This is not a boring classic… this is a delightfully subtle dessert. All you need is good ingredients. First, if you’re in Australia, NEVER buy an Australian made mascarpone, it’s grainy, tastes nothing like mascarpone and destroys totally this dessert (sorry guys…).
I am ready to change my mind, after having probably tasted all the possible Aussie mascarpones on the market and being every single time disappointed, if someone brings me a good one…
Until then, I always use the real Italian imported mascarpone.
My French twist to this Italian dessert, there is always one :) is to use a good Armagnac or Cognac in the cream and in the coffee mixture. Good organic fresh eggs are a must. Don’t forget you’re not cooking Tiramisu. I use proper Italian savoiardi or sponge fingers. I should have used a delicious freshly ground coffee but I got slack and used instant Nescafé instead and I always do because I don’t drink coffee and my coffee machine is hidden is some remote cupboard… I think Nescafé does a great job.
The last touch which reminds me of my childhood is Van Houten Cacao sprinkled through a sieve on top, just before serving. It has this “adult” bitter taste which balances the sweet creaminess of this dessert.
Mascarpone is easier to work with when it is not too cold and hard. Eggs are easier to mix well with when you add a bit of sugar at the end of the “beating”. Mix mascarpone gently and slowly to keep plenty of air in the mixture.
Here is my instant coffee, boiling water, sugar and Cognac or Armagnac.
The art of dipping savoiardi is acquired with a bit of experience. If you dip too long, the biscuit will get mushy and some coffee juice might get at the bottom of your dish. If you don’t dip long enough, the biscuits will be a bit dry.
Try to dip on one side and the other, 2 seconds each, and then place the biscuit in the serving dish.
There are many ways to present a tiramisu. In Paris, for a while, it was fancy to serve it in small and low preserving jars or mustard glasses. I usually use my good old white porcelain oval roasting dish.
This time I used my conical(ish) black dish. It makes the biscuit/cream ratio a bit high… Next time I’ll stick to the good old roast dish.
Once the cream is poured and levelled with a spatula. I leave it for at least 2 or 3 hours in the fridge before serving sprinkled with Dutch cacao over a sieve.
Apparently Tiramisu’s invention is disputed by a few regions in Italy. But it seems that the legend is everywhere the same: a hungry traveller popped in an inn a bit late and asked for a little something to feel better to “cheer him up”. Tiramisu means that pull something or someone upwards :) in the sense of cheering up.
Originally it was a very rustic dessert made of simple biscuits dipped in strong coffee and alcohol.
This is the simplest Tiramisu recipe I came up with, and my favourite.
NOTE : this post is not sponsored.
- 3 eggs
- 250g mascarpone at room temperature
- 100g sugar (20g + 50g + 30g)
- 1 cap of Cognac ou Armagnac
- 12 savoiardi biscuits
- 50 g of strong coffee (can be a proper espresso or you can use instant coffee and boiling water)
- Dutch cacao to dust
- Separate yolks and egg whites.
- Mix mascarpone, yolks, 20g of sugar and ½ a cap of Cognac until thick and creamy.
- Beat whites until firm. Add 50g of sugar, beat a little more.
- Fold in gently the creamy mascarpone with egg whites.
- In a deep plate, mix coffee, the rest of cognac, and the rest of sugar. Dip biscuit just enough to soak the coffee in lightly. Not too much otherwise they'll be too soggy.
- Place soaked biscuits in a serving dish, side by side.
- Pour the mascarpone cream over. Level with a spatula.
- Leave it in the fridge for no less than 2 hours.
- Sprinkle with cacao just before serving, over a sieve.