Sometimes one just needs to celebrate, and one of our favorite dishes to celebrate with is Tiramisù, one of Italy’s best known and loved desserts.  Luscious and silky, it is a wonderful dessert for many occasions and is quite easy and quick to prepare . Often thought of as the quintessential Italian dessert, it is actually rather young in the pantheon of Italian cooking, originating in Venice in the mid 20th century.

What makes the perfect recipe?  Almost everyone we’ve met in the Veneto has their own “perfect” variation for Tiramisu.  There is no such thing.  As we say about all of Giuliano’s recipes, please try it the way it was written at least once, and then feel free to tweak it and make it your own.  Giuliano created the recipe in the way he thought was best.  Our rendition is light and the flavors are not overpowering.  One can diffentiate the chocolate, rum and espresso, and there is no cloying aftertaste.  The only problem with this recipe is that in our family, we can eat much more of it than is appropriate.

Tiramisù literally means “pick me up” so it’s important to use richly flavored Italian coffee, which is easily made in a stovetop Moka.  One of the key ingredients in Tiramisù is mascarpone, and we add it, one third at a time, incorporating it into the mixture taking care not to over-whip it. Finally, whip the cream until it is firm and carefully fold it in.

Pour half the filling over the layer of ladyfingers then cover with another layer of coffee-soaked ladyfingers. Then pour in the remaining mascarpone filling then generously sprinkle unsweetened cocoa on top. The tiramisù now needs to set in the refrigerator for 10-12 hours, or overnight and it’s ready to serve. Buon appetito!

Watch Giuliano prepare tiramisù in the video below he made for Safest Choice pasteurized eggs.


© 2011 by Giuliano Hazan

Serves 12 people

2 cups Italian coffee

4 large egg yolks

5 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons Strega or yellow Chartreuse liqueur

2 tablespoons dark rum

1 (500 gram or 1 pound) container mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup heavy cream

About 8 ounces dry ladyfingers

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1.  Make the coffee and pour it into a shallow bowl wide enough for soaking the ladyfingers.  Set aside to cool.

2.  Soak half the ladyfingers in the coffee, two at a time, allowing the liquid to penetrate them completely but letting the excess drain out of them, and place them in a single layer on bottom of a 3-quart serving dish at least 1 1/2 inches deep.

3.  Whisk the egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and pale yellow with a custard-like consistency, 2 to 3 minutes.  Mix in the Strega and rum, then mix in the mascarpone, about 1/2 cup at a time, being careful not to over whip the mixture so it does not separate.

4.  In a separate bowl whip the cream until it forms firm peaks.  Carefully fold into the mascarpone mixture with a rubber spatula.

5.  Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the coffee soaked ladyfingers.  Soak the remaining ladyfingers and arrange them over the mascarpone, then spread the remaining mascarpone mixture on top.  Use a fine mesh strainer or sifter to sprinkle the cocoa over the top, covering the mascarpone mixture completely.  Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours, or overnight.

6.  Serve chilled, cutting the Tiramisú into square portions with a serving spatula and placing them on dessert plates.