Italian Tiramisu Recipe

“Tiramisu” means “pick me up”. This recipe is directly from Mario, a restaurant owner in Cortona, Italy. He taught my UGA cooking class there in 2013.

Ingredients (serves 12-14):
– 5 large eggs, separated
– 5 heaping Italian tablespoons of sugar (just under 1 cup)
– 500g mascarpone (use 16 oz. of American mascarpone)
– 1 box plus two packets (from a second box) of Pavesini Italian egg white cookies. Alessi brand cookies is a good sub.
– 1 to 1-1.5 cups coffee or 1-2 shots espresso
– dash of brandy
– dusting of powdered cocoa or grated bitter or semi-sweet chocolate

Notes: Mario uses a hand mixer (takes time), and washes the beaters after he has beaten the egg yolks and mascarpone. He uses two different bowls for the egg yolks and whites. If you have a KitchenAid (much faster), you can beat the egg whites first, transfer them to another bowl, and then beat the egg yolks, sugar, and mascarpone in the same mixer bowl without washing anything.
This recipe can also be made with Ricotta! Blend or process the ricotta for a few minutes for extra smoothness.

– Separate yolks and egg whites.
– Beat sugar and egg yolks until mixer leaves tracks in the mixture.
– Add cold mascarpone and mix for about 10 minutes, until all the mascarpone is evenly distributed. The mixture will get stiffer when it is ready, and curls of it will drop from the mixer beaters. Clean and dry the beaters before moving on unless following the notes section above.
– Beat the egg whites until the eggs look like dense, fluffy snow. Mario tipped the bowl upside down to show us how stiff they should be. Nothing should fall out of the bowl!
– Beat the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture with the mixer until peaks form.
– Prepare about 1 cup of weak espresso. Add a dash of brandy. (Personally, I like strong espresso and more brandy, but that’s not how the Italians do it!)
– Spread a thin layer of the egg and mascarpone mixture on the bottom of a 9×13” pan.
– Take a stack of 3 cookies in your hand and dip both sides in the coffee mix quickly.
– Lay the cookies side by side to cover the bottom of the pan. Add pieces of broken cookies to fill in gaps.
– Cover the layer of cookies with a thin layer of the mascarpone filling.
– Cover with a second layer of cookies dipped in coffee mixture.
– Cover the second layer of cookies with thin layer of mascarpone filling.
– Add third and final layer of dipped cookies.
– Pour the remaining mascarpone mixture on the third layer of cookies and smooth the surface.
– Lightly dust with cocoa or grated chocolate.
– Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be served immediately, too.

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