The long-awaited follow up to volume 1 is here. This time we’ll be looking at a classic Italian treat, tiramisu.
The exact origin of this treat is subject to much debate. Culinary experts the world over argue over the inclusion of raw eggs in the recipe and over which liquor should feature.
The true innovation of tiramisu lies not in the technique of layering, but in the combination of coffee, chocolate, and boozey cream. Translated into English, tiramisu means ‘pick-me-up’. With such a combination of flavours, it’s not hard to see how it got this name.
I recently went to a small, family-run Italian restaurant in the city of Sheffield. Stepping into such a restaurant reminded me of family holidays spent in Tuscany, and the food didn’t disappoint. I don’t know about you, but if I go to a real Italian restaurant, I feel I’d be missing out if I didn’t try one of their pasta dishes.
Likewise with the desserts, as soon as I spotted tiramisu, I felt obliged. Surely an indicator to the true quality of any Italian restaurant.
It was stunning.
With a little research I found that it is the Italian city of Treviso that gave birth to the modern version of tiramisu we know today.
lista della spesa:
250g mascarpone, 600ml thick double cream, Italian lady finger biscuits (at least 300g just to be safe)
instant coffee (granulated or espresso style), 1 large bar of dark chocolate, 80g golden caster sugar
140ml of Marsala wine
You will most likely have some biscuits left at the end, but this is fine. It’s better to have too many for this recipe. I will explain in due course.
Mix the cream, mascarpone, sugar in a large mixing bowl. I started making this recipe with just under 100ml of the marsala but I decided to up the amount to 140ml. As it turns out, the more booze the better! (who knew!?)
Add the marsala and whisk until thick, but still manageable.
You will need two dishes, one for the coffee and one to layer your tiramisu. In this instance I used a square cake tin with a removable bottom. This way I can just push it out of the tin in a perfect square shape. Having said that, I have done it in an oval dish, and it worked perfectly too.
Mix 4 tablespoons of your coffee with 500ml of boiling water. Add it to one of your dishes.
Now’s the fun part.
Take your biscuits and dip them one by one into the coffee, for around 5 seconds, turning them as you do it so both sides absorb equally. Leave them in too long and they’ll turn to mush in your hands before you can transfer them to your dish. Don’t worry if you lose a few along the way, this is why you bought an extra pack of biscuits!
Now add half of the whisked mixture. Be careful when you spread it over the soft biscuits, as it’s very easy to damage them. Take your time. I used two spoons to spread the mixture evenly without causing too much disturbance to the layer of biscuits.
Now get your dark chocolate and use the finest side of a grater to completely cover the mixture.
Repeat the process one more time.
Place in your fridge for at least 8 hours, overnight if possible.