That is literally what “tiramisu” (or originally “tireme su”) means in the Treviso dialect. The Italians’ most favourite dessert was meant to cheer up customers at the end of their meals.
Which invention story do you believe?
Or… if you believe one legend, this dessert was invented in Treviso by a lady in 1800. She served it to the visitors of her brothel at the end of their stay, giving men a minute or two to think about their excuses before rushing home. A coffee and chocolate-flavoured treat with velvety texture would undoubtedly elevate their spirits.
Unsurprisingly, this story was not shared far and wide. According to a different source, Alba di Pillo allegedly invented the dessert in the restaurant Le Beccherie in 1969 – also in Treviso. Tiramisu was added to the menu in 1972. In 1980, the recipe was published for the first time and received all the attention it deserved.
Not much space for creativity
There are many variations of making this mouthwatering dessert. Officially, however, the tiramisu recipe is protected, as issued by the European Union following the request from the governor of Veneto.
This means that manufacturers are very limited in their creativity when it comes to making tiramisu for the consumer market. Deviating from the original recipe might result in losing the right to call the dessert “tiramisu.”
Make your own tiramisu at home
If you like to make this no-bake modern classic at home, be ready for a trip to a local Italian shop: you’ll need the special savoiardi biscuits. Depending on the size of the dessert you intend on making, the quantity may vary between 16 to 24 pieces.
While in the shop, also check if they have mascarpone. Without this essential ingredient, no tiramisu can be made. It’s a special cream cheese, smooth and creamy with distant vanilla undertones. Get 450 g / 2 cups of it.
- To make your tiramisu, separate 4 egg yolks from the whites. In a bowl, mix the yolks with 75 g / ⅓ cup of sugar to create a creamy and voluminous texture. Italians call this egg mix “sbatudin.”
- Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks.
- Take the mascarpone out of the container and stir it before mixing it into the sbatudin.
- Carefully fold the egg whites into the sbatudin and mascarpone cream – oversteering can result in the cream becoming flat.
- Prepare 100 ml / ½ cup of a strong coffee brew and add a drop or two of rum if you like.
- Use a rectangular dish for your tiramisu. Soak each biscuit in coffee until light brown but not soggy, and lay them down in the dish in one layer.
- Cover the first layer of the biscuits with the layer of the cream and generously sprinkle with chocolate powder.
- Repeat the layers two more times, finishing the dessert with the last layer of the cream. Omit the chocolate powder for the last layer, as the powder will get too wet during the cooling stage.
- Refrigerate for 4-6 hours. Sprinkle with lots of chocolate powder once ready to serve.
Nothing beats the taste of tiramisu and a cup of espresso!