This is definitely the EASIEST and MOST DELICIOUS Tiramisu you’ll ever make. Six simple ingredients is all it takes to make this creamy, light Italian dessert. What l love most is that it’s not overly rich, making it so tempting to have another slice.
Running a restaurant is no easy feat. I say this because, there have been a number of very good restaurants (in Sydney) that have hit on hard times in recent years. And it doesn’t matter how famous the establishment or chef is.
This means that l’m on a constant mission to find a restaurant whose food l enjoy. Enter a lovely little Italian restaurant that l recently discovered not too far from home. The menu was not very extensive, but what grabbed my attention was their tiramisu.
I could really taste the individual flavours, the coffee, the liqueur and above all the flavour of the mascarpone cheese which wasn’t diluted by the addition of cream. The texture of the ladyfinger biscuits was just right, not too dry and definitely not soggy.
My next mission was to reproduce it!
Key Features of a 6 Ingredient Tiramisu
Mascarpone Cheese (soft Italian cream cheese) – it isn’t a tiramisu without mascarpone cheese. Recipes vary greatly in terms of the quantity used; some use a lot more than l do, while others use just a fraction of what l recommend. Keeping in mind that mascarpone cheese can be expensive, l use 250 g / 9 oz which is equivalent to 1 tub from the supermarket. I think that’s a good compromise.
Eggs – I use 4 egg yolks and 3 egg whites. The extra egg yolk adds a little more volume and creaminess to the mixture while the egg whites keep the tiramisu light.
Coffee – strong black coffee is what the recipe calls for. If you have a coffee machine or a coffee plunger, then you’re set. Otherwise, instant espresso will do the trick.
Alcohol – modern versions of tiramisu contain alcohol, even so, your tiramisu won’t suffer without it. If you really want to add alcohol, Kahlua, Frangelico, Madeira, rum, or brandy are popular choices. Otherwise, leave it out entirely.
Ladyfinger biscuits – these are delicate, dry, sweet biscuits and are absolutely essential to a tiramisu. They are sold as Savoiardi or Pavesini ladyfingers in most supermarkets.
Cocoa powder – to finish off your tiramisu, dust cocoa powder or chocolate shavings over the top – preferably just before your serve it.
No Cream – many recipes use cream which l think waters down the flavour of the mascarpone cheese. Personally, l think the filling is rich enough without it.
Without the benefit of the actual recipe (it’s hard to get chefs to part with their secrets), l had to rely on my taste buds (and a bit of research) to create what one of my taste testers has called, ‘the best tiramisu they’ve ever had’.
I can live with that!
Preparation Time: 30 mins
Servings: 6 – 8
- 3 eggs, separated plus 1 extra egg yolk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 250 g / 9 oz mascarpone cream (note 1)
- 1 1/2 cups strong black coffee (note 2)
- optional: 2 tbsp Liqueur (note 3)
- 18 ladyfinger biscuits (note 4)
- Make 1 1/2 cups of strong coffee. Set aside to cool.
- Beat the egg yolks and sugar for 8 minutes. I use a stand mixer on setting 8 (it goes up to 10). The mixture needs to be thick and all sugar must be dissolved. To test, rub a bit of mixture between your fingers (see photo).
- Add the mascarpone cheese and beat until just combined.
- Tip mixture into a clean, dry bowl. Set aside.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff. I beat for about 4 minutes. There should be no liquid in the bottom of the bowl and the mixture should be firm (no sliding around in the bowl).
- Gently fold half of the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites. Then fold in the remainder. The mixture will look lumpy but will eventually smooth out as it sets. To fold means to combine ingredients without knocking air out of the mixture.
- If using liqueur, mix it with the coffee. Dip each ladyfinger quickly into the coffee mixture. Begin lining a 20 cm / 8″ square dish (see photos) (note 5).
- Spread 1/2 the egg yolk mixture over the first layer. Top with another layer of ladyfingers.
- Spread the remainder of the cream over the second layer.
- Cover with foil or cling wrap. To allow the flavours to develop, l suggest refrigerating between 4 – 6 hours (overnight is even better).
- Serve dusted with cocoa powder or shaved chocolate (the first slice may be a bit tricky to lift out of the dish, but after that, it’s clear sailing). I prefer to dust my slices individually after l have plated up.
- Mascarpone is a soft, smooth Italian cream cheese. It has a mild flavour which makes it perfect for either savoury or sweet dishes.
- I have a coffee machine which can pump out as many espressos as l need. A coffee plunger is another option, but if all else fails use instant espresso coffee.
- The addition of alcohol appears in the more modern versions of this dessert. If you wish to use alcohol, Kahlua, Frangelico, Madeira, rum, or brandy are popular choices.
- Ladyfinger biscuits are spongy, sweet biscuits roughly shaped like a large finger. They are sold as Savoiardi or Pavesini ladyfingers in most supermarkets.
- I used a square dish because that’s what l have. Tiramisu can be served in any shaped dish. The restaurant where l recently had tiramisu served it up in little jars which looked elegant. I just don’t have that many jars.