Tiramisu is an Italian dessert typically made from sponge finger biscuits, espresso, cheese, eggs, cream, sugar, Marsala wine, cocoa, and rum. Its name literally means "pick-me-up" and is a reference to its two caffeine-containing ingredients, espresso and cocoa. Although tiramisu is one of the most popular desserts served in restaurants, there is some debate about its origin, as there is no documented mention of it before 1983. What are some theories regarding how it was first created?
The biscuits are sprinkled with or briefly soaked in a mixture of coffee, rum, and sugar. They are layered with a mixture of mascarpone cheese and zabaglione, custard made from egg yolks, Marsala, and sugar. Cocoa powder is then sprinkled on top.
Tiramisu has become one of the most popular desserts served in restaurants of all types, not just Italian restaurants. The recipe has been adapted into cakes, puddings, and other varieties of dessert. Other flavors are often used now in place of coffee, including strawberry, lemon, or chocolate.History
There is some debate regarding tiramisu's origin, as there is no documented mention of the dessert before 1983. In 1998, Fernando and Tina Raris similarly claimed that the dessert is a recent invention. They point out that while the recipes and histories of other layered desserts are very similar; the first documented mention of tiramisu in a published work appears in a Greek cookbook. Backing up this story, the authors recalled an article that tiramisu was created in 1971 in Treviso.
Some claim that it was first created in Northern Italy during the First World War. Women made these desserts for their men to take with them as they were being sent off to war. They might have believed the high caffeine and energy content of these desserts would give their men more energy to fight and help bring them home safely.
A less glamorous theory explains that the dessert was a way of salvaging old cake and coffee that had gone cold by using the leftover coffee and perhaps some liqueur to moisten the dry cake. The dish was greatly improved by layering it with cream or cream cheese.
Here is my favorite recipe:
½ pound mascarpone cheese
1½ tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup very strong cold black coffee
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
1 cup coarsely crumbled butter cookies or pound cake
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
In a large bowl, beat together the cheese, sugar and egg yolks until blended and creamy. In another bowl, beat together the egg whites, salt and lemon juice until stiff pecks are formed. Fold egg whites into the cheese mixture. In a small bowl, combine the coffee and liqueur.
Using 4 stemmed wine glasses, divide half the cookie/pound cake into the bottom of each glass. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the liqueur mixture over cake; then top with half the cheese mixture. Layer remaining cake, liqueur mixture and cheese mixture in the same way.
Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours before serving.
Sprinkle each glass with sifted cocoa powder and serve.
My all time favorite! I usually make an extra to enjoy another day after the guests have gone.