recipe box - authentic tiramisu

Easy And Authentic Tiramisu Recipe

This authentic Tiramisu recipe combines espresso, cream, chocolate and cookies to create and delicious dessert that pairs well with a strong Italian coffee.

Authentic Tiramisu Recipe - Delicious

Firm, Sweet and Delicious Tiramisu

There are many variations of this classic recipe that stray pretty far from its origins and this authentic version shouldn’t be missed because of the ingredients, techniques and amazing results that you can achieve at home.

Authentic Tiramisu Recipe Frequently Asked Questions

Before we get going with the recipe, I wanted to answer some of the questions that I’ve seen online. Here are the more frequently asked:

Where Is Tiramisu From?

This amazing dessert has origins in the northeast regions of Italy, specifically in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions. The origins are in dispute, but it is a more recent creation and started appearing in cookbooks in the mid-20th century.

Mesh Strainers

This set of strainers are the right tool for the job and easily cleaned later.

Kitchen Tools And Cookware

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Pasta MakerGnocchi BoardPasta BoardRavioli Maker
Ravioli Press/StamperRicerBialetti Pasta PotBamboo Cutting Board Set of 3
Silpat Baking MatSantoku KnifeMeasuring Cups and SpoonsStainless Mixing Bowls
Dutch OvenMesh StrainersStainless ColanderStainless Steel Fry Pan

What Does Tiramisu Mean?

Tiramisu is a combination of three words:

  • The imperative form of tirare, which means: pull or move
  • The pronoun mi, which means: me
  • And su, which means: up

This word combination results in tira-mi-su, which means “Pick Me Up”, and this dessert definitely does that.

Does Tiramisu Have Coffee?

Bialetti Moka – Silver

The Moka Express is the original stovetop espresso maker and is the Italian way of preparing a delicious coffee that dates back to 1933.

Yes it does, and the stronger the better. The best method I have found is to brew as much bitterly strong stovetop espresso that your moka pot can hold, until your yield is 2 cups. Don’t worry about it being too strong because there is enough sugar to offset the bitterness.

If you don’t have a Moka or access to something that can make espresso, one possible substitute is to combine 2 cups of boiling water with 3 tablespoons of instant-espresso powder. This isn’t the best solution, but it will give you much more flavor than a traditional American drip coffee maker, which is far too weak for this dessert.

Authentic Tiramisu Recipe - Coffee Pairing

Tiramisu Pairs with Coffee

Can You Freeze Tiramisu?

You can, and restaurants frequently do freeze Tiramisu, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It will stay in the refrigerator for a few days, and I doubt it will last longer than that. If you have a small family or want to save it for another occasion, freezing it is possible, but the key is to wrap it in air-tight plastic so that it won’t get freezer burned.

What Is Traditional Tiramisu Made Of?

The full ingredient list is below, but the shortened version includes: coffee (espresso), chocolate, cookies and cream. There is more to the recipe, but this shortened list should give you an idea of the important flavors.

What Is The Difference Between Italian And American Tiramisu?

Mixing Bowls

Only recently have a realized how great mixing bowls with lids are and these stainless steel beauties are amazing!

While there are many variations to the classic Tiramisu recipe, I would say the biggest difference is with how the eggs are handled. Traditional Italian Tiramisu doesn’t cook the eggs, and the first time that I saw this version I was shocked. The US version, because of the difference in how the eggs are managed, uses a cooked version that includes a Zabaglione, which is amazing in and of itself. I would say that the ingredients themselves don’t vary much, but just how the eggs are treated. 

Are Raw Eggs Ok In Tiramisu?

Raw eggs are OK if you are in Europe, but I wouldn’t recommend using the raw egg method if you are in the US. There are differences in how eggs are handled and cleaned that allow for raw usage in Italy that is strongly discouraged in the US:

The Tiramisu recipe I have below relies on cooking the eggs as part of a Zabaglione. This is the egg yolk, sugar and Marsala wine mixture that you cook over a double-boiler that is amazing. While you are making this recipe, be sure to stop and taste the zabaglione before adding the cheese. It is delicious even on its own, and the eggs are fully cooked.

