Thursday, August 02, 2007


I never make tiramisu because it can be such an intimidating dessert. Layered and decadent, the full flavor of espresso and the creaminess of mascarpone align to please the tastebuds. This was a sensation I'd forgotten about in the craze of summer ice cream indulgence, but I was having a dinner with homemade gnocchi, pesto and tomato sauce, and tiramisu seemed to be an appropriate dessert route.

The recipe I chose was from a cookbook I used frequently during my semester in Italy (and I won't admit how many times I constructed tiramisu during those four months). It's a fairly simple procedure. Mix espresso, or strong coffee, and rum in a bowl, and dip ladyfingers into the liquid. Line a pan of your choice with the ladyfingers and set aside. Next, using a mixer, beat egg yolks (reserve the whites), a pound of mascarpone cheese, and sugar until blended. Transfer it to a separate container and clean the mixing bowl. Beat the egg whites until they form stuff peaks, and fold them into the creamy mascarpone mixture. Smooth this over the ladyfingers, and then shave three to four ounces of bittersweet chocolate over the top - a simple but impressive finish. My only complaint with this recipe is that the tiramisu has to sit in the fridge overnight, but it is certainly worth the wait.

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