Tiramisu’

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.
Enough with the anecdotes, let’s hit it!
This is now my family Tiramisu’ recipe: what you just read, and what you will see in the video is how it came together, enjoy.

INGREDIENTI

Prep Time: 30 / Refrigerated Before Serving: 3 hrs

2 × 8 Oz. Mascarpone (about 500 g )
5 Large Eggs
14 Oz. Savoiardi Cookies (Ladyfingers)
4 Oz. Sugar + 2 Tbs for the Coffee
Moka Coffee or Espresso x 12
2 shots of Rum or Italian Marsala (optional)
ca 2 Tbs Chocolate Powder, Unsweetened
1/4 cup shaved dark chocolate to garnish
pinch of Salt
1

First prepare the coffee using a Moka machine big enough to serve 12, pour it in a bowl and allow to cool off, add 2 Tbs of sugar (or sweeten to taste).

2

Mix the Egg Yolks with half of the sugar, until you obtain a creamy light mixture.

3

With a wooden spoon work the Mascarpone in a bowl, making sure you eliminate any lumps, then add the mixture of sugar and eggs and mix well.

4

In a separate bowl mix well the Egg Whites with a pinch of Salt and the remaining Sugar, until they reach a somewhat firm but fluffy consistency, then add them to the Mascarpone mix.

5

Optional - Mix in the liquor.

Congratulations, you just made Mascarpone Cream, which you can use on top of fresh berries or more sinfully spread on a gigantic slice of Pandoro!

6

Dip the Savoiardi cookies in the Coffee, and one by one lay them flat into a 7 × 11 pyrex tray: make sure you do not soak the cookies, as you want to make sure they maintain their firmness. Once your first layer of cookies has been laid out, spread on top a layer of the Mascarpone Cream, and dust 1 Tbs. of Chocolate Powder on top.

7

Now, again, prepare another layer of coffee-dipped cookies, cream and powder chocolate: garnish the top of the cake with the shaved Dark Chocolate.

8

Cover the tray with saran wrap and refrigerate for about 3 hrs to compact it.

NOTE: because you are working with raw eggs, it is mandatory that you use the freshest product you can find. Organic, free range eggs are good enough, unless you have a neighbor with a chicken coup... in that case, get his! Test the eggs by putting them in a bowl of water: if they fall to the bottom they are fresh and safe, if they come afloat they are ready to be tossed!

Buon Appetito.

Debi and Gabriele