How to Make the Best Ever Classic Tiramisù
A Finger-Licking Delicious Italian Dessert
Disclaimer: If you are old enough to drink, you should always drink responsibly!
A while ago, I came across this book: Every Day Is A Holiday, by George Mahood. The author, a family man, had an epiphany that people invented or created lots of holidays connected to something meaningful. The entire calendar, all 360 days of it, consists of something significant enough that deserves recognition. So, Mahood celebrated every day for a whole year.
Anything is worth revelling, from Zombie Day on the first of January to Oopsie Daisy Day, Awkward Moments Day, Work Naked Day, No Diet Day and everything in between. The book is hilarious; by the time I finished reading it, I felt a lot happier than before I started it.
I recommend you read this book; it will lift your spirits. As will do this finger-licking delicious Italian dessert that literary translates to “pick me up” or “lift me up”.
Tiramisù is easy to make and never fails to impress. Everyone who had it at my house asked for seconds. I’ve seen people getting happier by the minute as they eat this cake. Possibly, by the time your Tiramisù is ready, you’ll be in much higher spirits than you are at this moment.
How is a book connected with tiramisu, you might ask? I don’t think it is. But, you probably guessed, there is a Tiramisù day in the calendar, established by Italians after Mahood published his book.
To be precise, each year we should celebrate this luscious Italian dessert on the twenty-first of March. We should also celebrate it every day before and after if you ask me!
As the Italians are highly creative people, of course, there is a legend related to Tiramisù’s origin. It is a bit raunchy; hopefully, you are an adult reading this post to yourself while any kids on the premises are happily and undisturbedly playing video games.
About two centuries ago, in the city of Treviso, not far from Venice, a brothel madam started to offer an alcohol-containing desert to the establishment’s guests. The purpose of the cake was to help the customers replenish their powers before they’d leave the pleasure house and return to their wives.
In Treviso dialect, the name the madam chose for her aphrodisiac was “Tireme su”. This phrase later became the one Italian word that the entire global population is fluent in – Tiramisù.
Fast forward to 2020, it appears the world is actually crazy for a boozy nineteen century Viagra. The conundrum is: pharmacy or supermarket?
If you choose the latter, your shopping list must contain a few specific ingredients for this classic Tiramisù recipe.
Ingredients for Classic Tiramisù
Savoiardi biscuits (ladyfingers). The quantity is relative as you can assemble it in anything from a couple of glasses to a large tray. I usually make more because I know it vanishes in minutes, so I use about twenty ladyfingers per level (x3 levels).
Coffee (ground or instant; decaf if shared with children)
Liquor (I prefer Amaretto). Of course, forget about it for the child-friendly version of Tiramisù
Optional (if you choose to make the cream from scratch) egg yolks, almond milk, corn/potato starch.
- 60 pcs Savoiardi biscuits (ladyfingers)
- 4-5 tbsp instant coffee (decaf if shared with children)
- 5 tbsp coconut sugar
- 2 pods vanilla
- 2 pcs Mascarpone cheese (about 500g)
- 5 pcs egg yolk
- 6 tbsp Amaretto (skip for the child-friendly version)
- 3-4 tbsp organic cacao powder
- unsweetend almond milk (optional, according to the filling method you choose)
- corn starch (optional, according to the filling method you choose)
- Start by preparing the coffee. Boil circa half a litre of water with a spoon of sugar for a couple of minutes. Turn the hob off, add the coffee and stir until it dissolves completely. Let it cool down.
- Open a small bottle of Amaretto and pour a glass. Drink half and keep the rest for later. Add the required quantity to the coffee.
- There are two ways to prepare the cream: either use raw eggs or boil them, based on who is eating the cake. You should probably cook the eggs for young children, pregnant ladies, or persons with certain medical conditions.
The cooking method for the filling
- If you choose the cooking method, you will need to add 500ml milk and 2-3 tablespoons of corn starch.
- In a bowl mix the sugar with egg yolks, corn starch and a few tablespoons of cold milk. Add the vanilla seeds to the remainder of the milk and boil it in a pan. Add the hot milk to the egg yolk mix spoon by spoon, stirring well after each one. You will have to balance the temperature patiently!
- When the composition is evenly mixed, pour it back into the pan and boil at low heat for 3-5 minutes or until it hardens, stirring continuously. Allow it to cool off before adding the mascarpone cheese.
The cold/raw version for the filling
- For the cold version, whisk the sugar and egg yolks until the volume doubles. The consistency should be that of soft cream. Scrape the vanilla pods and whisk. Add the mascarpone cheese gradually and mix until incorporated.
- At your discretion, you can add the egg whites whipped until stiff. Mix it slowly, careful not to spoil the entire thing. Have a sip of Amaretto.
Assembling the Tiramisù
- Dip each ladyfinger in the coffee mix (for no longer than a second; you want the biscuits moist, not soggy) and place them in the glass or on the platter/tray. Continue until the level is complete. Have a sip of Amaretto. Even two!
- Divide the filling cream into three parts. Spread one part evenly over the first layer of ladyfingers.
- At this point, you won’t need more Amaretto in the coffee so you can pour another glass to yourself.
- Build the second layer of ladyfingers and spread the cream over it. Lift the glass. And drink the Amaretto. Continue with the third and last layer. Empty what’s left in the bottle into the glass. Drink!
- After you’ve spread the remainder of the cream, lick the bowl. Check how much Amaretto is left. Then, sprinkle the cocoa evenly over the entire surface. Good luck with that!
- Leave the Tiramisù in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to set before serving.
- Before you tidy up, empty the glass. Preferably by drinking it. Not the glass! The content.
The hard to do part 🤣
- Ask the kitchen to stop spinning. Mix the bowl in the washing machine and add shampoo in the dishwasher. Soap! If you can see the button that says On/Off, press on it. If not, it’s OK. Don’t call your optician yet!
- Presto, your Tiramisù is somehow complete and looking lofty. Lifting!
- Cheers! I possibly meant buon appetitito! Appetissimo! Buon Appetizing! I told you to read the damn book! Hiccup! Pardon you!