Jonathan Coe was once “politely” berated by an Italian journalist for sending a character from his novel Expo 58 to a Soho trattoria for lasagna and tiramisu, a year before (depending on who you believe) dessert with alcohol first appeared on menus in northern Italy. . Smoothly creamy, yet spiked with coffee, this little pick-me-up (as its name translates) is a true modern classic.
Homework 35 minutes
It serves 6-8
100 ml of strong coffee (see step 1)
75g powdered sugar
2 tablespoons sweet marsala (optional)
2 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
16-24 savoiardi cookies (or boudoir), depending on the size of your plate
cocoa powderto dust
1 Make the coffee
Espresso is ideal, because you want the coffee to be as intense in flavor as possible, but if you don’t have the means at home, a strong pot, moka or filter coffee maker, or even a cup of instant coffee will do the trick. just like a takeout from your favorite diner if you don’t.
2 Separate the eggs
Separate the eggs into two large, clean bowls – you will be whipping the whites into a foam, so it is important that they are not contaminated with yolk, which could interfere with the process. As such, I’d advise breaking each white into a small bowl first, so you can make sure of this before adding it to the larger bowl.
3 Beat the egg whites
Beat the whites until stiff, instead of droopy peaks; you should be able to hold the bowl upside down with confidence, though be careful when trying this.
(Don’t be tempted to keep whisking after they get to this stage, because they’ll quickly start to break down into a watery mess, and you’ll need to whisk on a fresh white to get them back.) Reserve.
4 Mix the egg yolks with the sugar
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until voluminous and pale yellow in color; Like beating egg whites, this is most easily done with a mixer or electric beaters. Drain excess liquid from the mascarpone, if necessary, put it in a medium bowl and beat with a wooden spoon to loosen it up a bit.
5 Mix the egg yolks and mascarpone
Beat the cheese with the egg yolks little by little, until you have a smooth mixture without lumps – with such a simple dessert, it is worth taking your time, but try not to be too violent or you will lose the air you need. We just beat the yolks and sugar.
6 Add the beaten egg whites
Using a large metal spoon, gently mix a third of the whipped whites into the cheese mixture, then once well combined, mix in the rest, again being careful to remove as little air from the mixture as possible. (The pudding will still be edible if it’s a bit flat, or lumpy, but it won’t be as deliciously light.)
7 Now for the coffee (and alcohol)
Put the coffee and alcohol, if you use it, on a wide plate. Alcohol doesn’t feature in all versions of tiramisu, but it makes for a more interesting dish. Feel free to adjust to taste: I suggest pairing something sweet and something strong (sweet sherry or a liqueur like amaretto or triple sec instead of marsala, and brandy or grappa instead of rum).
8 Soak the cookies
Dip each biscuit (savoiardi, available in larger supermarkets and Italian specialists, are best, because they are drier and lighter than dressing biscuits or biscuits, but use what you can find) in the coffee mixture until just a pale brown color. , and then use them to line the bottom of a medium bowl.
9 layers, chill, then dust with cocoa
Pour a third of the mascarpone mixture over the cookies, followed by a generous sprinkle of cocoa.
Repeat the layers two more times, ending with a layer of the cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate for four to six hours before serving, although you can make it a day ahead if needed, before finishing with a final flourish of cocoa sprinkles on top.