December 18, 2007
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.
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!