Story of Tiramisu

The official version however makes Tuscany the birthplace of the world loved Tiramisu.

The official story tells that Tiramisu was invented in the 17th century in Siena to celebrate the visit of Grand-duke of Tuscany, Cosimo de Medici (the Medici family is one of the most important family in the history of Tuscany). The chefs wanted the dessert to reflect the Grand-duke personality. So it needed to be important, with an outstanding taste; rich and creamy as the Grand-Duke loved desserts and sweet food in general. It also needed to be made with local ingredients! This is how the Tiramisu recipe was worked out. The result, we all know is absolutely outstanding.

The original name of the dessert was “Zuppa del Duca” which means “Duke’s Trifle”. The Grand-Duke loved the dessert so much that he took the recipe with him to Florence. This had a tremendous success amongst the Italian aristocracy. The word that went round the aristocracy’s milieu bestowed aphrodisiac power to the trifle and this is how the name Tiramisu was coined. Tiramisu literally means “lift me up”.

After a bit of historical background, here is the recipe:

6 eggs medium size
14 oz (400 g) Ladyfinger biscuits
½ cup brewed espresso or very strong coffee, at room temperature
5 oz (120 g) white sugar plus 2 spoonful to sweeten the coffee
17 oz (500 g) mascarpone cheese
2 oz (50g) Bitter sweet chocolate flakes (optional)
1 oz (30 g) bittersweet chocolate or cocoa powder for dusting (optional)

Divide the egg yolks from the egg whites. Then whisk the egg yolks and half sugar with an electric mixer until very thick. Then add the mascarpone. Whisk until smooth. Then whisk the egg whites and the remaining sugar. When is smooth, add the two mixtures together. Spread a layer of cream on a dip dish.

Pour the sweetened coffee in a shallow bowl. Dip the two sides of each ladyfinger in the coffee and then place it in the dip dish on top of the cream.

Repeat this for each ladyfinger until the layer is completed then you pour the cream on top. Then repeat the layers until all the coffee is used up.

Refrigerate overnight.

Before serving, sprinkle the top with cocoa powder and/or chocolate flakes if desired.