The literal meaning of Tiramisù in Italian is “pick me up” or “cheer me up”.
As the name implies, this is an iconic Italian dessert that is served at the end of the meal that hopefully “cheers you up”
Origins: Tiramisù likely originated in the Veneto region of Italy in the 1960s or 1970s, though its exact birthplace is debated.
Ingredients: Tiramisù features layers of espresso-soaked ladyfingers and a creamy mixture of mascarpone, sugar, and egg yolks, topped with cocoa powder.
Significance: This beloved Italian dessert symbolizes Italy’s culinary creativity and passion. It’s a cherished treat enjoyed on special occasions and gatherings, both in Italy and around the world.
Story time – It was a warm summer evening in the enchanting city of Florence, where I had been living for the last 8 months.
On this particular evening, one of my local friends, Luca, insisted on introducing me to a quintessential Italian dessert: Tiramisù.
Now I had tasted Tiramisù previously outside of Italy but believe me when I tell you that this was a whole different experience!
Luca, a passionate food enthusiast, had raved about the Tiramisù at a charming, family-owned trattoria (a typical type of diner or tavern) tucked away in a narrow alley. As we strolled through the picturesque streets, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of anticipation building within me.
Upon arriving at the trattoria, I was welcomed by the aroma of freshly brewed espresso, which mingled with the sweet scent of cocoa. The anticipation was palpable as we waited for the dessert to arrive.
When it finally appeared, the Tiramisù was a work of art. Layers of delicate ladyfingers soaked in espresso and layered with a velvety mascarpone cream were elegantly presented in a glass dish.
A dusting of rich cocoa powder adorned the top like a fine dusting of cocoa snow.
The coffee-soaked ladyfingers had a subtle bitterness that was perfectly balanced by the creamy, sweet mascarpone.
As I enjoyed the dessert, I couldn’t help but reflect on the last 8 months in Italy.
The people, the culture, and the cuisine had become an integral part of my life. Tiramisù, in that moment, felt like a culmination of the journey—a dessert that encapsulated the passion and love Italians poured into their culinary creations.
The trattoria’s cozy atmosphere, the laughter of diners around me, and the rich, decadent Tiramisù all blended together, creating a memory that would forever hold a cherished place in my heart.
And to round off this story (and because coincidence are everywhere!) – my husbands’ favourite dessert is TIRAMISÙ!
So each year for his birthday I make him a big Tiramisù to share with the whole family!
Brew the espresso and allow it to cool.
In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until the mixture is pale and slightly thickened.
Add the mascarpone cheese to the egg yolk mixture and mix until smooth and well combined.
In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until fully incorporated.
Quickly dip each ladyfinger into the cooled espresso and layer them in the bottom of a serving dish.
Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers.
Add another layer of dipped ladyfingers and top with the remaining mascarpone mixture.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Before serving, dust the top with unsweetened cocoa powder.
Slice and serve.