This simple and delicious dessert has become a global favourite, alongside other iconic Italian dishes like pasta and pizza
Whilst its origins are as diverse as they are uncertain, it is believed that tiramisu originated in Treviso, near Venice, in the 1970s but some claim that it actually hails from Tuscany and Turin. In Italian, tiramisu literally means “lift me up” and since 2009 it has been officially recognised as a ‘Traditional Speciality Guaranteed’ (EGT) product.
From its Italian roots as a traditional dessert, it has evolved into a universally loved sweet. Over the years, the original recipe has been interpreted ad infinitum to suit local ingredients and tastes. Preparation is simple, and authentic tiramisu is rich and decadent, with no cheese other than mascarpone. It traditionally contains no cream, no liqueur, no chocolate cream, or fruit filling.
- 500 g mascarpone cheese
- 5 eggs
- 5 tablespoons icing sugar
- 40 sponge fingers (Soletilla)
- 2 cups strong coffee without sugar
- 2 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
Separate the egg whites from the yolks and beat the yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the mascarpone and whisk until you have a smooth and creamy consistency. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form (a little salt helps). Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the mascarpone mixture until smooth. Set aside.
Mix the (cold) coffee and the marsala in a deep dish. Dip each sponge finger and spread half of them in a single layer at the bottom of the dish. Top with half of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat layers with the remaining sponge fingers and cream mixture. Refrigerate for 12 hours (3 minimum). Before serving, dust the tiramisu with cocoa powder using a fine-mesh sieve.