BITS and Pieces

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Italian Tiramisu

A little bliss in every bite!!

Tiramisu means “pick-me-up” and this popular coffee-flavoured Italian dessert truly lives up to its name. It is a rich treat blending the bold flavors of cocoa and coffee with savoury mascarpone cheese. This elegant and rich dessert has countless versions, each with their own little twist. Try this quick, easy, alcohol-free recipe from scratch and become a tiramisu snob. Nothing tastes as good as homemade dessert!

A popular version is chocolate tiramisu, in which chocolate is used instead of coffee. Another alternative is fruit tiramisu, where fruits like berries, peaches or apricots are added. Frozen tiramisu recipes are also available. This is a wonderful delicacy to add to the holiday festivities.

What will I need?

3 very fresh eggs

150gm sugar
500gm mascarpone cheese
500gm savoiardi (lady finger) biscuits
100ml strong, black coffee
Powdered cocoa, unsweetened

How is it done?

To make the mascarpone mixture, separate the yolks and the whites into two medium to large sized bowls. Whip the yolks with sugar until you have a dense, creamy and pale mixture. Add the mascarpone cheese until combined. Whisk the egg whites (make sure you use a very clean bowl, glass or metal is best, and very clean beaters to quickly get beautifully stiff whites) until you have stiff peaks that hold their shape even when you turn the bowl upside down. Fold the whites into the mascarpone mixture. Set aside, and if not using right away, store covered in the fridge.

If making a round, cake-like tiramisu, line the edge of a springform tin with baking paper. No need of any lining in case of a rectangular glass dish.

Make a fresh pot of strong, black coffee and pour into a wide bowl. Dip one side quickly (and one side only!) of a lady finger biscuit into the coffee and layer, coffee side up in your prepared tin/dish. Repeat with some more biscuits until you have a nice, tight layer that covers the base of your tin/dish. Not doing so will result in a disappointingly soggy tiramisu. Cover the lady finger biscuits with a thick layer of mascarpone cream, about 1cm thick. Repeat layering with the biscuits, then cream again, finishing with a thick layer of cream.

Leave in the fridge overnight (or for at least four hours if you are in a hurry but this really benefits from a longer wait), covered with some plastic wrap. Dust with plenty of bitter cocoa. Cut, serve and enjoy.

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Nandita Nulkar - Senior French, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese-English Translator, Editor, Reviewer A woman of many letters, Nandita is as much at ease translating from the few languages that she knows as she is donning the various roles she loves, that of a mother, a wife, a hopeless travel addict and a die-hard yoga practitioner. Nandita has a keen eye for detail and it is virtually impossible to smuggle an error out without she being the first one to notice it.