Tiramisu…A Special Occasion Dessert. Tiramisu translates to pick me up, pull me up, or make me happy and that it does. Italy’s best known dessert seems to make everyone happy. This delectable creamy and indulgent dessert with a slight taste of coffee can be found not only in Italian restaurants but restaurants around the world. But don’t wait to go out to have tiramisu…make this simple dessert at home.
You might think that this luscious Italian dolce has been made for hundreds of years but you would be wrong. It is a relatively new dessert from the 1970′s that most people attribute to the restaurant Le Beccherie in the Veneto town of Treviso that is northwest of Venice.
I remember exactly where I had my first taste of this wonderful treat. My husband and I found a small restaurant called Orso d’Oro in Venice. It was not your average overpriced tourist restaurant but a beautiful trattoria serving delicious food. We returned one year with my husband’s mother and asked if it was possible to just have dessert and espresso as we had already eaten. We were told that would not possible but when I said that I wanted my mother-in-law to experience the best tiramisu in all of Venice, they smiled and quickly sat us at a lovely table.
Seeing how this is such a popular dessert, you might be wondering why I said it was a special occasion dessert. I’m celebrating my second anniversary of blogging and wanted to share a recipe for this memorable dessert with all my readers as a way of thanking you for your friendship and loyalty.
There are three simple steps to preparing tiramisu.
To prepare the espresso cookie dip, mix 1 c. espresso, 3 Tbsp. Marsala wine (you can also use Kahlua, Amaretto, sherry, rum, etc.) and 2 tsp. sugar together and let cool. Have 2 packages (7 oz.) each of Savoiardi cookies (crisp Italian ladyfingers) ready for later use.
To prepare the Zabaglione/Mascarpone cream you will need 4 egg yolks, 1/2 c. sugar, and 1/2 c. Marsala wine. You will also need a 16 oz. container of Mascarpone cheese, and 1 c. heavy whipping cream. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they are a little fluffy, then slowly add in the sugar, whisking until combined, then whisk in the wine. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water) and whisk the egg mixture constantly for about 10 minutes until it has thicken and has almost tripled in volume. Remove from the heat and continue to whisk for several minutes more until the cream is thick and a light lemony color. Let cool for several minutes then add the mascarpone. Whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.
In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. Then gently fold the whipped cream into the zabaglione/mascarpone cream a little at a time until blended.
To assemble the tiramisu: You can use a 8″ x 8″, a 7″ x 11″, or a 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ pan or a trifle bowl. You can even use small bowls or martini glasses for individual servings…the procedure will be the same. *You will get two or three layers, depending on the size of your container so adjust the procedure accordingly. Dip the ladyfingers, one at a time, very briefly (1 second) into the espresso mixture and make one layer in the bottom of your container. Place 1/3 of the cream mixture on top. Repeat two more times. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight for the tiramisu to firm up and the flavors to combine. Remover 30 minutes before serving and dust with 2 Tbsp. dark cocoa powder.
I had enough ladyfingers and cream to make two separate dishes from this recipe. I made the first one in a 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan. I prepared the traditional tiramisu with three layers of cookies and cream then dusted it with cocoa powder.
The second tiramisu was not traditional but was made to celebrate two years of blogging. I used an individual 4 inch springform pan. After removing the tiramisu from the pan, I used soft ladyfingers to wrap around the dessert and tied them in place with a ribbon. I then decorated the tiramisu with candied flowers instead of dusting it with cocoa.
I want to take this opportunity to thank each person that stops by to visit my blog. Many of you leave comments that I enjoy reading. I appreciate your kind words and friendship that you have shown these last two years. I hope you will enjoy this tiramisu as it is a special occasion dessert for each of my loyal readers as a special “thank you”.