My husband and I share a love for this dessert. If we find it on a restaurant menu alongside Creme Brûlée, we will usually order both and share! It’s definitely a bonus when you share the same food likes and dislikes with your spouse.
At this time of year, this is one dessert I will make multiple times. It often graces a Christmas table and then again at a New Year function or casual BBQ with friends.
For entertaining groups, I always make it in a large glass dish, it just seems to go further.
If however, I only wanted to serve 6-8, I would serve it in individual glasses.
This seemed to be the way the Europeans did it, when we ate our way through Italy and France back in June.
My first Tiramisu was in Venice, and I still think was probably the best of the whole trip. It is thought that Venice is the home of Tiramisu, which means ‘pick me up’ or ‘cheer me up’ in Italian. It most definitely does that every time you eat it. I am not sure whether it’s the coffee or the alcohol 🙂 Thanks to my travel buddies for letting me photograph their food….again!
My second Tiramisu was in Tuscany, in the most gorgeous city of Pienza. A shout out goes to my friend Angela who is the hand model in this picture.
My third Tiramisu was in Paris. Due to an over tired 5 year old, we decided to stay in our apartment for dinner that night, but my husband graciously went on a mission to find some dessert. He came back with a very funny story about how he had to convince the waitress to let him have the Tiramisu ‘take-away’ and that he promised to wash and return the dish the next day. Him speaking no French, and her not understanding much English, made this exchange quite memorable. We delivered the dish back to them the next day as promised!
My final Tiramisu was on our last night of the whole trip. We found ourselves in the cutest fishing village, Cassis (pronounced Kasi), in the South of France.
Vineyards grow on cliff faces, alongside centuries old chateaus. The area mainly produces rose` and white wine. The water was a brilliant aqua colour and looked stunning against the backdrop of the white limestone cliffs.
There are so many variations of this wonderful dessert. Some people use gingerbread at this time of year. Other versions are frozen, which is great for summer time entertaining. Some people leave out the alcohol and just use coffee to make it kid friendly, others add chunks of chocolate in the biscuit layer.
The below recipe is from Karen Martini and is my favourite.
I have added some photos here of each step to give you an idea of how easy it is. A shout out to my patient brother, who held this bowl so beautifully in the photos at our recent family gathering.
- 400ml espresso coffee
- 125ml marsala (sweet Italian wine, leave out if you wish)
- 50ml Kahlua
- 50ml brandy
- 2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 5 eggs, separated
- 100 grams castor sugar
- 500 grams mascarpone
- 75 grams cocoa powder
- 100 grams dark chocolate, grated
- 200-300 grams savoiardi biscuits (you will use more or less depending on the size of your dish)
- Chill one large glass dish in the fridge until needed (or 8 small glass dishes).
- In a large bowl, combine coffee, marsala, Kahlua, brandy and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, using electric beaters, beat the egg yolks and sugar until very light and thick (see picture).
- Fold the mascarpone through and set aside.
- In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Fold egg white mixture into the mascarpone mixture.
- Dust the base of the glass bowl with cocoa and then sprinkle with some of the grated chocolate.
- Add some mascarpone mixture and spread in an even layer.
- Quickly dip biscuits, a few at a time, into the coffee mixture and place on top of the mascarpone mixture. (If you leave them in for too long, the biscuit will start to fall apart and the tiramisu will taste too soggy).
- Dust with cocoa and sprinkle with grated chocolate.
- Repeat layering, finishing with mascarpone.
- If you are making in advance, cover loosely with cling wrap at this stage and refrigerate until needed.
- Just before serving, dust with more cocoa and sprinkle with grated chocolate.