CLASSIC ITALIAN TIRAMISU

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by Chef Gabe Bertaccini

azfamily.com

Posted on July 12, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 16 at 10:40 AM

400g/15oz of lady finger biscuits
Six eggs
2 cups of espresso sweetened to your liking
10 tbsp of sugar
16oz of mascarpone cheese
Unsweetened cocoa powder for sprinkling between layers
½ bar of Sweet Chooccolate roughly chopped
½ bar of Bitter or semi-sweet chocolate roughly chopped
¼ of cup of coffee liquor

Place yolks in a large bowl and, whisking, add half of the sugar. Whisk until yolks are pale, thick, and cool. At this point Whisk in the mascarpone.
In a separate bowl, whip the whites and half of the remaining sugar to stiff peaks; gently fold into mascarpone mixture.
In a shallow bowl, whisk together coffee liqueur with the espresso. Dip 1 ladyfinger in coffee liquor mixture, soaking 4 seconds on each side, then place in an 8- by 8-inch baking dish. (For a firmer result, dip for less time or brush each cookie with the mixture.) Repeat to make 1 layer of ladyfingers, trimming as needed to fit snugly.
Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers. Shake cocoa powder on top of the cream and also some of the roughly chopped chocolate.  Make a second layer of ladyfingers soaked with the coffee mixture. Top with remaining mascarpone cream, spreading it smoothly. Repeat with cocoa powered and chopped chocolate. Chill tiramisu, covered, at least 3 hours.

THE GRAND DUKE’S DESSERT

Tiramisu's history is almost as foggy as the espresso that gives it its amazing flavor. At the heart of some vigorous debate among Italian dessert lovers, tiramisu definitely got its start in Italy sometime between the early 18 th century and the mid 20 th century.

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.

 

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