Ingredients

6 eggs, separated
6 tablespoons sugar
16 ounces mascarpone cheese
4 cups espresso coffee
Optional: ¼ cup Marsala wine (rum or amaretto can be substituted)
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ pint heavy cream, whipped
1 package Savoiardi (sugar coated Italian “lady fingers”)

Directions

1. Separate egg yolks and whites.
2. Beat egg whites to a white cloud, making a light merrainge.
3. Add sugar to yolks and beat with hand mixer about 3 minutes to make a zambaglione.
4. Add mascarpone to zambaglione and beat with hand mixer. After thoroughly mixed, fold egg whites into mixture.
5. Fold whipped cream into mixture.
6. Prepare espresso coffee. As an option, you can add into the coffee Marsala wine, rum or amaretto if desired.
7. Wet Savoiardi biscuits in the coffee, being careful not to soak them. Using a large sheet pan, layer the soaked Savoiardi biscuits to cover the bottom of the pan, spread the cream mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle a layer of cocoa over the cream. Repeat the process to make two layers.

Refrigerate at least two hours and up to 8 to 12 hours for maximum freshness.

Recipe courtesy of Maria Cracchiolo, Caffe Sicilia, 2011.

Is this the most romantic dessert? The movie “Sleepless in Seattle” makes that argument but you can decide for yourself.

It is best to prepare this dessert the morning or the day that you are going to serve it, since you want it to refrigerate it a few hours in advance. Maria Cracchiolo of Caffé Sicilia says that to make this recipe authentic, the way the Italians make it, use real Italian espresso coffee and Savoiardi, or Italian “lady fingers.” You can find both in Italian specialty stores.

Savoiardi are a Piemontese specialty that resemble lady fingers, though they're about twice as thick. In addition to being eaten as is, they are used in many desserts, including puddings and tiramisu. If you buy them in the store, be sure they're fresh because their shelf life is limited. They shouldn't be soft.

In this tiramisu, the coffee is mixed with Marsala wine, but it is also made with either rum or amaretto liqueur. Marsala is a wine produced in the region surrounding the Italian city of Marsala in Sicily. While the city's natives sometimes drink "vintage" Marsala, the wine produced for export is universally a fortified wine similar to Port. Originally, Marsala wine was fortified with alcohol to ensure that it would last long ocean voyages, but now it is made that way because of its popularity in foreign markets such as here.To make separate egg yolks and whites, beat egg whites to a white cloud, making a light merrainge. Add sugar to yolks and beat with hand mixer about 3 minutes to make a zambaglione. Add mascarpone to zambaglione and beat with hand mixer. After thoroughly mixed, fold egg whites into mixture. Fold whipped cream into mixture. Prepare espresso coffee. As an option, you can add into the coffee Marsala wine, rum or amaretto if desired. Wet Savoiardi biscuits in the coffee, being careful not to soak them. Using a large sheet pan, layer the soaked Savoiardi biscuits to cover the bottom of the pan, spread the cream mixture over the biscuits, and sprinkle a layer of cocoa over the cream. Repeat the process to make two layers.

Refrigerate at least two hours and up to 8 to 12 hours for maximum freshness. Maria garnishes the plate with a little extra chocolate sauce to make this dessert even tastier, as if it needed it.

Tiramisu
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