Tiramisu is the king of Italian sweets, and the popular dessert is actually quite easy to make! While there are variations on the recipe, it’s thought to have originated in Treviso, a small town 30 minutes from Venice in Italy’s Veneto region. More specifically, a restaurant in Treviso stakes claim to the coffee-flavored dessert, with the recipe dating back just to the 1960s. Some variations of this recipe don’t use coffee (as another liquid may do), but if you’re looking for a traditional recipe, then try this one. At its most basic, the dessert is made by layering lady finger cookies (known as “Savoiardi” in Italian) with a mascarpone mixture.
Want to learn more about the desserts and cuisine of the Veneto? Head to trips like our Michelin Star Cooking on the Prosecco Road, or other Veneto cooking vacations.
* 4 eggs
* 4 tbs sugar
* 500 grams (just over 2 cups) mascarpone cheese
* Approx. 1 cup espresso coffee that’s been cooled
* 2 packs of ladyfingers (also known as Savoiardi biscuits)
* 1/2 cup cocoa powder, for garnish
1. Start by beating egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer and whisk attachment. Beat until thick.
2. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale in color. This should take about 15 minutes.
3. To the egg yolks/sugar, add the mascarpone cheese and beat until it becomes smooth.
4. Add in the egg whites and then mix by hand with a spoon. (If you use an electric mixer now, the egg whites will loose their thickness).
5. Put the espresso in a small shallow dish. Now dip each ladyfinger individually into the espresso, just for a about 5 seconds, on both sides. If they soak too long, they may fall apart.
6. Put each soaked ladyfinger on the bottom of the dish you’ll use to bake the tiramisu. If need be, break the ladyfingers in half. Repeat until all the bottom of the baking dish is covered.
7. Take about half the mascarpone mixture and spread it over the ladyfingers.
8. Repeat the process with the ladyfingers until the mascarpone mixture is covered, then top the new layer of ladyfingers with the rest of the mascarpone. (If the dish is taller rather than wide, you may need to repeat this process one last time).
9. Finish by covering the tiramisu with cocoa powder and then refrigerating for 2 hours, minimum.