The Special Ingredient
It all started with a Tiramisu. I love desserts, I always had but Tiramisu is my inspiration, is what gave me the love to start cooking and baking.
The first time I made tiramisu I was only 13 years old. My family didn’t have an oven so this dessert seemed really easy to make. However the day I decided to do it our fridge was broken! I was and I still am quite stubborn so that was not going to stop me. I remember that day like if it was yesterday, it was February and I wanted to make it for my dad’s birthday – he loved Tiramisu. February in Italy is nice and cold so I decided to go ahead, make it and then leave it outside in the balcony overnight to preserve it and bring the flavours together. A fridge was not longer needed.
I didn’t have a recipe to follow just some instructions in my head given to me by one of my friends’ mum. I didn’t know how it was going to taste and if my parents were going to like it. The following day however the tiramisu was nice and cold, the natural fridge had worked perfectly, and my parents loved it. Seeing my parents happy and impressed with what I have done gave me confidence. I could see in their eyes how proud they were and in their empty plates how much they liked it.
Love was the special ingredient in this recipe. After that day I have made it for my special friends and even after many years they still remember it. This is why I like to cook, I want to show my love and appreciation to my friends and family through my food hoping they will like it and remember it just like my Tiramisu.
Now, after so many years I decided to share with you my own version of Tiramisu. Give it a try and I promise you, you won’t be disappointed…and who knows your own friends might remember it as a memorable dessert like mine do.
This is my own recipe for 4 people
3 egg yorks and 2 egg whites
3 tablespoons of castor sugar
100g double thick cream
250g Savoiardi biscuits
50g crushed roasted hazelnuts
1 1/2 cup of strong “Lavazza” coffee
3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Grated dark chocolate
Mix together the warm espresso, half of the sugar and half of the Kahlua in a shallow dish, whisking to mix well. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until creamy, using a hand-held whisk on maximum speed. Stir in the mascarpone one spoonful at a time (beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth) and then stir in the tick cream using sweeping movements from the bottom to the top. This will make it easier to fold. Add the vanilla extract and the rest of the Kahlua.
On a separate bowl beat the egg whites with a whisk until it becomes white and fluffy and gently stir in the white into the cream mixture so as not to knock out all the air you just whisked into it. Spread a layer of this cream mixture over the base of a square baking dish or plastic container (or like in the photo above, use some nice martini glasses).
Dip the Savoiardi in the sweetened espresso, about 1 second per side. They should be moist but not soggy. Immediately transfer each Savoiardi to the square baking dish, placing them side by side.
Sprinkle the cream mixture with half the crushed roasted hazelnuts, grated dark chocolate and the cocoa powder.
Repeat to create another layer, using more Savoiardi and the cream mixture for the top layer. Cover carefully and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight.
To serve, sprinkly the tiramisu with the bitter cocoa powder, the rest of the hazelnuts and the grated dark chocolate. Cut into individual portions and serve.
Come on give it a try, I can assure you, you will be surprised of my own version of Tiramisu!