Authentic Tiramisu Recipe - Bitter and Sweet

Strong Coffee And Sweets

Can I Use Greek Yogurt Instead Of Mascarpone In Tiramisu?

I would not recommend using Greek yogurt as a substitute for Mascarpone cheese in Tiramisu. I understand that finding Mascarpone can be difficult in certain parts of the US, but there is a big difference in the consistency and flavors of these two products. I would suggest that good old Philadelphia Cream Cheese is the best substitute that you can easily find in the US. Surprisingly, at least to me, this cream cheese is quite popular in Italy and even is known as simply: Philadelphia.

What Is A Substitute For Ladyfingers In Tiramisu?

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Don’t buy cheap plastic cups and spoons because this stainless steel set will last a really long time!

This is a difficult question because there aren’t a lot of cookies with the same consistency of a good Savoiardi. These cookies are crunchy, but very light and cookies in the US are usually a bit denser. You can try making them yourself, but it is a little tricky. My only recommendation, because I’ve seen it done, is to use a sponge cake. It won’t result in an authentic version, but it might get you part of the way there.

Should I Make A Jamie Oliver Or Gordon Ramsay Tiramisu?

The popular British TV chefs have been committing food crimes against traditional Italian food for quite some time. Gordon Ramsey is not the worst offender of Italian recipes, and his version of the Tiramisu doesn’t anger me, but he doesn’t use any eggs and relies on coffee from a French Press, which I would expect would result in a runny, weak mess.

Jamie Oliver’s version of Tiramisu is far more offensive. His chocolate ganache layer is just plain wrong, and far too sweet for this dessert. Ricotta cheese and honey, while delicious, are bad choices as well. Again, there are no eggs and don’t get me started on the Clementine zest added at the end.

If you want to try these recipes, go ahead, but my recommendation is to try this authentic version first so that you can easily identify how these versions from Jamie and Gordon pale in comparison.

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Authentic Tiramisu Recipe - Don't Forget Coffee

Coffee Stronger The Better

Authentic Tiramisu Recipe

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 420 mins (7 hours)
  • Servings: 8

Authentic Tiramisu Ingredients

  • 2 cups (1/4 liter) of freshly brewed strong Espresso Coffee
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) plus 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 4 large Egg Yolks
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) dry Marsala Wine
  • 16 ounces (450 grams) Mascarpone Cheese (around 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) chilled Heavy Cream
  • 36 Crunchy Ladyfingers (Savoiardi)
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder for dusting

Tiramisu Cooking And Assembly Instructions

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and the hot espresso coffee to a shallow bowl and whisk until sugar has dissolved.
  2. In a separate bowl that can be used as a double-boiler, use a whisk or mixer to beat the egg yolks, Marsala wine and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar while heating over a pan of simmering water. The mixture should turn opaque and triple in size.
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat. Mix in mascarpone cheese until just combined.
  4. Beat the heavy cream in a large bowl to stiff peaks.
  5. Lightly fold the mascarpone cheese mixture into the whipped cream.
  6. One cookie at a time, dip the ladyfinger into the coffee mixture for 1 second and place it along the bottom of a 13×9 inch baking dish in 3 rows of 6 cookies.
  7. Spread half of the cream and cheese mixture on top of the cookies.
  8. Repeat step #6 with the remaining 18 cookies. Try a different pattern to add stability to the dish.
  9. When there are no more cookies, spread remaining cream and cheese mixture across the top and smooth the top with an offset spatula.
  10. Using a fine mesh sieve, dust the top of the pan with the cocoa powder.
  11. Cover with cling film and chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Serving Suggestions For This Authentic Tiramisu Recipe

The best possible pairing with this dessert is the strongest espresso you can find. Because it contains sweetened espresso coffee, a more bitter accompaniment would be the best choice, both for after dinner, but if you are feeling special, you might also try a small piece of this for breakfast. You won’t be disappointed.

Authentic Tiramisu Recipe - Chocolate

Dusted with Chocolate

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