Tiramisu is easy to make, no bake and fabulous for feeding a crowd! This is a traditional Italian recipe by Chef Vanessa Martin from Mercato e Cucina, a fabulous Italian emporium in Gladesville, Sydney. Made the real proper Italian way – and it’s easier than other methods used! (Also see Note 6 of the recipe for why this the tempering of eggs is not required!)
There are many, many Tiramisu recipes out there in this big wide world. Some are complicated. Some are very shortcut, made using cream in a can.
Traditionally in Italy, Tiramisu is made using raw eggs. Somewhere along the lines of history, I am guessing that someone got scared about eating raw eggs and decided to start making Tiramisu using tempered eggs (eggs whisked over a water bath). I’ve never made it that way – actually, it’s the extra steps that turn me off!
Also, I’m not scared of eating raw eggs! There is nothing raw tasting about Tiramisu! The egg yolks are beaten until thick and creamy which is what creates the richness in the cream. Then the egg whites are beaten until stiff, then folded into the cream to lighten it up. Dip lady fingers into liquor laced coffee, spread with cream. Easy!
Do you want to see just how easy Tiramisu is to make? Here you go – a cooking video! Now a warning – you’re going to get a real close up look at my Baby Hands in action. No laughing! Concentrate on the Tiramisu!!! ?
So this Tiramisu is made the real, traditional Italian way – with raw eggs and not a drop of cream in sight.
The key ingredient in this is the mascarpone cheese which tastes like cream but is much thicker. You’ll see in the video that it has a consistency almost like goat’s cheese, nothing like Western cream which is pourable.
Tiramisu is assembled in many different ways. Fancy individual glasses, round cakes, loafs, cake rolls – the list goes on. Me – I like to keep it simple. Just a square baking dish.
Oh, and one other thing – dust with cocoa just before serving. It gets soaked right up into the cream pretty quickly.
If you do want to serve up a pretty Tiramisu with chocolate already on it, just use shaved chocolate instead of cocoa.
Made the proper Italian way, this Tiramisu is indulgent and yet light. The richness of the yolks and mascarpone cheese are lightened up by folding in stiffly beaten egg whites. And there’s only 1/2 cup of sugar in this whole recipe!!! Are you surprised?
As for what to lace the coffee with to dip the lady fingers in – the options are endless! Rum, brandy, Kahlua, Frangelico, Bailey’s – go wild, use what you love, or even keep it virgin!
Anyone for afternoon tea at my place??? ? There’s certainly plenty of Tiramisu to go around! – Nagi x
- 3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
- ½ cup caster sugar (known as super fine / baker's sugar in the US)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 8 oz / 250g mascarpone (Note 5)
- 1¼ cups hot espresso coffee - strong! (Note 1)
- 2 tbsp (or more!) of liquor of choice - I like Frangelico and Kahlua
- 6.5oz/200g lady fingers (24 - 30), pavesini or savoiardi biscuits (Note 2)
- Cocoa, for dusting
- Beat yolks and sugar in stand mixer on medium high for 12 minutes or until white and thick. (Note 3)
- Add vanilla and mascarpone, beat until just combined. Transfer mixture to a bowl, set aside.
- Clean bowl and whisk. Beat egg whites until stiff.
- Fold ⅓ of the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Then gradually fold the remaining yolk mixture in and mix until just combined. (Note 4)
- Mix coffee and liquor together. Quickly dip biscuits in and line the bottom of a 8”/20cm square dish. (See video to see how I arrange them).
- Spread over half the cream, then top with another layer of coffee dipped biscuits.
- Spread with remaining cream.
- Cover, refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight
- Dust with cocoa powder just before serving - either before you cut or after placing onto serving plates. (Note 5)
2. You need enough Savoiardi for 2 layers for a 8”/20cm square dish. I use these these ones from Harris Farms in Sydney, Australia and find that 200g/6.5 oz - 24 biscuits - is just right. I also use these ones or these ones from Woolworths, these are slightly larger but still work just fine (it just makes the Tiramisu slightly higher).
3. You can get away with beating the yolks just until thick and the sugar is dissolved - around 5 minutes. The reason I beat it for longer, as per the original recipe, is because it makes the cream nice and white rather than yellow.
4. It doesn't need to be perfectly smooth. It will look a bit "lumpy", being the egg whites, which means your cream mixture is lovely and light. The "lumps" smooth out when you spread the cream, and also while resting overnight.
5. Mascarpone is an Italian cheese but it tastes like cream, it's not salty at all. The texture is like soft goats cheese - you can see it in the video. In Australia (I'm in Sydney) you will find mascarpone at most supermarkets in the refrigerator section alongside tubs of ricotta cheese, cream cheese etc. Sometimes it's in the cream section.
6. Many recipes make tiramisu by beating eggs over a double boiler but this is not the traditional way to make Tiramisu. The history behind that is that in the past when the quality and freshness of produce was not as good as it is today, people were scared to use raw eggs for fear of getting sick. And because of this, the version of Tiramisu where the eggs are cooked over a double boiler evolved. Nowadays, using raw eggs in cooking is so much more acceptable because the quality of fresh produce is so much better - think mayonnaise (raw yolks), lemon meringue pie (raw egg whites under the browned top). However, the real traditional way to make Tiramisu (and this is an Italian Chef recipe) is to use raw eggs. So that's the way I make my Tiramisu!
7. Nutrition per serving, 8 servings.
Nutrition per serving, assuming 8 servings. (Updated, previous calculation was incorrect).