Ingredients: Per 4 servings
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 egg whites
- 5 oz sugar
- 1 lb Mascarpone cheese
- 16 ladyfinger cookies
- 1 cup coffee
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Separate the egg yolks from the whites one at a time by pouring the whites into a cup and transferring the yolks from one part of the broken shell to the other.
Beat the yolks and the sugar together for a couple of minutes with a whisk or mixer until frothy. At that point, fold in the mascarpone and mix until you have a soft, smooth cream.
Then whip 2 egg whites, using an electric whisk or by hand, until soft peaks have formed. Then gently fold the whipped egg whites into the mascarpone and egg cream. Carefully mix everything together with a spoon, stirring from the bottom up.
Once the mascarpone cream is ready, you can begin to assemble your tiramisù.
Tiramisù can be prepared in many different ways, from a single mold to individual portions.
When preparing one single tiramisu, begin by lining a dish or small cake pan with the ladyfingers dipped in the espresso for not more than a second. Once the pan is filled with cookies, cover them with half the mascarpone cream. Level the cream using a spatula and dust with cocoa powder. Then add another layer of espresso-soaked cookies on top. Cover with the remaining cream, level it off and dust generously with the cocoa powder.
Place the pan in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving cold.
If you prefer to serve the tiramisu pre-portioned, you can use cups or martini glasses. Use 4 ladyfingers for each portion, dipping them, one at a time, in the espresso and arranging them vertically in the cup. One end of the cookie should be at the base and the other should poke out of the top.
Fill the cup with a couple of spoonfuls of mascarpone cream, evenly distributing it across entire cup. Tap the base of the cup on the palm of your hand to help level out the cream.
Dust the cup with a generous amount of cocoa powder and let set in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
Without a doubt, tiramisù is the spoon-eaten dessert most-loved by the Italians. For this reason, many different regions claim to have invented it, each one with its one legend to back it up.
Even if this creamy dessert probably derives from some traditional recipes that were modified over time, one of the most widespread legends suggests that a primitive version of this dessert was created at the end of the 17th century in Siena. According to the same story, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo II de’ Medici, was in town for a couple of days to attend the city’s famous horse race, the Palio.
To honor his presence, the pastry chefs of Siena got together to invent a new dessert using the most decadent ingredients for the grand duke was known to be a real food lover. The dessert, which in honor of Cosimo II was called the “soup of the dike,” was a huge success among the Florentine nobles that they decided to introduce it to the court, a sort of nursery of intellectuals and artists, who in turn helps to spread the dessert throughout the rest of Italy. Tiramisù finally reached Venice where, according to the legend, it was considered a powerful aphrodisiac by the courtesans. It was here in the city of Giacomo Casanova that the dessert was given its current name, which means “pick me up” in English.
In order to get perfectly whipped egg whites, add a pinch of salt before whipping. Also, be sure that there is no trace of egg yolk or fat on the whisk or in the bowl you are using.
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