Classic Tiramisu

By • November 24, 2013 • 10 Comments

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Author Notes: This is the recipe that I've been using since I was sixteen years old. It’s a very simple dish that requires very little effort and only the patience of allowing some time between assembling it and eating it for that perfect moment that allows the mingling of flavours and the softening of biscuits. Perfect, really, for a busy cook preparing for a celebration as this can be made the night before. The original versions did not include alcohol as this was also a favourite children’s dessert (obviously nobody thought twice about the caffeine hit but it is the lesser of two evils in this case) and, despite the stick-form of the biscuits (and how they annoyingly never snap where you want them to), tiramisu was round rather than rectangular.Emiko

Serves 8

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup fine sugar
  • 20 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 packet ladyfinger cookies (10-14 oz worth; exactly will depend on the shape of the container)
  • 1/2 cup strong black coffee
  • splashes marsala or rum (optional)
  • powdered bittersweet cocoa or grated chocolate
  1. To make the mascarpone cream, separate the yolks and the whites into two medium to large sized bowls. Whip the yolks with the sugar until you have a dense, creamy and pale mixture. Add the mascarpone until combined. Whisk the egg whites (make sure you use a very clean bowl, glass or metal is best, and very clean beaters to quickly get beautifully stiff whites) until you have stiff peaks that hold their shape even when you turn the bowl upside down. Fold the whites into the mascarpone mixture. Set aside, and if not using straight away, store covered in the fridge.
  2. Make a fresh pot of strong, black coffee and pour into a wide bowl. If using rum or marsala, you can add it here. Dip one side quickly and one side only of a lady finger biscuit into the coffee and layer, coffee side up in your prepared tin. Repeat with more biscuits until you have a nice, tight layer that covers the base of the tin. Cover the lady fingers with a thick layer of mascarpone cream. Repeat layering with lady fingers then cream again, finishing with a thick layer of cream.
  3. Leave in the fridge overnight, covered. Dust with plenty of bitter cocoa powder or grated chocolate before serving.
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17 days ago Scott

What size spring form pan is that?

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17 days ago Emiko

It's a 9 inch pan.

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about 1 month ago Ileea34

Hi i would like to know if using the marsala in both places how much of it should go in each?
Or is 20oz. Each too much. Or use all in cream base. And if u want more in coffee how much? Thk u

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about 1 month ago Emiko

This is a recipe I usually do by eye (in fact it was written especially for the "How to make without a recipe" column!) but a shot in each would be good - this is about 30 ml or 1 oz! I would use it in one or the other personally but this is also all about adapting this recipe to how you like it yourself! :)

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2 months ago Kris

Love the step-wise illustration. I am concerned about the raw eggs however. Is there a particular type of eggs you buy for this?

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about 1 month ago Emiko

Hi Kris, I am lucky enough to have my own chickens so I get very fresh eggs! Before I had them though, I would always go for fresh farmers' market eggs - organic, free range, etc. Hope that helps.

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6 months ago Cecile

Emiko, can I substitute marsala with vin santo?

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6 months ago Emiko

Absolutely! You can pretty much substitute the marsala with any alcohol that you like - vin santo is perfect ;)

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about 1 year ago peanut butter

if using marsala or rum, when does that happen?

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about 1 year ago Emiko

It can go in two places (either or both or neither, depending on your preference!). One - and this is especially when using marsala, personally - is in the mascarpone cream. The other is together with the coffee. Thanks for pointing this out!