Tiramisù

 

This very famous Italian dessert has rather unknown origins, (which are contested to be from either the region of Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Piedmont). There are many legends referring to its origins. The official legend on the origins of the dessert, places its origin in the seventeenth century, in Siena, when some confectioners, in anticipation of the arrival of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo de Medici, decided to make a cake to pay him homage. Thus was born the Tiramisù, which was originally known as "the duke’s soup", in honor of Cosimo, who brought the recipe to Florence and made it known throughout Italy.

The unofficial version, however, says that the invention was the work of a baker from Turin who wanted to prepare it in honor of Camillo Benso of Cavour, to support him in his difficult task of unifying Italy. Veneto also has its own version of the story: it is told that the treat was first made at the restaurant "El Toula”,  located in Treviso at the time near a brothel, and served precisely to "lift up". The name literally translates to ‘pick me up’, referencing both its (real) energetic qualities and (intangible) aphrodisiac powers.

Ingredients

500 g mascarpone cheese

500 g Savoiardi biscuits

150 g white sugar

6 medium-sized eggs

8 espresso shots

3 spoonfuls of Marsala wine (optional)

Cocoa powder

 

Preparation

Make the espresso coffee and let it cool completely. Take the eggs, separate the whites and whisk them together with the sugar until foamy. Add the wine (optional), then the mascarpone until obtaining a creamy homogenous mix. Next, take a bowl, and working quickly plunge one biscuit at a time in the coffee being careful not to let the cookies dissolve in your hands. Then, set it in a rectangular pan creating a complete layer. Pour a layer of your mix over the biscuits. Repeat with alternating layers of wet biscuits and cream. Make sure the final layer is cream, then put it in the fridge for at least one hour, as it is very important to keep the tiramisu cold. Before serving, sprinkle an even layer of cocoa powder on top of the dessert.

Italy in a coffee cup. At Italian Tarditions, the region of Campania smells like coffee: get a taste of the IT5 of the week.