Tiramisu is my favourite dessert. Period. Once you try a perfectly done tiramisu you get hooked, for life. It is a life long addiction!
What is real Tiramisu
I used to order tiramisu wherever it was available on the menu, I could not help its temptation. I know, it was a habit I paid sometimes terribly, because quite often it was contaminated with whipping cream. Sacrilege! You can taste it on your tongue straight away, cream is heavy and lacks that airy lightness of eggs-mascarpone combination. Besides, cream overpowers the classic flavours of tiramisu. Do leave the cream out of tiramisu and do not take shortcuts when making it! The rants is over!
Years ago, when our Italian au-pair was about to arrive, I asked her to get me an original Italian recipe for tiramisu. She went well above the call of duty as she got equipped with a very detailed recipe from her mum, including a list of proper tools to use. I was advised to use only a metal bowl and wooden spoons to beat eggs and mascarpone together.
Gather the right ingredients
Obviously you need to have all ingredients at room temperature, so remember to remove mascarpone from a fridge at least an hour before. Our au-pair insisted that it is vital to brew a very strong, real espresso in a coffee pot. No instant coffee would ever bring that strong flavour. You must strive to use original Savoiardi biscuits. After tasting a finished tiramisu, I must admit that all those little secrets and ways did really are a making of classic tiramisu.
Once you have all ingredients ready, you begin with preparing a strong espresso. You will need about 400ml of cooled coffee. I use my espresso pot and fill the funnel with ground coffee to the brim. It needs to be a strong brew. My espresso pot is quite big, but if you have a smaller one, you might have to brew it in batches.
Once ready, leave the coffee to cool down, while you move onto preparing a cream. You have to separate six eggs, and place yolks and caster unrefined sugar in a metal bowl. Beat yolks with sugar until pale and fluffy, then add amaretto liqueur and mascarpone. I will not beat about the bush and I admit I use electric mixer to do this hard work for me at times. However be mindful and do it slowly. The slower the pace, the more airy and light the cream.
Put aside the yolk and mascarpone mixture and clean utensils and bowl. Transfer the egg whites into a metal bowl, add a pinch of fleur de sel and whisk for a few minutes until stiff. Gently fold in the egg whites into a cream using a spatula, one spoon at a time.
At this point, it is up to you if you prefer to layer the tiramisu in a bigger glass dish or you would rather set it up in separate dishes. The method of assembling the tiramisu remains the same. Dip briefly a Savoiardi biscuit in espresso and layer the glass dish and repeat it until the dish's bottom is completely covered with biscuits layer.
Next, spoon the cream over the biscuits, taking care to cover them well. Dust well the cream layer with Van Houten cacao. Repeat steps with Savoiardi biscuits and mascarpone cream layers. Finish the tiramisu with a good dusting of Van Houten cacao. Keep the tiramisu in a fridge for at least six hours, preferably overnight.
Before You start
The ingredients given below will fill a large glass dish. You can adjust quantities accordingly to the amount of tiramisu you want to prepare. Besides, from my experience, there is no a leftover tiramisu. At least in my household and I am not a culprit! :)
6 free range large eggs
120g caster unrefined sugar
400ml strong espresso coffee
2 packs of Savoiardi biscuits
Van Houten Cacao
3 tablespoons of amaretto liqueur (optional)