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Tiramisù

Australian Gourmet Traveller Italian dessert recipe for tiramisù

By Adelaide Lucas
  • Serves 6
Tiramisù
Tiramisù

'Pick me up': the literal translation of tira mi sù, could refer to the coffee, or the booze. But when you take on board its metaphorical connotation -'make me happy' - the version of its history that sees it as the favoured pick-me-up of Venetian courtiers, eaten between bouts of, ahem, courting, looks all the more valid.

That said, this most loved of Italian desserts is posited by many to have a far shorter history than you may have guessed. Some say it has only existed since the late 60s, born in Treviso at a restaurant called Le Beccherie. Others claim that it evolved, as Lorenza De'Medici suggests inItaly: The Beautiful Cookbook, from a dessert made in Siena, zuppa del duca. The evolution from trifle, like those 'zuppa Inglese' made in Italy with sponge, liqueur, chocolate, custard and cream, to the espresso-injected, mascarpone-lightened version we love today, at any rate, seems a reasonable bet.

For the best results, use the finest mascarpone you can lay your hands on, and good coffee, and try to serve it fresh, so that the savoiardi biscuits still have some texture.

Layers of espresso-dipped sponge, mascarpone, chocolate and liqueur: this Italian favourite is nothing to trifle with.

Ingredients

Tiramisù
  • 500 gm mascarpone
  • 4 eggwhites
  • 250 ml strong espresso, cooled (1 cup)
  • 185 ml Marsala
  • To serve: Dutch process cocoa powder
  • To serve: dark chocolate, shaved
Savoiardi biscuits
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 150 gm caster sugar (2/3 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 110 gm plain flour (½ cup)
  • For dusting: white sugar
Zabaglione
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 80 ml Marsala (1/3 cup)

Method

Main
  • 1
    For savoiardi biscuits, preheat oven to 180C. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks, 55gm sugar and vanilla extract until pale and creamy. In a separate bowl, whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt until soft peaks form, then gradually add remaining sugar and beat until stiff and shiny. Add to yolk mixture and gently fold through, sift over flour and fold through until just combined. Using a piping bag fitted with a 2cm-plain nozzle, pipe 7cm-long fingers spaced 2cm apart onto lightly greased and lined oven trays, scatter with white sugar and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Transfer paper with biscuits to a wire rack to cool. Makes about 40. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  • 2
    For zabaglione, whisk egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water until pale, add Marsala and whisk for about 10 minutes or until tripled in volume and mixture holds a trail. Cool.
  • 3
    Place mascarpone in bowl and beat until smooth, add zabaglione and fold to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk eggwhites until soft peaks form, then gently fold through zabaglione mixture.
  • 4
    Combine espresso and Marsala in a bowl. Dip biscuits in espresso liquid, place two in each base of 6 serving glasses, top each with a ¼ cup of zabaglione mixture and repeat twice more with biscuits and zabaglione mixture. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Serve dusted with cocoa and chocolate shavings.

Notes

The tiramisù here involves house-made savoiardi, proper Marsala and Italian mascarpone. Como Centre, 299 Toorak Rd, South Yarra, Vic, (03) 9826 2277.
The 'Locatelli family tiramisù' appears on the menu at this local hero. 5 Baptist St, Surry Hills, NSW, (02) 8394 9368.
This Brisbane stayer offers a tiramisù that’s pure tradition. 41 Sherwood Rd, Toowong, Qld, (07) 3870 4933.
WHERE TO TRY IT
Bizzarri Restaurant Two
Alio
MariosartiNote You can use bought savoiardi biscuits but we like the idea of making them from scratch.

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  • Author: Adelaide Lucas