Tiramisu is one of those classic Italian desserts that comes together easily. It’s a very minimalistic, yet super luscious dessert that uses ladyfingers, coffee, mascarpone and eggs. While the traditional recipe does not contain heavy cream, I prefer using it instead of egg whites. The whipped cream enhances the taste of mascarpone, it adds more richness and structure to the whole dish.
Servings: 8-12 servings
For the filling
- 5 egg yolks (substitute them with good quality vanilla extract or fresh beans)
- a pinch of kosher salt
- 500 grams mascarpone cheese (no substitutes for this one, cream cheese is too tangy in my opinion)
- 1 cup or 200 grams sugar
- 300 grams heavy cream
- cocoa powder or chocolate shavings for topping
For the base
- 250-300 grams ladyfingers (no substitute for these ones, they are key in a tiramisu)
- 2 1/2 cups strong coffee
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2-3 shots liquor of choice (optional) – rum, sambuca, coffee liqueur, Marsala wine, etc.
- Brew 2 1/2 cups strong coffee, mix in 3 tablespoons of sugar and the liquor of your choice. Let the coffee sit at room temperature while you are preparing everything else.
- Cooked yolks
If you are concerned about eating raw eggs, whisk the mixture over a bain-marie. Boil some water in a pot, then turn the heat to low and let it simmer. Place the bowl over the pot (make sure the boiling water is not touching the bowl) and whisk the 5 egg yolks, a pinch of salt and a cup of sugar in the bowl, until the color of the mixture turns from a deep yellow to a light pale yellow. This will slightly cook the yolks, killing all the bacteria in them. Allow the mixture to cool off for 10-15 minutes before adding in the mascarpone.
- If you don’t mind eating raw eggs (I always keep them raw), simply skip the bain-marie and whisk everything in a bowl until the color of the mixture turns from a deep yellow to a light pale yellow.
- Add the mascarpone cheese to the egg mixture, break it down using a whisk in the beginning, then fold it in.
- Whip the heavy cream in a separate bowl, until you get medium soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream in the egg mascarpone mixture.
- Time for the assembly! Get a casserole dish or a dozen individual cups ready. Place a tiny bit of the cream at the bottom of the container. Dip the ladyfingers, one by one, for 1-2 seconds in the coffee mixture, then lay them at the base of the dish. Once the bottom of the dish is fully covered by ladyfingers, pour half of the mascarpone mixture on top, level it, then sprinkle some cocoa powder on top of it all. Repeat the same process with the rest of the ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture.
- Refrigerate the tiramisu for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight! It can stay in the fridge up to 3 days (raw egg version) to 5 days (cooked egg version).