Friday, May 24, 2013

A Tiramisu Special

Perhaps one of the most popular Italian desserts loved all around the world, Tiramisu is a coffee-flavored sponge cake with mascarpone cheese and ladyfingers. In this recipe by renowned chef Renato Piccolotto, tiramisu is prepared as a cupcake with a chocolate gondola served in a pool of custard cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce. This is the gourmet tiramisu served at the legendary Hotel Cipriani, known as Cipriani Tiramisu. You can make this at home and serve it to family and friends, paired with coffee, tea or cognac for a wonderful way to end the evening or a lunch meeting.

One of the special ingredients you need to make a rich and decadent tiramisu is the Italian cheese known as mascarpone. This is a type of cream cheese that is made of 60 to 75% milk fat. It is a very rich cheese, yet light and airy at the same time, typically sold in small containers in the chilled section of the grocery. Italian mascarpone produces an ethereal and luxurious tiramisu while the American version of cream cheese will produce a denser and heavier tiramisu.

If possible, use the Italian version of ladyfingers, known as Savoiardi. Ladyfingers are a type of sponge biscuits or sponge cookies that are sweet, light and oval in shape. They are also known as sponge fingers, Savoy biscuits, Naples biscuits, Boudoir biscuits, or biscuits à la cuillère. These crisp but spongy and delicate biscuits are soaked in the freshly brewed coffee, preferably espresso, and layered with the rest of the tiramisu. If you can get Italian coffee brands that are high quality and rich in flavor, the better. Some popular Italian brands include Cello, Kimbo, Mauro, and Lavazza. More video recipes like this are available in the link.

Use the freshest organic eggs that you can find since the eggs in this recipe will be prepared and served raw. You can also mix the eggs in a bain-marie or over a water bath or double-boiler to heat it a little without scrambling it.


8.8 oz. mascarpone (an Italian triple-cream cheese)
3 eggs (separated)
5 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons Italian Marsala wine
12 long sugared cookies (lady fingers)
¾ cup strong coffee
1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
1 small cup molten chocolate for garnishing

1. Separate egg yolks from whites. Add sugar to the yolks. Beat the yolks and sugar with a hand mixer smooth and creamy. Add the mascarpone and stir gently. Flavor with Italian Marsala wine. Mix until you get a smooth cream with an even consistency.

2. Clean the whisk or hand mixer and beat the egg whites until it becomes a foamy mousse with nice stiff peaks, fold them in to the yolk mixture.

3. Dip the ladyfingers or Savoiardi biscuit in the coffee and place on the chocolate cup. Cover with the mascarpone mixture, sprinkle with powdered cocoa. Place chocolate gondola on top.

4. Spread Italian custard cream on a plate. Make decorative patterns with chocolate sauce on the custard. Place the tiramisu in the center and serve.

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