Photograph by Johnny Miller Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis


Desserts from Issue 7 – Summer 2015 – Spectrum

Of the many tall tales around tiramisù’s origins, our favorite is that it was birthed in a house of ill repute as an energy boost, thanks to those espresso-soaked wafers, for the patrons or the courtesans (stories vary, of course). In fact, this widely-loved—so wide Starbucks transformed it into latte form—pick-me-up was crafted at Treviso’s Le Beccherie restaurant in the 1970s, but, like so much else, it’s our mom’s (editor Fiorella’s mom, Cristina Valdesolo) version that we think is the best.

serves 12 to 16

  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 5 Tbsp sugar
  • 1.2 lb (500 gr) mascarpone (look for an Italian brand)
  • 3 cups brewed espresso (or 3 Tbsp instant espresso powder dissolved in 3 cups boiling water), at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sweet Marsala wine
  • 48 (2 7-oz/200 gr pkgs) Savoiardi cookies (crisp Italian ladyfingers, not the spongy ones; we like Balocco brand)
  • 1 to 2
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    unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1

    In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with sugar using an electric mixer until thick and pale yellow. Beat in mascarpone until just combined. In a separate bowl, with clean beaters, beat whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into yolk mixture until evenly combined. In a separate shallow bowl stir together the coffee and marsala.

  • 2

    Working with one cookie at a time, briefly dip (don’t soak) 24 cookies into the coffee mixture. As you dip, arrange them snugly to completely cover the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch serving dish (ours had a removable bottom for flashy presentation). Trim cookies to fit if needed. (Practice arranging before dipping to find the best fit.)

  • 3

    Spread half the mascarpone cream evenly over cookies. Using the remaining cookies, dip and layer a second layer on top, then spread with remaining mascarpone cream. Sprinkle cocoa evenly over the top using a fine mesh sieve. Cover and refrigerate the tiramisù at least six hours, or, better yet, overnight.

    *This recipe contains raw eggs so use the freshest ones you can find.