I have been making this classic Italian dessert for years. Please do follow my advice of preparing it the day before – the flavours change completely, the mascarpone mixture firms a little and the whole thing becomes a heady mix of vanilla, orange, chocolate, Vinsanto, espresso and creamy mascarpone. Sometimes I add a layer of berries, but do be careful to drain them so the juice doesn’t make your mascarpone mixture too watery.
This recipe makes about six portions in medium-sized glasses. If you want to double it, you can just double the ingredients below or even just add another tub of mascarpone and extra coffee and keep the other ingredients the same for a slightly less intense, less sweet result that is still delicious. If there are just two of… well, I say STILL make this six-portion option because you will not be able to stop at one glass!
Keep an eye on your coffee during your Savoiardi bath so that half way through you can always add a little water to extend it before you run out completely, to save you making another pot.
500 grams mascarpone (at room temperature because as I said in the video, if mixed with a liquid of a different temperature, sometimes it can curdle when mixed)
1.5 cups of espresso or coffee (as I mentioned in the video, I like to use decaf so everyone can enjoy dessert late at night)
5 eggs (5 egg yolks and 4 whites – you can use all the whites but sometimes I opt for one less if I know I’m not going to have as much time for it to rest in the fridge so as to make the cream a little more solid)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
200 grams sugar (best if it’s fine so it dissolves well)
15 grams of cacao powder
2 tablespoons of finely chopped orange zest (optional and I highly recommend chopping the zest for a really intense flavour that fuses so well with the dark chocolate)
4-6 tablespoons of Vinsanto (optional or you could any other sweet dessert wine)
1 small block of dark chocolate (optional – I like to add for extra texture as well as the cacao)
1 pack of Savoiardi biscuits (if you can’t find these, sometimes in their absence I have used pan di spagna sponge cut into small squares – just be aware to not soak as much with the coffee or your tiramisu’ will become too sloppy)
- Start by taking your mascarpone out of the fridge and making a big pot of espresso. We want the coffee to be cool by the time we get to dipping the Savoiardi biscuits otherwise, the heat will melt our mascarpone cream. So when it is done, pour into a large shallow dish for our future “Savoiardi bath”.
- Separate the eggs and in a bowl mix 5 egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, Vinsanto and orange zest and put the 4 egg whites in another large bowl. (See note above regarding number of whites)
- Whisk your egg whites until they form stiff peaks like a little snow-capped mountain range.
- Do you see in the video how I mixed my yolks and other yummy ingredients in that small bowl and THEN transferred into a large one with the mascarpone. That was silly. I was sleep-deprived and not thinking straight. If you mix them in a big bowl to begin with there will be enough room to now mix in your mascarpone. You will need to mix quite thoroughly because after this we’re only folding gently.
- Now we add our whipped egg whites but we want to be careful not to lose all that lovely dreamy air we’ve just created so only fold with a spoon, not a whisk.
- Now we can bathe our biscuits in that delicious espresso. I didn’t show it in the video but I often give each biscuit a little squeeze to remove excess liquid because I’ve found that some homemade tiramisu’ suffers when people have too much liquid that then ruins the texture and the distinct layers.
- Now we layer: mascarpone cream, cacao powder, grated chocolate, Savoiardi biscuits. Repeat. As you can see from the first layer I did in the video, you can make the piping bag with baking paper just folded into a square a couple of times, with a little snip for a hole in the corner. This helps get a lovely clean presentation in the glasses, which is hard on the first layer. You could also just spoon it in or pour from a jug, as I did in the video.
- PLEASE promise me you will leave them in the fridge to set. They are honestly a million times better. Something wonderful happens to all those flavours and the best tiramisu’ is slightly dense and firm, which you will only get once the layers have had at least half a day or 24 hours in the fridge. Okay, maybe a compromise – lick the bowl with some of those extra Savoiardi biscuits if you really can’t resist. Xxx Kylie