Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tiramisu - The Pick-me-up dessert

If there is something that seasoned travellers in my opinion have to thank, it is the Italians for their food. Their food has found its way into the hearts of millions around the world. Pastas and warm flaky, crisp crusts of pizzas are just saviours when you’re away at work and less on time. I feel so comfortable when I order a Pizza Quattro Formaggi or a Ravioli Pasta in Cream Sauce. And you know what’s coming next to finish the meal. The Tiramisu.

Tiramisu is the quintessential and most popular Italian Dessert. The literal meaning of Tiramisu is ‘pick-me- up’. 

This is partially because of the caffeine in it and partially because it elevates your spirits to a different level all together. Invented and first made in Northern Italy during 1960’s -70’s in small town away from Venice called Treviso before the dessert became popular in whole of Italy later being shared on Menus of the world.

The classic recipe calls for ladyfingers biscuits soaked in bitter strong espresso coffee, mascarpone-zabaglione cream (this is Italian custard made with egg yolks, sugar and Marsala Wine) and topped with and bitter cocoa powder. The way we make today is more like the trifle, between layers of soft sponge cake dipped in coffee and Marsala topped with custard that is mixed with mascarpone cheese. And garnished with cocoa powder.

For my version of Tiramisu I use Espresso coffee along with a coffee liqueur and Marsala wine. You’re lucky if you can find Marsala in India, because it was difficult for me to find one and I got mine from Italy. If you don’t find Marsala Wine you may use any coffee liqueur like Bailey’s Irish Cream, KahlĂșa, Amarula, or Illy’s Espresso Liqueur will do.


Seperated Egg Sponge Cake 250 gms or 10' sheet 
6 Egg Yolks
4 Egg Whites
150 gms Sugar
350 gms Mascarpone Cheese
3 cups strong espresso coffee
60 ml Coffee Liquor (Kahlua)
60 ml Marsala

Beat together the yolks and half the quantity of sugar. Once thick and creamy add the cheese and mic for jus 2-3 mins on medium, do not over beat it otherwise this mix might curdle. Keep mix aside. Now beat egg whites with sugar until stiff peaks. Incorporate the egg whites into the yolk mixture and gently fold. 

Mix the liquids (marsala,liqueur and coffee) in a bowl and keep aside. Now layer a thin sheet of cake in a deep tray of about 8-9 inches, preferable rectangular or square deep dish. Soak the cake with a brush completely with this coffee and liqueur mix. No pour the mascarpone batter. Place another layer of cake and repeat the process one more time. Finally topping the dish with a thick layer of mascarpone cheese. Dust a good layer of bitter cocoa powder. Refridgerate for atleast 6 hours before serving.


  1. Yummy ! Thanks for sharing this mesmerizing recipe along with the proper method to cook. Its a great time fun to read new recipes and try them at home. Its amazing !