While in Florence last fall, I had the opportunity to take three different cooking classes just for fun. Despite ‘Cuisine of Tuscany’ being the incredibly creative focus of each tourist-geared class, the only duplicated recipe was tiramisu.
All three approaches were slight variations on a theme, and I was more than happy to test each one and return home with this surprisingly simple, classic version added to my stash of all foods impressive but easy.
And it truly isn’t difficult to make tiramisu. In fact, it’s an ideal dish for entertaining as it can be made up to twenty-four hours ahead, fully assembled, and kept chilled. A single, large tiramisu is a sure winner, but this individual-serving version is easier to serve, looks beautiful in a stemmed wine or dessert glass, and just makes people happy. I’ve never seen anyone unhappily eating tiramisu. Ever.
Tonight was no exception. My wonderfully sweet new friend- the mussels neighbor– had a dinner party with the theme “your favorite recipes from travels around the world.” These portable plastic-cup versions performed brilliantly. I love returning home empty handed. From dinner parties at least.
Classic Tiramisu, serves 5
- 1 lb mascarpone cheese (Italian cream cheese)
- 4 eggs, separated
- 5 Tbs white, granulated sugar
- 5 Tbs unsweetened cocoa, in sifter
- 5 Ladyfinger cookies (or any cookie that will soak easily)
- 1 cup strong coffee or espresso, room temp
Beat egg whites on high speed to stiff peaks in the clean bowl of a mixer. This will take a few minutes. You can also whisk by hand to stiff peaks- it will take a while, and you may not love me for the suggestion.
Briskly beat the mascarpone into the yolk mixture. It will initially seem quite lumpy but will become creamy and smooth in just a few minutes.