Many regions in Italy claim to be the birthplace of tiramisù, but the official story goes that it was “invented” at the end of the XVII century in Siena, in occasion of the visit of Cosimo III De’ Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany at the time. Apparently he loved luxury and he had a very sweet tooth. The corporation of confectioners of Siena, then, decided to create a new dessert in his honour – at the time baptised as ‘soup of the Duke’, which then quickly spread in the other regions of Italy.
The reason of the name change to what we know it now is rather cheeky: ‘tiramisù’ literally means (*wink wink*) ‘pull (me) up’, and it comes from Venetian courtiers: rumour was that tiramisù had aphrodisiac properties, so it became a ritual for the lovers of Venice to enjoy a piece of the dessert before their romantic encounters.
Ingredients (for 6 people):
- 500g mascarpone
- 6 eggs. Since they will be eaten raw, make sure they are fresh: place them in a bowl of water. If they sink, go ahead.
- 150g sugar
- 8 espresso cups
- 300g savoiardi biscuits
- Cocoa powder for dusting
- Optional: dash of Marsala or egg alcohol.
- Divide the egg whites and yolks in two separate bowls.
- For the egg yolks: add 70g of sugar and whip with an electric whip or paddle attachment until light and creamy. Incorporate the mascarpone bit by bit while continuing whipping.
- For the egg whites: whip with the (cleaned) electric whip shortly for 10 seconds. Add 70g of sugar bit by bit and continue whipping until stiff, that is, until you can turn the bowl upside down and the egg whites do not fall anymore.
- Combine the egg whites with the yolk and mascarpone mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula with slow movements from the bottom to the top, careful not to undo the whites.
- For the savoiardi biscuits: pour the coffee in a small bowl and add the remaining 10g of sugar. This is where you will dip the biscuits, careful not to make them too soggy.
- Take a serving plate and build the tiramisù in the following order: cream – savoiardi buiscuits- cocoa powder.
- Keep at least 2 hours in the fridge before serving.