Note added August 28, 2022: This was one of the first recipes that I published on my blog, over 10 years ago. This still remains one of my favorites, even though I don’t prepare it very often anymore. I’ve recently made it again to teach it to a friend, and made photos along the way as both my equipment and photography skills have improved a lot over the last 10 years and these new photos do this wonderful dessert more justice. This time around I’ve made the tiramisù in individual servings rather than one large dish (which is almost impossible to serve neatly). Otherwise I make tiramisù exactly the same as 10 years ago and I’ve left the recipe the same.
Not very original, but this remains one of my favorite desserts. “Tira mi su” literally means “pull me up”, and that refers to the lightness of this dessert. Yes, lightness. Although it will of course never be low in calories, it is possible to make a ‘fluffy’ version of Tiramisu that is not extremely dense. Best results are obtained when you make this one day in advance and if you do not transport it too much (after an hour-long ride in a car the mousse tends to separate).
Please note that this recipe requires the use of raw eggs. So only use very fresh eggs or use pasteurized egg whites and egg yolks.
For 4 generous or 6 smaller servings:
4 egg whites
4 egg yolks
125 ml (1/2 cup) cold espresso (or very strong coffee)
200 grams (7 oz) savoiardi (Italian ladyfingers, or use regular ladyfingers)
60 ml (4 Tbsp) sweet marsala (or substitute with amaretto)
60 ml (4 Tbsp) amaretto di saronno (or substitute with marsala)
50 grams (4 Tbsp) sugar
250 grams (1 cup) mascarpone cheese
Prepare the espresso, allow it to cool somewhat, then add 60 ml amaretto.
Combine the egg yolks with the mascarpone and marsala in a bowl (if mixing by hand) or in the bowl of a food processor.
Whisk (by hand) or process (with the food processor) until smooth.
Beat egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form. Make sure that there is not the tiniest bit of egg yolk mixed in the egg whites, otherwise you won’t be able to obtain a foam. Add the sugar while the machine is running…
…and continue until the sugar has been mixed in and the egg whites are quite firm. Whipping the egg whites is most easily accomplished with an electric mixer, but you could also do it by hand.
Fold the egg whites carefully into the mascarpone-egg yolks mixture in at least three parts, working with a silicon spatula from below.
By folding carefully and no heavy stirring, you keep the mousse as fluffy as possible.
Dip savoiardi in espresso individually until they are completely submerged, then take them out at once (so do not soak them for too long). The amount of coffee and amaretto should be exactly right for the amount of savoiardi. If you run out of coffee prematurely that means you have been dipping too slowly, if you have a lot of coffee left over that means you have been dipping too quickly.
Make a layer of savoiardi in a flat shallow dish that has the right size for half the savoiardi, or make a layers in each individual serving bowl, cutting savoiardi in half with a knife as needed.
Spread half of the mousse on top of the first layer of savoiardi.
Add a second layer of saviordi that were dipped in cold espresso…
…and cover with the remaining mousse.
For the best flavor and texture, it is best to store the tiramisù in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for at least 8 hours and preferably overnight. Make sure the plastic wrap does not touch the surface of the mousse.
Sprinkle with sieved cocoa powder to finish. You could do this before refrigerating, but doing it afterwards ensures the top of the tiramisù will look nice.
Tiramisù should be served cool but not cold, so take it out of the refrigerator about half an hour before serving.
Although tiramisù is Italian, the best wine pairing for it is Spanish: Pedro Ximenez sweet sherry is outstanding with tiramisù! If you want to keep it Italian, a Moscato Passito is your best bet.