Traditional Italian Tiramisu

Italian tiramisu is a dessert prepared with a creamy mixture of Mascarpone cheese, eggs and coffee, this delicious cake is very easy to make at home!

What is Tiramisu?

Tiramisù is a traditional Italian dessert very popular not only in this country but all over the world. A delicious soft and moist cake made with savoiardi (ladyfingers) biscuits soaked in coffee and layered together with a mascarpone cheese cream. An unbeatable contrast of flavors and textures!

Varitions

There are variants of the traditional Italian tiramisu recipe, one of the best known and most appreciated is Tiramisù con le fragole (Tiramisu with Strawberries) where between the layers of the delicious and smooth cream, pieces of fresh strawberries are added.

Other versions also popular here in the country are: Tiramisu with lemon, chocolate, banana, etc. In Italy there’s a famous food chain of this dessert and you’ll find stands all over the country where they sell many variants of tiramisù in small boxes to enjoy it as street food.

Strawberry tiramisu being made.
Strawberry tiramisu.

Ingredients

The list with the exact ingredients can be found below, on the recipe card. This Italian tiramisu recipe is made with simple ingredients. It may be a bit difficult to find mascarpone cheese in some countries, but you can also prepare it at home or use another type of spreadable cheese, just be careful that it does not contain a lot of salt.

Savoiardi cookies can be found by other names, for example in USA they are known as ladyfingers, in Mexico as soletas and in other countries they are found as soletillas, sponge fingers and vainilla among others.

Ingredients for Italian tiramisu.

PRO TIP: If you can’t find mascarpone cheese where you live, try making this recipe using ricotta cheese instead. Use a full fat cow ricotta or even better: goat ricotta, place it on a strainer over a bowl and leave it in the fridge overnight. This will allow the cheese to discard most of the liquid. Next day proceed with the recipe as indicated but pay special attention to not over mix the cheese.

Tiramisu Recipe

Place half of the sugar on a small saucepan, add half of water and place over medium heat. Simmer for a few minutes, long enough to allow the sugar to dissolve and form a light syrup.

The syrup will be ready when white and small bubbles start to form. If you have a kitchen thermometer it should read about 250°F (121°C), so don’t exceed this temperature or the syrup will starts to caramelize.

Showing syrup with a spoon.

Place egg yolks onto a bowl and beat for a minute at medium speed. Rise the speed to maximum and pour slowly the syrup, keep beating until you’ll achieve a soft and fluffy cream. Add marsala and mix to incorporate.

Egg yolks mixed with the syrup.

Add mascarpone cheese to the bowl and combine very well with the yolk mixture. Cover the cream and storage in the fridge while continuing with the recipe.

Combining mascarpone cheese with egg yolks mixture on a bowl.

Make another syrup with the remaining sugar and water and add it slowly to eggs whites while beating them at high speed. After 3 or 4 minutes until stiff peaks forms: You will get at it when the the egg whites will not move if you turn the bowl over.

Showing egg whites mixed with syrup until stiff peaks.

Add egg whites to the bowl with the mascarpone cream and carefully mix them until combined. You should do the mixing from bottom to top.

Combining mascarpone cream and egg whites mixture.

After a couple of minutes, you’ll end with a soft and fluffy cream like the foto below.

The cream ready on a bowl.

Assemble

Scoop one or two spoons of the cream on the bottom of a 6.5″ x 9″ (17x23cm) casserole dish and spread it all over.

One by one, dip lightly the ladyfingers (savoiardi) cookies into the coffee and make a first layer into the dish, arranging them side by side.

Placing a layer of dipped savoiardi biscuits on the casserole dish.

Add half of the cream and spread it evenly to cover very well the surface, push a little to allow the cream to fill the gaps between the savoiardi.

Covering the savoiardi with the cream mixture.

Using a sifter, sprinkle with cocoa powder. In this step you can also add some nuts like pistachios, walnuts, etc. Or you can also add chocolate chips!

Sprinkling cacao powder.

