I have to confess to a real fondness for Tiramisu, and I often order it if I see it on an Italian restaurant menu. The best I've had was at Ca'an Mea, a wonderful and eccentric restaurant just outside Badalucco in Liguria (more here), where it was, inexplicably, served in an enamel chamber pot. My friend Nick also makes a mean version.
The word "tiramisu" literally translates as "pick me up" and it was invented within the last 50-odd years. It is traditionally made with "savoiardi" or Boudoir biscuits/lady fingers, eggs, sugar and mascarpone cheese. It's lighter than a cheesecake, or a trifle. There are countless variations, using panettone or other yeasted breads, different cheeses, with or without eggs. Nigella Lawson has a "white" version, using white rum and crushed meringues. I had planned to make my version for dinner tonight using leftover Madeleines purchased in France last week, but when I went to use them, I discovered someone (who shall remain nameless) had eaten them all. Instead, I used Pain d'Epice (a French spiced cake made from an enriched yeasted dough). Once I had soaked it in a mixture of black coffee and Amaretto, I reckoned it would taste pretty authentic!
Tiramisu is quick and simple to make. Ideally, make it in advance so that the cheese/egg mixture has time to set. Here is Nigella's recipe for White Tiramisu, and a link to Delia Smith's more classic version.
Happy new year!
- Box of shop meringues
- 2 eggs, separated
- 90g caster sugar
- 325g mascarpone
- 160ml white rum, such as Bacardi
- 200 ml full fat milk
- 18 savoiardi or as many as needed
A bowl of raspberries makes a good accompaniment.