Is Tiramisu your favourite dessert? Have you ever thought of making Tiramisu yourself?
Well, I guess you’ll be needing the Best Tiramisu Recipe.
Tiramisu (tiramisù) from the Italian language, means “pick me up”, “lift me or cheer me up”. What a delightful way to describe this delicious Italian dessert that is a killer combo of sponge, cream and coffee.
A lot of tiramisu’s have a really intense and overwhelming coffee flavour, while others are really soggy. Tiramisu isn’t supposed to be either…
Lets look at the distinctive components of tiramisu before we dive into a recipe.
Tiramisu is typically made of savoiardi (ladyfingers) dipped in coffee and liquor before being covered lovingly with rich creamy layers of whipped mascarpone, egg and sugar.
Whilst you could substitute sponge or panettoni, savoiardi have the perfect texture to soak up the beautiful flavours, whilst still remaining light and fluffy. Just dip the savoiardi so that they turn a pale coffee colour, not too quickly as you do not want them to be dry in the middle.
Liquor choices for tiramisu
Traditionally, tiramisu flavours are from espresso coffee and liquor. Often used is marsala, vin santo or a similar nutty, sweet or coffee liqueur.
Sweet marsala is a fortified wine typically used for desserts and even added to create nutty, rich, caramelized sauces. Boronia Marsala for example, has flavours of raisins, muscat grapes and subtle caramel that lends itself to desserts, a cheese board or a rich sauce.
Vin Santo (or Vino Santo) is a viscous, typically sweet dessert wine predominantly from Tuscany, which is loved for its intense flavours of hazelnut and caramel.
Other favourites could be used to flavour the espresso coffee like Kahlua, Frangelico or even sweet sherry.
Mascarpone is essentially an Italian whole cream, cream cheese, so it has a rich, creamy taste and is silky smooth like a thickened cream.
Replacing mascarpone with ricotta therefore will not give you the same result, because the water and fat content are totally different. Ricotta contains more moisture and has a slightly grainy texture. Sometimes ricotta, mascarpone and cream is sometimes combined however, to make the creamy mixture a little lighter.
Mascarpone is what makes tiramisu decadently creamy and delicious!
Time now for the recipes…
4 Quick Tiramisu Recipes
Savoiardi, mascarpone, eggs and your choice of liquor are the basis of traditional tiramisu. However you could make an egg-free variation, add cream to the mascarpone, use chocolate and even citrus.
Perhaps coffee is not your thing or you are looking for lighter flavours for your tiramisu?
We have a treat for you!
Included in our Chef picks is a sweet, citrus variation using another Italian favourite, Limoncello.
For this Italian classic, we have selected tiramisu recipes from 4 top chefs.
Put each recipe to the test and decide which one is your favourite.
1. Gennaro Contaldo – How to Make The Best Tiramisu
In this video Italian chef and restaurateur, Gennaro Contaldo, shows us how to make “the best tiramisu”.
Gennaro begins by separating 2 eggs.
To the egg yolks he adds sugar, before slowing mixing in 450g mascarpone.
Next he adds 300ml of cream so the mixture is soft and silky.
Before whisking the egg whites Gennaro adds a few drops of lemon juice. The soft fluffy clouds are gently folded into the yolks to create the creamy tiramisu mixture we all love.
Now for the coffee flavoured biscuit layer. Sugar and around 100ml of marsala, vin santo or sweet sherry is added to espresso coffee. Gennaro encourages you to be adventurous here!
Building up the tiramisu layers of coffee/liquor flavoured savoiardi and creamy mascarpone, Gennaro then tops it all off with grated hazelnut chocolate – you can use your favourite chocolate or cocoa powder.
Gennaro, shows us how to enjoy your favourite dessert, whether it is a large tiramisu with family or friends or cute individual portions in teacups. Perfetto!
2. Quick and Easy Tiramisu by Antonio Carluccio
Antonio Carluccio, OBE OMRI 1937 – 2017, was an Italian chef, restaurateur and food expert, from Vietri sul Mare, Italy. He came to the United Kingdom in 1975 and has been called “the godfather of Italian gastronomy”.
From his home kitchen, Antonio Carluccio starts his quick and easy tiramisu by whisking egg yolks, vanilla sugar and vanilla essence. Then he softly combines mascarpone by adding a touch of milk to get the right consistency.
Now for the coffee flavoured savoiardi layer. To freshly brewed espresso coffee, Antonio adds sugar and a splash of Kahlua (coffee liqueur) to give it a little kick.
One by one delicate, spongy savoiardi are dipped into the coffee and placed in a dessert cup. The coffee flavoured savoiardi is then topped with creamy mascarpone. He repeats the layers, which can be seen tantalisingly through the glass. Antonio completes his tirimasu the traditional way, with a light dusting of cocoa.
Just like that, these perfect, individual sized tiramisu are ready to serve.
3. Jamie Oliver’s No Egg Tiramisu
If you prefer a tiramisu that does not use eggs try this Jamie Oliver version that pairs the traditional coffee with a layer of chocolate ganache.
The creamy mixture is lightened by using mascarpone and ricotta. Orange zest gives a touch of fresh festivity that is perfect for Christmas or any special occasion. You could even add a little Cointreau to the chocolate ganache.
4. Gino D’Acampo’s Lemon Tiramisu with Limoncello
Gino D’Acampo takes us to vineyards high on the hillside of Vernazza on the Cinque Terre in Italy, before showing us his tiramisu with a twist – using lemons and limoncello.
This recipe is the variation from coffee flavours that we promised.
To create this delicate, fresh summery treat, Gino starts by whipping egg whites with sugar like you would to make meringue.
Next egg yolks and sugar are whisked until pale. Then it is time to slowly blend in the creamy mascarpone and add a little lemon zest.
Carefully fold in the egg whites in three stages, try not to lose any air.
Instead of dipping the savoiardi in espresso coffee, Gino creates a lemony twist using the juice of the lemon, a little water and limoncello.
The limoncello tiramisu is assembled in individual serving glasses starting with a base of the creamy mascarpone mixture. Next comes the savoiardi dipped in the lemony limoncello.
Repeat the layers, finishing with luscious creaminess on top.
Gino recommends you place the tiramisu in the fridge for about 3 hours to set.
Then, when you are ready to serve, simply grate a touch of lemon zest on top… e finito!
There we have it, 4 fabulous variations on the classic tiramisu.
Make one or make them all, and decide which one is your favourite.
For sharing with family and friends make one large sized tiramisu or alternatively make individual portions in a dessert glass or even your favourite teacup.
You can make tiramisu 1 to 2 days ahead, it will keep for up to 4 days in total. Any leftovers should be popped in the fridge straight away.
One of the great things about tiramisu is that it can even be frozen for up to 3 months,
so you can have it to hand whenever you need “a cheer me up”.
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