Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Italy Week: Make me happy

Buonasera amici!

This week is dedicated to a very special country, famous for its culture and food: ITALY :)

And what other dessert to start with, but the most delicious, beautiful, easy, artistic.... I'm talking, of course, about Tiramisu!

Tadaaaa <3

This is one of my favourite desserts ever. And there is something very special about my version of Tiramisu: there is no liquor in it.

“That’s no real Tiramisu”
“Liquor makes it taste better”
“Italians would rise from their grave”

Did you know that the first and original recipe for Tiramisu actually contained no liquor? Yes, really! :)
The original first Tiramisu was made of finger biscuits, coffee, sugar, egg yolks, mascarpone and cocoa powder. No liquor, no cream, no egg whites. It was served in a round, glass bowl, so that all the guests could see the layers (Mary Berry-style: lairs) of the Tiramisu. That must be hard, considering that the finger biscuits or ladyfingers (Dutch: lange vingers) are actually shaped as a rectangle. I always use a rectangle-shaped form!

Very basic square/rectangle form :)

Tiramisu is actually a very modern dessert. The exact date isn’t know, but it didn’t appear in cooking books until the 1980’s. The dessert itself is rumoured to have been invented in the 1960’s, in the region Veneto, Italy. 

The name “Tiramisu” literally means “lift me up”. Which you can understand in many ways:
- Pull me up, if someone fell
- Pick me up, lift someone up
- Lift me up, mentally, when someone's sad
- My personal favourite, which is the title of this post: make me happy <3 

Tiramisu always makes me happy <3

So we have a list of the traditional Tiramisu ingredients. My version is actually quite like it, only that I add cream, vanilla sugar and a bit of almond extract (to replace the liquor). It’s one of the easiest recipes I can imagine! This is my version, and serves about 9 people: 

80 gr. castor sugar
4 egg yolks
300 ml cream
1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar
450 gr. mascarpone
250 ml strong strong STRONG coffee
½ teaspoon almond extract (add less/more if you like!)
250-300 grams finger biscuits/ladyfingers
cocoa powder

And a rectangle-shaped form

The perfect cream!

Fix yourself a cup of coffee so strong your stomach will twist itself if you take a sip. Sorry, it’s the only way to explain :) Leave it to cool for a while.

Mix the egg yolks and castor sugar until creamy. The best way to find out if the egg mixture is creamy, is to make an 8 with the mixer. If the 8 is set when you finished it, it’s stiff enough :)

Add the mascarpone in 4 parts to the egg mixture. Beat well so there will be no lumps!
With a whisk, beat the cream and vanilla sugar until stiff and add to the egg-mascarpone mixture.

Isn't this just a beautiful, perfect, silky mixture?

Pour the now cooled, very strong coffee in a flat bowl with the almond extract and mix it a bit. Dip in the finger biscuits/ladyfingers and place them with the moist part upwards, side by side in the rectangle form. Then, put a thick layer of the mascarpone cream on the biscuits. And keep repeating until the form is filled!

Refrigerate the Tiramisu for at least three hours. I can recommend leaving it in the fridge for 12-24 hours. Then the coffee-almond has really left its flavour. Tiramisu is a bit like wine, it tastes better the longer you leave it :)

1, 2, 3... and done! :)

Sprinkle on the cocoa powder before you serve the tiramisu, add decorations (like mint) if you like. And you’re done!

This recipe is a very basic one. You can easily give it your own twist! For example, by adding liquor. You can add the ones most used, which are Marsala or Amaretto. But if you like experimenting, you can try to add rum, whiskey, fruit juices, Tia Maria or beer. The sky is the limit :)

Warning: Tiramisu can be dangerous to eat if you’re pregnant, so please don’t try it if you are! 

And thus the first post of Italy Week @ Cake Shop by Rebecca ends! More stories will follow :)

nomnomnom <3

Ciao! See you soon!

Love, Rebecca


  1. I have the exact same pan! (Drömmar from IKEA, isn't it?) Anyway, I ate a tiramisu at a traditional Italian eatery a few months back and they placed the tiramisu slice on a cold, heavy stone block and it made for a great presentation and it kept the cake cold until the last bite :D (an inspiration for you, perhaps?) It was so good and I bet yours is too!!

    1. Yes that's right! It's very handy, isn't it? Thank you so much, I will keep it in mind. A stone block is simple presentation, exactly the thing I love!