There is much more to Italian food than tiramisu, but this coffee based cake is so tasty and so good at ‘picking you up’ (as its name in Italian promises) that I feel like it deserves a place among one of the first posts on my blog: actually, the very first one!
This version is a little different from the traditional one because it does not use raw eggs, but I find it absolutely amazing and, considering the delighted reactions of the friends I made it for, I’m confident they agree. The lack of eggs does not interfere with the taste and makes the cream lighted to digest and easier to whip. Please note: while the cream in this recipe does not contain eggs, the savoiardi I used do. If you avoid eggs because of a food intolerance or allergy, please make sure you use egg-free savoiardi (sold in specialty shops).
Here is how I make it: buon appetito!
Tiramisu recipe ingredients:
200 gr sponge fingers (savoiardi)
250 gr mascarpone
90 gr sugar
200 ml whipped cream
A small piece of dark chocolate for dusting
2 cups of coffee + a drop of milk
Tiramisu recipe method:
In a big bowl, mix together mascarpone and sugar until they make a smooth paste. Add the whipped cream (I am a cook who loves shortcuts and bought it already whipped) and fold it in carefully, then leave to rest.
Make coffee: if you can, I suggest you use a macchinetta such as one of these as I think they make by far the smoothest and tastiest coffee.
When the coffee is ready and while still hot, pour it into a shallow plate. Add a bit of milk and dip the savoiardi in, so they soak up the milky coffee and put them in your tray or jar one beside the other, all in one layer. Just be careful not to make them too wet: savoiardi are very good sponges and you really only need to dip them in coffee for a second to make them the perfect texture. After you have a first layer of savoiardi, spoon your cream on top of it and top it with some grated chocolate. Repeat the process for as many layers as you wish (I usually make two) and then put the tiramisu to rest in the fridge for at least an hour. Serve chilled on the same day or, even better, the day after.
A bit of trivia for you: do you know why sponge fingers are called ‘Savoiardi’ in Italy? According to history, it is because they originated in the Dutchy of Savoy (Savoia, hence the adjective Savoiardo, ‘from Savoy’), where they were firstly baked in the mid-1300 as a special treat for the King of France, who was in Savoy for a visit. Despite the long existence of the savoiardi biscuit, it is not until the mid-Seventies that the tiramisu as such was created and gained popularity: its creation is due to pastry chef Loly Linguanotto who first assembled it in the kitchen of restaurant Le baccherie, In Treviso, in the north-east of Italy: looking for a simple and filling dish for his clients, he single-handedly created one of the now most iconic Italian desserts in the world and gave it so much popularity it’s hard to believe it’s not a plate from ancient tradition!
Did you like this recipe? I’d love to hear your comments or any variations you think I should try!