Repeat the layer with savoiardi cookies and add the remaining mascarpone cream on top, spreading in a single and even layer.

Wrap the dish tightly with cling film to prevent the dessert from absorbing odors. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Before serving dust with cocoa powder.

Tiramisu ready before serving.

Recipe notes

  • I have decided to pasteurize the eggs because although I always use Bio eggs, putting them as they are I don’t think is a good idea; In any case, if you are 100% sure that you are using fresh eggs, you can skip the pasteurization step and beat the yolks and whites with the sugar without making the syrup.
  • I recommend that you let the dessert rest in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving it, but if you want to appreciate its flavor better, better to leave it overnight. This way it is also easier to cut it into portions.
  • I used a 6.5 “x 9” (17x23cm) ceramic dish, the ingredients were just right for that dish. If you don’t have one with those exact measurements, you can use one that is approximately 8×8 “(20x20cm).
  • Make this Italian tiramisu kids friendly by replacing expresso coffee with hot cocoa and leaving out marsala liquor.
  • You can also make a gluten-free version by substituting regular savoiardi with gluten free ones.

How to store

Store Italian tiramisu leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. But be sure to wrap the baking dish very tightly with cling film to prevent odors from the fridge going into the tiramisù.

More Italian Desserts

Traditional Italian Tiramisu

6
Italian tiramisu is a dessert prepared with a creamy mixture of Mascarpone cheese, eggs and coffee, this delicious cake is very easy to make at home!
Prep: 30 mins
Total: 30 mins

Equipment

  • 6.5 “x 9” (17x23cm) casserole dish

Ingredients
  

  • Savoiardi (ladyfingers) bicuits about 20-22, depend on the dish size
  • 1 cup (240 ml) espresso coffee
  • unsweetened cacao powder as needed

For the cream

  • 9 oz (250 g) mascarpone cheese
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Marsala liquor optional

For the syrup

  • ¾ cup (150 gr) sugar divided in half
  • cup (80 ml) water divided in half

Instructions
 

  • Place half of the sugar on a small saucepan, add half of water and put over medium heat. Simmer for a few minutes, long enough to allow the sugar to dissolve and form a light syrup (read note 1).
  • Place egg yolks onto a bowl and beat for a minute at medium speed.
  • Rise the speed to maximum and pour slowly the syrup, keep mixing until you’ll achieve a soft and fluffy cream.
  • Add marsala and mix to incorporate (read note 2).
  • Add mascarpone cheese to the bowl and combine very well with the yolk mixture. Cover the cream and storage in the fridge while continuing with the recipe.
  • Make another syrup with the remaining sugar and water and add it slowly to eggs whites while beating them at high speed for 3 or 4 minutes or until stiff peaks forms (read note 3)
  • Add egg whites to the bowl with the mascarpone cream and carefully mix them until combined.

ASSEMBLE

  • Spread one or two tablespoons of the cream on the bottom of a 6.5″ x 9″ (17x23cm) casserole dish.
  • One by one, dip lightly the savoiardi (ladyfingers) biscuits into the coffee and make a first layer arranging them side by side.
  • Add half of the cream and spread it evenly to cover very well the surface, push a little to allow the cream to fill the gaps between the savoiardi.
  • Using a sifter, sprinkle with cocoa powder (read note 4).
  • Repeat the layer with savoiardi cookies and add the remaining mascarpone cream on top, spreading in a single and even layer.
  • Wrap the dish tightly with cling film to prevent the dessert from absorbing odors. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Before serving dust with cocoa powder.
Notes
  1. The syrup will be ready when white and small bubbles start to form. If you have a kitchen thermometer it should read about 250°F (121°C), so don’t exceed this temperature or the syrup will starts to caramelize.
  2. Make this Italian tiramisu kids friendly by replacing expresso coffee with hot cocoa and leaving out marsala liquor.
  3. You will get at it when the the egg whites will not move if you turn the bowl over.
  4. In this step you can also add some nuts like pistachios, walnuts, etc. Or you can also add chocolate chips!
Course dessert
Cuisine italian

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