Tiramisù tradizionale – tiramisu

Slice of Italian tiramisu
Hi, I am here to delight and amaze you

I was tempted, for the first time in my life, to stay silent and let the image speak. Me, yes, me. Tiramisu does not need introductions. I can also imagine some of you having a big grin on your gorgeous faces: those who on various occasions may have had the chance to try the version of tiramisu I make and were kind enough to say how much you loved it.

First things first, despite the initial excitement, I have to clarify that I have no intention of claiming that tiramisu belongs to the collection of southern Italian recipes. As my Venetian friend Valentina would say: “Leave the tiramisu and risotto to us, as you have so much already down in the south!”. Indeed, but tiramisu is a pudding loved across all of Italy and it was often on the menu for birthday and dinner parties of friends and relatives while I was growing up.

Slice of tiramisu for Italian food blog coochinando
Half a slice will never do…

It is one of the cakes I also make for my birthday parties. Yes, I do make myself a birthday cake; however, three years ago George showed how brave he was and made me a tiramisu!

Tiramisu recipe for Italian food blog coochinando
Tiramisu to celebrate 26… er… 32 years!

I often make it when our friends come over for lunch at the weekend, as I know it is the ultimate in scrumptiousness for many people in the UK (with some exceptions, of course)!

Tiramisu is always a winning bet. Did I tell you about the time I submitted it as a cake for the CAFOD bake-off? I replaced the biscuits with a baked sponge and made it into a tiramisu cake! I actually won a prize…!

Tiramisu cake at CAFOD British BakeOff
Winner of “Most contentious fine line between cake and pudding…”

I said right at the beginning, in the about the recipes section, that a few recipes come from friends, and on this occasion the tiramisu recipe could only come from someone from the north of Italy, where tiramisu originated. So the one I am sharing today is one that Vale gave me a few years ago. I am humbly sharing it with you now hoping that she won’t shout at me for destroying some holy principles and rules of making tiramisu!

Tray of Italian tiramisu
You will never be all mine

Tiramisu is a dessert that may not require baking, but still needs your time and attention. What could possibly go wrong? Mainly two things: the cream could split, and the biscuits could be either oversoaked or too dry.  But don’t worry too much about these, as on this occasion I am sharing a step-by-step recipe.

Slice of glorious tiramisu
Tempted yet?

Ready to get started? Valentine’s Day is approaching, but there is still time to practise so you’ll be ready to let your loved one know how much you adore them with a scrumptious Italian tiramisu!

Ingredients for tiramisu

Serves 6-8

  • 375g savoiardi or sponge/finger biscuits
  • 500g mascarpone
  • 4 eggs at room temperature (separated into yolks and whites)
  • 80g sugar
  • 600ml espresso coffee
  • 2 tablepoons boiling water
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
  • cocoa powder for dusting


Place a good-sized bowl in the freezer. You will use it later to put the whites in and mount them.

Separate the whites from the yolks.

Mix yolks and sugar until they move from dark yellow to pale and form a very creamy and smooth consistency. It should nearly double in size. It may take you up to 10 minutes. Start at low speed and then increase to maximum as you go on.

Take the mascarpone out of the fridge. Add it with a wooden spoon to the sugar and yolks mix. Incorporate it first with the spoon. Use a mixer to mix until you obtain a smooth cream. Leave to rest and store in the fridge.

Take the bowl out of the freezer. Add the egg whites to it, and a pinch of salt. With the mixer start at low speed and increase as you go on. Mix for about 10 minutes or until the whites become very firm. Test it by turning the bowl upside down… the whites should not move an inch!

Take the yolks-sugar-mascarpone based cream out of the fridge. Add two big tablespoons of whipped egg whites and fold them in with a wooden spoon, with a movement that goes from the bottom to the top: gently, no pushing. Do not add any more whipped egg whites until the first amount is completely absorbed. Carry on until the whites are all incorporated and you obtain a smooth cream.

If it is curdling or bits are separating the cream has “gone mad” and this is not okay. But the precautions of the bowl in the freezer, the wooden spoon, super-firm whites and folding the whites gently one bit at a time, should prevent this from happening.

Make the espresso coffee. Do not add sugar. Add the coffee liqueur and two tablespoons of boiling water. Mix well.

If you want to prevent your hands from getting coffee stains, use some suitable cooking gloves. Let the coffee mix cool down a bit, but if it is still warm, it is better.

Soak each biscuit in the coffee, for about 5 seconds on each side. The biscuit needs to be fully immersed.

Place in a baking dish of 26x20cm to create the base of the tiramisu. Spread the cream on evenly, using just over half of the total quantity of the cream. The bottom layer of cream should be a little bit thicker than the top one.

Create a second layer with the rest of the biscuits and cover with the remaining cream. Sprinkle a relatively thick layer of cocoa powder.

Place in the fridge for at least 8 hours. This pudding freezes extremely well. Just remember that it will need 24 hours to defrost in the fridge…

What is left to say? Enjoy every spoon of it. Life is short and we deserve to spoil ourselves and those who rock our world!

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9 comments on “Tiramisù tradizionale – tiramisu

  1. Isabelle Masters 22nd January 2016 / 6:55pm

    It works! The subscription works! I will DEFINITELY be trying a gluten free version of this. Your tiramisu is one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten.

    • Mariacristina 23rd January 2016 / 1:13pm

      Yes yes yes! This is so exciting! If you want to discuss options for the gluten free biscuits, let me know. I really woud like to have a gluten free version for the blog:-D
      Awww thank you Izzy, I always try to make it better and I do look forward to making this with you when you are next around. xx

  2. Giovanni Izzo 23rd January 2016 / 7:34pm

    Tiramisù calls for Neapolitan Revenge…I guess your “Sartù” must be legendary…waiting for that!

    • Mariacristina 24th January 2016 / 3:15pm

      I know, it is only fair now. We can do this, easily! Sartu is coming soon….watch this space!:-D

  3. memy 24th January 2016 / 11:55am

    semplice e molto veloce da preparare,sapore delicato e gustoso!!!!!

    • Mariacristina 24th January 2016 / 3:17pm

      neanche il tempo di guardarlo,ed e’ scomparso….! Per’ che bonta’ peccaminosa:-D

  4. RosannaBusuttil 25th January 2016 / 9:30pm

    Looks amazing! Great pictures and explanation! Can’t wait to try..! 🙂

    • Mariacristina 26th January 2016 / 3:59pm

      awww thank you for signing up Poppy! Love to get feedback and please do not hesitate to let me know when something does not make sense. I want to make sure that everyone can make these dishes! What is your favourite dish? And what is the next recipe you would like to read?:-Dxxx

  5. Mariacristina 29th January 2016 / 9:32am

    Una fetta tira l’altra:-)

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