Folks, get ready for a really long post.  Today, I will be sharing with you not one, but two different ways to make the classic Italian dessert that is tiramisu.  It is one of my favorite desserts and one of the easiest to make.  Classic tiramisu uses raw eggs in the recipe.  In my opinion, that is the way to go.  However, I understand that during the summer time, there are salmonella outbreaks everywhere.  If you would like to use the classic tiramisu recipe, go for it.  My only precaution is that when separating the egg whites and egg yolks, I do my very best to make sure that nothing touches the shell.  I did some research and it appears that the risk of getting salmonella is mostly from contact with the egg shell.  My reasoning for liking classic tiramisu is twofold.  One, the eggs really help bring out the taste of the mascarpone cheese.  Two, maybe it is my Asian roots, but I really don’t have a strong palette for really sweet/greasy foods.  Eating a whipped-cream dessert always feels a bit greasy on my lips.  But I have friends who swear by making tiramisu with whipped cream.  I encourage you to try both and see which one you like better!


For the ladyfingers part, make 100% sure that you are using the Italian Savoiardi.  They can be a bit hard to find.  But typically I buy mine at international/ethnic grocery stores.  If you absolutely cannot find savoiardi where you live, you can try looking for (or making your own!) the soft lady fingers.  They do work similarly.  If you choose to go with the soft lady fingers, in the step where you dunk the lady fingers into the coffee mixture, omit that step.  Instead, using a pastry brush, brush on the coffee mixture onto the lady fingers so they don’t get too soggy!


Classis Italian Tiramisu
(I remember first making this recipe when I found it on the back of a savoiardi packet.  I got the savoiardi from a little Italian bodega.  I think it was a family recipe.  I still haven’t forgotten it!)

– 4 large eggs, separated
– 1/3 cup granulated sugar
– 1 lb marscapone cheese (~16oz), softened
– 3 tbs rum (I use Bailey’s Irish Cream)
– 2 cups espresso (or very strongly brewed coffee), cooled
– 30-35 savoiardi biscuits
– 6 tbs cocoa powder, to dust

1.  In a large bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the granulated sugar until shiny and pale.
2.  Whisk together the mascarpone cheese with the egg yolks until well incorporated.
3.  Gently fold in the whipped egg whites.  Be very careful with this step to not lose too much air.
4.  In a shallow dish, stir together the espresso/coffee with the rum.
5.  In a 9×9 dish, dip each side of the savoiardi biscuits in the coffee mixture, and line them in the dish until you have one layer completely filled.
6.  Spread half of the egg mixture over the first layer.  Dust with cocoa powder.
7.  Repeat step 5 & 6 one more time to create a second layer of savoiardi, egg mixture, and cocoa powder.
8.  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours for the flavors to soak through.


Now for the no-eggs recipe, here it is!

No-Egg Tiramisu
(I’ve learned that in this recipe, since a lot of the mascarpone cheese flavor will be hidden from the whipped cream, it is crucial that the coffee flavor in this one is strong, or else the tiramisu will taste really bland)

– 1 lb mascarpone cheese, softened
– 2 cups heavy cream
– 1/4 cup granulated sugar
– 2 cups espresso
– 2 tbs rum
– 30-35 savoiardi biscuits
– 6 tbs cocoa powder, to dust

1.  In a large bowl whip the heavy cream until semi-stiff peaks.
2.  In a separate bowl, whip the mascarpone, vanilla, and sugar together.  Fold in half of the whipped cream into the mixture.  Fold the remaining whipped cream.
3.  In a shallow dish, combine the coffee and rum.  In a 9×9 dish, dip each side of the savoiardi biscuits in the coffee mixture and lay in the dish.  Spread the mascarpone/whipped cream mixture and dust with cocoa powder.  Repeat the same process for an additional layer.  Refrigerate for at least 8 hours.


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