Classic Tiramisu: Revised


This summer, in Idaho, with my brother-in-law’s brother, Michele Passaleva from Florence, I learned that my classic tiramisu recipe was more complicated than it needed to be.  He taught me an even better method: his wife, Stefania’s.

Stefania’s Tiramisu

5 eggs, separated

5 big spoonfuls of white sugar

500 grams of Mascarpone

enough lady fingers (2 packages)

espresso for dipping the lady fingers (3/4 cup)

semi-sweet chocolate for grating (1 bar)

Combine the yolks and sugar and beat with a whisk until creamy and smooth and gorgeous.  Add the mascarpone and continue to stir until light and lovely.  In a mixer, whip the whites until stiff.  Fold into the yolks.  In a bowl place lady fingers in rows after lightly dipping in espresso.  Cover with mascarpone mixture, grate chocolate. Repeat as many times as the mascarpone mixture will allow (usually around 4 layers).  Dust the top with shaved chocolate.  Chill for 6 hours.  Know that it is always best on the second day. Serves 6-8.

Cook’s note:

1) This recipe can easily be doubled.

2) In America, with egg recalls, many people are skittish about using raw egg.  For an authentic tiramisu there is no way around it.  Whipped cream makes it too heavy.  Cooking the yolks in the top of a double-boiler (as I instruct in my previous recipe) doesn’t get hot enough to cook them and there are still the whites, which give air and lightness to the dessert, to contend with.  I happen to use eggs from my mother’s chickens.  In Idaho, without her eggs, we bought the most organic brand we could find.  And this was in the middle of the egg recall.

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5 thoughts on “Classic Tiramisu: Revised

  1. Martha – you’ve saved the day! I was trying to figure out a desert to make for my Italian Heritage Festa here at the new “Pool House” at Ca’del Bosco – this is it!!!! Except, I think you should come down to VA and join me….October 8th! xx

    1. Oh how lovely. I wish I could. I promise the tiramisu will be a hit! Or my gateau au chocolat: le diablo. Send a picture of the new pool house. I remember seeing a model for it in a magazine you had. xx

  2. Lovely!! Thank you!! Looks terrific and I can’t wait to make it for the family. Sorry to miss you in NYC. Hope you two and the children have had a fine start to the new academic year. All best, Roxandra

  3. Remember: the simpler the better. You don’t need marsala or heavy cream or vanilla or anything else. The mascarpone has loads of flavor and the simplicity of nothing else allows the espresso, ladyfingers, mascarpone and chocolate to work their magic as an ensemble.

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