Are you looking for the perfect way to finish an Italian dinner? Today I want to share the original Italian tiramisu recipe, or at least the one I received from my mom and that made her famous among our friends. A true Italian grandma’s tiramisu 🙂
According to Marla Gulley Roncaglia, Italian Cuisine Expert and author for the blog Menuism (see
https://www.menuism.com/blog/10-essential-italian-desserts/#more-10598 ), among all the Italian desserts, only gelato is more popular worldwide than tiramisu.
Tiramisu: some history
Tiramisu, literally translated in “pick me up“, is said to be the invention of a maitress in Treviso, Northeast Italy, during the 19th century. The function of this aphrodisiac dessert was to give “energy” to the men after visiting her, and if you think of the ingredients the story seems definitely realistic.
After that, tiramisu became during last century a typical dessert in Treviso and not only, until the 80s when it started to become a very popular recipe all over the world.
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Tiramisu: pavesini or savoiardi?
Actually, more or less any family in my Country has its own original tiramisu recipe! The main debate is about pavesini versus savoiardi (lady fingers). I will be very quick: savoiardi were in the very first version of the recipe, but I always use pavesini, I believe them to make my tiramisu softer and more creamy, since they almost faint into the cream. Follow the instructions below and let me know in the comments what your result was!
Original Italian tiramisu
- espresso coffee machine
- 8 shots coffee espresso coffee shots
- 5 eggs 5 yolks and 4 egg whites
- 400 gr mascarpone cheese
- 160 gr powdered (icing) sugar
- 1.5 packs Pavesini cookies
- 2 spoons cognac
- 1 spoon bitter cocoa powder as required to cover the dessert
- Prepare the coffee and let it cool down until ambient temperature. Add the cognac. Then separate yolks from egg whites. You will use 5 yolks and 4 egg whites. Slowly mix the yolks with the powdered sugar.
- Add to the cream the mascarpone cheese and gently mix them.
- Fast whip the egg whites until they get thick.
- Add the whipped egg whites to the cream and gently mix them with a spoon.
- Dip each Pavesini cookie into the coffee and create a layer in your kitchen bowl.
- Add a layer of cream, then a layer of cookies, and so on until you finish the cream. The top layer must be cream.
- Cover and put in the fridge. When you are ready to serve it, add the bitter cocoa powder.
- Enjoy! Buon appetito 🙂
- use ingredients at ambient temperature, mixing them will be a lot easier;
- you can work the cream with a spoon, but a mixer will make it easier. I use a Kitchenaid Artisan;
- you can add a drop of lemon juice when whipping the egg whites: the success of the tiramisu is highly affected by the thickness of the whipped egg whites;
- the tiramisu will taste better after one day in the fridge.
The origin of this tiramisu recipe is my mother’s recipes book. It was the typical dessert of our Sunday lunches. Curious about what the usual menu looked like? First, tagliatelle with bolognese sauce, then pan-roasted chicken, and finally this authentic tiramisu recipe. It was not a bad day 😉
Original Italian tiramisu FAQ
Yes, tiramisu is a typical Italian dessert! The word is the fusion of “tirami” (pick me) and “su” (up), so it would sound like “pick me up” or “cheer me up”.
Actually in Italy it is not an expensive dessert. If you check the list of ingredients, there is not an expensive one. So I guess is more related to the value that the market recognizes to this food than a cost-based valuation. Abroad, mascarpone cheese can be little bit expensive, though.
Usually the tiramisu results being watery when you beat the egg whites too much. Similarly to mayo, you must stop when they get thick and solid. Other tip, always remember to add the whipped egg whites to the cream with gentle movements, bottom up.
Consider that tiramisu includes alcohol and coffee, so my answer is “definitely not”. In addition to this, also cocoa powder is not recommended to young kids.