Let me start by saying that people can be very opinionated when it comes to tiramisu - and by people, I mean me. I'm really rather bossy about what goes into it (and doesn't): always Italian mascarpone and savoiardi; no, you cannot use instant coffee; and there must never ever be any alcohol - nothing to distract from its perfect simplicity. This list of ingredients actually came from an old friend's mamma, Bruna, but the quantities are very much my own*. I've become such a pedant about the rules that I won't order tiramisu when we're out without first checking that everything's in order (and it rarely is).
I make this at home about once a month: I love having a failsafe recipe for a dessert that can (and should) be made the day before it is served, with just six ingredients, and ones I usually have in the house at any given time. I hope you'll love it just as much!
3 large, organic eggs
3 tbsp white sugar
3-4 shots espresso
12 Savoiardi biscuits
Chocolate power, for dusting
Separate eggs and beat the whites until stiff peaks form.
In a separate bowl, add sugar to the egg yolks and beat well, till thick and pale. Add mascarpone and mix gently, before tenderly folding through the whites.
Allow the coffee to cool, before dipping the savoiardi for the briefest of moments, rolling so that each side is coated in coffee – the idea is for the biscuits to remain more dry than wet (soggy is a crime), so they can sit and soak up the mascarpone mixture overnight and still retain a tiny bit of texture. Break the biscuit in half; the coffee should only have soaked a millimetre or two into the biscuit. Place the two halves into 6 x 1 cup capacity dishes (or leave whole and use to fill one large dish); top with a heaped tablespoon of the mascarpone mixture and repeat, finishing with a layer of mascarpone.
Cover with plastic wrap and allow to set for at least 12 hours in the fridge, but preferably overnight. The tiramisu will be even better if you can wait about 24 hours. Dust generously with chocolate powder and serve.
* Bruna's recipe was actually a typically Italian list of ingredients with "Qb" (quanto basta / English: "enough") after each.
C(h)ook's notes -
- Pregnant women are generally advised not to eat raw egg so this is not a good dessert for them