh, and by the way” my friend messages me, “I thought of you this week, because I am writing a piece about the guy that invented the Tiramisu… I just met him…”.
I paused…
I think my friend understood exactly what was going on with me, and started explaining… his initial skepticism but also what he has found out.
My jaw dropped, WTF!
It all made sense though, and I will only give you a little bit of information here, for the rest you will have to go read the full article on The Washington Post:
– how could a pastry chef in the fifteenth century possibly prepare a cake using raw eggs without having a damn fridge available? If by any chance in those days you ended up poisoning your customers, or worst a Noble or a Dignitary, chances were you would end up publicly executed. Hard to imagine a chef risking it all for one cake!
– also it seems that Mascarpone is historically from Northern Italy, and not from Tuscany. Apparently it is a very recent entry in our regional roster of cheeses.

Serves: 8 / Prep time: 30 minutes / Refrigerated Before Serving: 3 hours

  • 5 large fresh organic eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pound mascarpone
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 shots (3 ounces) rum or Italian Marsala (optional)
  • 3 cups brewed coffee sweetened with 2 tablespoons of sugar, cooled
  • 14 ounces Savoiardi cookies (Italian ladyfingers)
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup shaved dark chocolate, for garnish (optional)

1In a medium bowl, beat together the egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the sugar until light and creamy.

2In a separate medium bowl, work the mascarpone with a wooden spoon until all lumps are eliminated. Add the egg yolk mixture and mix well.

3In a third medium bowl, combine the egg whites, salt, and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, and beat until they reach a slightly firm but fluffy consistency.

4To make the mascarpone cream, gently fold the egg white mixture into the mascarpone mixture, one ladle at a time, stirring from the bottom up to the help maintain as much volume as possible, until the egg whites are fully incorporated. Stir in the rum (if using).

5Place the coffee in a fourth medium bowl. Dip each ladyfinger cookie into the coffee (don’t soak them; you want them to retain their firmness) and then arrange in a 7 X 11 – inch glass baking dish until the bottom is covered.Over the first layer of cookies, spread half the mascarpone cream and dust with 1 tablespoon of the cocoa powder.

6 Repeat with another layer of cookies, mascarpone cream, and cocoa powder.

7Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours. Garnish the top with the shaved chocolate and serve chilled.

 

 

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