The Secrets To A Perfect Tiramisù

Note: it is possible to make the original Tiramisù either with or without a liquor. I have indicated below how the recipe changes in either circumstance

  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 4 Tbs. sugar
  • 250 gr. mascarpone
  • bitter sweet cacao powder
  • Savoyard cookies
  • espresso coffee
  • cognac or brandy (optional)

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until well blended. Add the mascarpone and mix well.

In another bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Gently add the yolks to the whites and mix very delicately.

Quickly dip each side of the Savoyard cookies in one of the following mixtures:

if including a liquor : mix 2 parts espresso coffee and 1 part cognac or brandy (in other words, for 2 demi cups of espresso coffee, use 1 demi cup of liquor) 

if making a “virgin” tiramisù : slightly dilute the espresso coffee with a little bit of water and a teaspoon of powdered sugar

Layer the dipped cookies on the bottom of the pan. Spread half of the egg mixture over the cookies then add another layer of dipped cookies and, finally, the rest of egg mixture over that. Lightly sprinkle the cacao powder over the top and put in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

Following are some fun variations of Tiramisù that have had great success. Both recipes are a bit more involved than the original recipe but certainly worth the trouble.

(Needs to be made 24 hours ahead. Use a 9+1/2 or 10-inch round spring-form pan)

  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 4 Tbs sugar
  • 250 gr. mascarpone
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 pint container of heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbs. powdered sugar
  • Cream of Cassis liquor (or other heavy berry liquor)
  • Savoyard cookies
  • package of frozen raspberries or mixed berries (about 1 cup)
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3 Tbs. corn starch
  • fresh raspberries and fresh mint leaves for decoration

Beat the yokes with 4 Tbs sugar until well blended. Add mascarpone and mix well.
In another bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Gently add yokes to whites

In a separate bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks, then add powdered sugar to sweeten.

Gently add the egg mixture to the whipped cream, stirring just until combined
Dilute the liquor (if particularly heavy) with a small amount of water. Quickly dip each side of the Savoyard cookies and layer on the bottom and around the sides of a spring form pan. Spread half of the egg/cream mixture over the cookies followed by one more level of dipped cookies and cover with remaining egg/cream. Put in refrigerator for several hours to firm up.

Boil the frozen fruit with 1 cup water until fruit is very soft (approx 10-15 min.). Drain, keeping the liquid!

Combine 3/4 cup sugar with corn starch and slowly add to reserved liquid, stirring constantly over medium heat so that lumps don’t form. When thick and bubbly, cook 2 min., take off heat and let cool completely, stirring occasionally. When completely cooled, spread over the top of the Tiramisù and put back in refrigerator to firm.

Decorate the top with fresh raspberries (or mixed berries) and fresh mint leaves.

(Needs to be made 24 hours ahead. Use a 10 inch spring form pan)

  • graham cracker crust
  • 12 oz. cream cheese
  • 24 oz mascarpone
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • powdered sugar
  • lemons (approx 4-5 big ones)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbs corn starch
  • yellow food coloring
  • Limoncello (optional)
  • mint leaves and thinly sliced lemons for decoration

Make graham cracker crust (crushed graham crackers and melted butter) and pat onto the bottom of a (greased) spring form pan. Bake for just a few minutes to solidify. Cool
Mix cream cheese and mascarpone together. Add grated peel from one large lemon.

In another bowl, whip the whipping cream to stiff peaks and add powdered sugar to sweeten (approx 3 heaping soup spoons, depending on taste)

In another bowl, whip the whipping cream to stiff peaks and add powdered sugar to sweeten (approx 3 heaping soup spoons, depending on taste)

For Glaze: Squeeze the juice from as many lemons as it takes to make 1 cup. Add 1/2 cup water and heat slightly in a medium saucepan. Combine the sugar and corn starch and then stir into lemon juice, whisking continuously. As it begins to thicken, add a splash of Limoncello and yellow food coloring. Taste for sugar and/or additional Limoncello. It’s best when it remains very lemony (slightly bitter). Continue whisking until thick, then take off flame and let cool, stirring occasionally.

When the glaze is completely cooled (a couple of hours, at least), spread evenly over the cheesecake and place back in refrigerator to solidify.

Decorate with mint leaves and very thinly sliced lemons.

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