Published November 1, 2007.
This new Italian classic has become a sad, soggy, tired excuse for a dessert. Could we inject new life into a dish whose name translates as "pick me up"?
Despite tiramisù's simplicity, a lot can go wrong. It can be soggy or parched, dense, sickly sweet, or fiery with alcohol.
We wanted to keep the recipe as easy as possible, using just a few ingredients and no cooking to make a dessert with seamless union of flavors and just the right texture.
Our initial tests determined the proper ratio of ingredients. For the mascarpone filling, we settled on 1 1/2 pounds of mascarpone, six yolks, 2/3 cup of sugar, and a touch of salt. To lighten the mixture without affecting the mascarpone's delicate flavor, we added 3/4 cup of whipped cream. The cakey component was a little trickier. Classic tiramisu calls for ladyfingers dipped into espresso spiked with alcohol. For the dipping liquid, we liked a rather wicked but easy-to-make potion created by dissolving instant espresso in strong brewed coffee. Actual dipping technique also affected the outcome. A quick in-and-out didn't adequately moisten the cookies, and full submersion produced a squishy dish. The reliable method was to drop each ladyfinger into the liquid so that it floated on the surface and then roll it over to moisten the other side. Liquor is an important part of tiramisù. We liked dark rum as it complemented the rich, deep, toasty qualities of the coffee. Finally, we created a second version with cooked eggs for people who might be wary of desserts made with raw eggs.list of recipes