Desserts are often served at the end of meals in the United States, but not at an Italian table, where the dessert is commonly fruit. When tiramisu is served, you know that this is a special occasion.
Tiramisu is the authentic Italian dessert layered with espresso-soaked ladyfingers and a velvety, rich zabaglione cream filling. This simple yet elegant dessert translates into “Pick me up”. This is such a wonderful dessert, that with each bite of the fluffy cream and coffee-soaked lady fingers, your taste buds will be in heaven. It has a subtle sweetness, with just the right amount of bitterness from the coffee and cocoa powder, making it a perfect marriage of flavors. Such a simple dessert to prepare, yet it will surely impress your guests.
- Incorporate all the ingredients for the Espresso Syrup and set aside to cool.
- Heat about 1 inch of water to a slow boil in bottom of a double boiler. In the top, while the water is heating, place egg yolks and sugar.
- Beat until the eggs are a pale yellow, about 2 minutes.
- Add the Marsala wine and continue to beat until the mixture is hot to the touch, doubled in size, and thick in consistency. You should be able to form soft peaks. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Set aside to cool. It is important that the mixture is cool, or it will liquefy.
- Fold in the whipped cream.
- Once you have folded in the whipped cream, fold in the softened mascarpone and stir until the Zabaione is creamy in texture and has no lumps.
- To assemble the Tiramisu, place a layer of ladyfingers in the bottom of an 8-inch square pan.
- Soak the ladyfingers with the Espresso Syrup by applying with a brush. Evenly spread half of the Zabaione on top of the ladyfingers.
- Add a second layer of ladyfingers and apply the remaining espresso syrup to the ladyfingers.
- Evenly spread the remaining half of the Zabaione on top of the ladyfingers.
- Chill Tiramisu until ready to serve.
- Sprinkle cocoa powder or shaved chocolate on top when ready to serve, not before chilling.
Note: You will need another package of Lady Fingers if you want to have the Lady Fingers decorate the edge of the dessert. They should be placed in an upright position on end in a spring pan.
Yields: 9-12 servings
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4-cup hot espresso coffee
- 1/8 to 1/4 cup brandy, depending on your preference – this is also optional.
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup sweet Marsala wine
- 8 ounce whipping cream, whipped (preferably organic)
- 1/2 pound mascarpone cheese, softened
- 2 packages of Italian Ladyfingers (hard as opposed to soft sponge-like.)
- Cocoa powder or shaved chocolate