Tiramisù, Italy's “Pick Me Up” italian Dessert
What is Tiramisù?
It is a cold dessert with five indispensable ingredients - cocoa, coffee, mascarpone cheese, eggs, savoiardi (ladyfinger) biscuits - and originally from Treviso. It is one of the desserts that symbolises Italy and the Veneto region throughout the world.
What is the history behind Tiramisù?
The recipe for Tiramisù first took shape in the Treviso restaurant Le Beccherie, a typical osteria and gastronomic landmark in the area. The Campeol family, owners from 1939 until the beginning of the new millennium, were responsible for the invention of this iconic dessert, which is probably the most famous Italian dessert in the world.
Who made the first Tiramisù?
Its birth coincides with that of Carlo Campeol, the son of Alba Campeol who, at the time, was owner of the restaurant together with her husband. While she was breastfeeding, Alba's mother-in-law used to prepare a hearty breakfast of zabaglione and coffee for her, a burst of energy to help her face the busy day and recover from the fatigue of childbirth. Having weaned her child, Alba thought of introducing a dessert inspired by the breakfast prepared for her by her mother-in-law to the other desserts on their menu, and together with confectioner Lolì Linguanotto began a long period of research and testing, experimenting with cream and egg whites.
And so, taking a cue from the typical custard cream (mascarpone and mostarda, a Trevisan tradition, served with panettone at Christmas time), Alba thought of substituting cream with mascarpone, and the result was what we all know today: layers of ladyfingers softened in coffee alternating with a custard cream made of sugar, eggs and mascarpone; all covered with a light layer of cocoa. Just for the record, the year was 1972.
What's Tiramisù made of?
The original recipe deposited with the Italian Academy of Cuisine (2010)
Prepare the coffee and let it cool in a bowl; beat 6 egg yolks with 250 g of sugar and incorporate ½ kg of mascarpone to obtain a smooth cream. Moisten 20 savoiardi (ladyfingers) with coffee, taking care not to soak them too much, and arrange them in a row in the centre of a circular dish; spread half the cream on the ladyfingers and then place another layer of 20 ladyfingers soaked in coffee on top, then spread the surface with the remaining mascarpone cream. Sprinkle the mascarpone with sifted low-fat cocoa. Refrigerate until serving.
The 'precise' ingredients of Tiramisu:
- 6 egg yolks
- 250 g sugar
- 500 g mascarpone
- 40 savoiardi biscuits - ladyfingers
- Enough coffee
- Cocoa powder
► Read the Recipe
What can go wrong with Tiramisù?
The most difficult thing is to achieve a perfect balance between the bitter notes of the coffee and cocoa and the sweetness of the cream. Highly recommended is the use of a ristretto mocha unsweetened coffee (as taught by Alba Campeol). Equally important is the quality of the ingredients, which must be very fresh.
What wine goes well with Tiramisù?
Tiramisù goes well with passito or late harvest wines that bring out complexity, finesse and structure, accompanied by a good balance of acidity, sweetness and tannin.
- Alto Adige Moscato Rosa Passito DOC
- Valle d'Aosta Moscato Chambave Passito DOC
- Picolit Colli Orientali del Friuli DOCG
Where to try Tiramisù in Treviso (apart from Le Beccherie, of course)