Most came back from the Venice Cruise with great memories of fantastic art, beautiful churches, fantastic boat rides, lots of photos and a few more ounces if not pounds on the bathroom scale. Knowing that there was to be a competition for the best Italian dessert at the final dinner we set out to find the ingredients for Tiramisu at the local supermarket. On the way we stopped to have some glass beaded bracelets made up at the jewellery store next to the main church in Murano. Whilst making up the bracelets, Nicoletta, the jeweller was most helpful with some useful tips on making a good tiramisu, which I think are worth sharing because they are not in most recipes.
“Use yesterday’s espresso as something changes in the taste overnight. It is not necessary to add alcohol to the coffee, although I think a splash of Marsala adds something. Dip the “Ladyfingers” biscuits for no more than 1 second on the top and bottom leaving the centre dry. Use a flat dish big enough to cover the bottom with no more than 2-3mm of liquid. Make the tiramisu the day before as the flavours need to combine and spread evenly in the fridge.”
1/2 cup (120ml) brewed espresso or very strong coffee, at room temperature
1/4 cup (60ml) dry Marsala wine, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar, divided
8 ounces (225 grams) mascarpone cheese (about 1 1/4 cups)
3/4 cup (175ml) heavy cream
18 to 20 Savoiardi Italian ladyfingers (from 7-ounce package)
1 ounce (30 grams) bittersweet chocolate or cocoa powder for dusting
Here is the list of ingredients should you a wish to try making one for your next dinner party:
Instead of heavy cream you can substitute the egg whites whipped to stiff peaks and then you will not need the vanilla extract.
GO FOR IT.
Written by competition winner Barrie Martin