Tiramisu used to be one of my favourite desserts and although I used to make it often in the past, after the bird flu, I stopped making it because of the raw eggs used in this dessert. While in Rome, we were offered tiramisu a couple of times, as part of the menu and remembered what a great dessert it is and what we were missing all this time!
The phrase tirami su literally means “pick me up” or “pull me up” in reference to the effects of the sugar and espresso. It is also thought to mean “pick me up to heaven” due to the delightful taste.
During our trip to Rome, we exchanged some gifts with Natalia.
Natalia was not only kind enough to show us around but also gave us some gifts to try some of the Italian products.
Extra virgin olive oil from Sicily, Italian wine cookies, delicious chocolates and a package of freshly ground espresso coffee. The cookies were delicious, the chocolates disappeared in no time and I have left the olive oil to try it raw in salads.
Espresso coffee is very similar to Greek coffee as the beans used are the same. However, they differ in taste because of the level of roasting the beans, the grinding of the coffee and of course the way of preparation.
(If you want to see how we prepare Greek coffee, just touch the image below).
Unfortunately I do not have an espresso machine, so I have been making the espresso coffee just like we make the Greek coffee and then I filter it with a coffee filter. It smells heavenly and of course it tastes hundred times better than the ones we drink in cafeterias. I have even combined the two coffees together and in the picture you can see that the espesso coffee is much darker because of the roasting.
Since I wanted to use some of this espresso the first thing that came to my mind was to make (what else?) Tiramisu!!
Tiramisu is not a dessert for children and although my daughter is 17 ½ years old she doesn’t drink coffee and of course she doesn’ t like anything with the flavour of coffee in it. Instead of making a big container using both packages (48) of biscuits, I used a smaller one using 36 biscuits and 2/3 of the cream, With the remaining 12 biscuits and one third of the cream, I made a mini chocolate tiramisu, just for her. instead of using coffee and rum, I melted some chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute and added some milk until it was quite liquid, in which I wet the biscuits. The remaining procedure was the same.
- 2 packets (48 ladyfingers – 400 grams)
- ½ cup of icing sugar
- Four large, fresh free-range eggs, divided
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 600 grams of mascarpone or Philadelphia cheese (I used Philadelphia light 12%)
- 250 ml heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 ½ cups of freshly brewed espresso coffee left to cool
- 1 teaspoon demerrera sugar
- 2 tablespoons of a dark rum
- 50 grams couverture chocolate shavings
- 100 grams of cocoa powder
- After brewing espresso coffee mix cane sugar, allow to cool and mix in the rum and set aside.
- Use a vegetable peeler to shave the chocolate and set aside.
- Separate the eggs. Beat the whites with the lemon juice into a thick meringue and set aside.
- Beat the yolks and the icing sugar until a creamy consistency has been achieved. Add the vanilla essence and heavy cream and whip. Then add the Philadelphia and mix until creamy.
- To this now add the meringue and fold in gently until all the ingredients are incorporated.
- Dip each biscuit in the coffee and use half of the biscuits for the first layer.
- Add half of the cream, another layer of biscuits dipped in coffee and finally top with the remaining cream and refrigerate for a few hours.
- Before serving, sprinkle with cocoa powder and chocolate shavings on top.