So easy, so delicious and no oven involved! I can’t really bake so of course the tiramisu is one of my go-to desserts. I did a little research to see where this “classic” Italian dessert originated from and as it turns out, it is not so classic after all.
I guess when I think of an Italian classic recipe, I am thinking it must be at least 100 years old. Right? But it seems the tiramisu has only been around since the 1960’s. Tiramisu was born during the decade of spray net and The Beatles?!? Really? I guess this just surprised me a little.
The origins of this Italian dessert are still up for debate, but most agree the original recipe came from the restaurant, Le Beccherie in Treviso near Venice.
Le Beccherie’s original recipe contained the following ingredients: espresso, sugar, egg yolks, mascarpone, ladyfinger cookies and cocoa powder. These days there are all kinds of variations that include whipping cream, egg whites, various liqueurs, etc. Below is a recipe that works for me and is obviously NOT the classic because I even add a bit of vanilla and brandy. But one thing is for sure: any variation of custard, cookies, coffee and mascarpone is going to come out yummy. So feel free to experiment. I guess my real twist on this recipe are the festive polka dots. Seriously, isn’t this the happiest tiramisu you have ever seen?
1.5 cups of brewed espresso coffee
3 tablespoons brandy
3 tablespoons sugar
6 egg yolks*
1.5 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 pounds mascarpone
24-30 lady fingers
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1. Brew espresso coffee. Pour brewed coffee into a bowl and add sugar (3 tablespoons) and brandy. Make sure to add the sugar while the coffee is hot, so it will completely dissolve. Allow coffee mixture to cool.
2. While the coffee is cooling, using an electric mixer beat egg yolks and remaining sugar until the mixture is thick and has pale yellow color, 4- 5 minutes. Add vanilla and mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth.
3. Dip each ladyfinger into espresso quickly. Soaking the ladyfingers too long will cause them to become mushy and fall apart. Place the ladyfingers on the bottom of an 8 x 10 inch dish. Break the cookies as needed to fit the dish.
4. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers.
5. Using a sifter, sift a light layer of cocoa powder over the mascarpone.
6. Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers, using extra cookies if necessary.
7. Spread the remaining mascarpone mixture over the lady fingers.
8. Cover completed tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
9. Before serving, sift another light layer of cocoa powder over the mascarpone, or using a stencil, sift over the stencil for a design. In this case, I used a pizza pan as noted in the photos above to create polka dots.