December 18, 2007

Cantucci Tiramisù

This one is a classic and as far as I can tell it's everyone's favorite. But Tiramisu is a relatively recent Italian creation. Some people claim that this savory dessert was born during the 60's in Treviso, however there's a more romantic version giving Venice the pleasure of its birth. But don't think about the glamor of Venice nowadays. Since tira-mi-sù means pick-me-up, some imaginative minds tell the story about a secret dessert made by Venetian courtesans in order to attract and satisfy their genteel clientele.

The more widespread recipe calls for ladyfingers cookies, known as savoiardi in Italian. However I tried almond cantucci instead. Cantucci are known in America as biscotti, those very crispy and golden Italian cookies; while in Italian, biscotti simply means cookies. But I'm sure I'm confusing you, so let's go to the recipe.

Ingredients (serves 6)

8 cantucci (biscotti)
8 oz mascarpone cheese
3 pasteurized eggs
1/2 cup + 2 tsp of sugar
1 cup of espresso
3 Tbsp cognac
cocoa powder
pinch of salt

Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs using two different bowls. Beat the yolks with the 1/2 cup of sugar for 3 minutes and when it's light and bright yellow in color, add the mascarpone cheese. Beat for another 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Then beat the whites with a pinch of salt until firm and stiff peaks form. Mix both the creamy mascarpone and yolks and the whipped whites in a very very gentle way. Prepare 6 serving cups and add about 1 tbsp of the mascarpone mixture. Break the biscotti into parts and put a piece on each cup, then moisten them using caffè corretto (espresso + cognac + 2 tsp sugar). Make 2 or 3 layers repeating the same operation. Finish with the mascarpone mixture and sprinkle cocoa powder on top. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, but it tastes way better the next day!
Posted by Daziano at 10:47 AM |  
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