Tuesdays with Luca - Tiramisu with a Twist
Welcome to the 4th installment of our new blog series! Every week, we post a brand new recipe and wine pairing from our very own Chef Luca. Trying to capture the delicious and thoughtful recipes and wine pairings that are prepared daily in our kitchen here.
This week, we skip right to dessert with Tiramisu. The recipe this week’s recipe includes the classic version and one with a tropical twist!
Tiramisu, meaning "pick me up" or "lift me up", is a popular coffee-flavored Italian dessert. The brilliant idea in Tiramisu is not in the technique of layering but in the components. Layered cakes had been present in Italy for many years, but the true innovation of Tiramisu was combining coffee, zabaglione cream, and chocolate together.
Believed to be the first reference to Tiramisu, the famous Italian gastronome, Giuseppe Maffioli, mentioned it in his book “Il ghiottone Veneto”, (The Venetian Glutton) first published in 1968 -- he talks extensively about Zabaglione custard. The name of this cream originates from Zabala, a sweet dessert popular in the Illyria region. It is the coastal area, across the Adriatic Sea, that was Venetian territory for a long time during the golden age of the “Repubblica Serenissima” (The Most Serene Republic) of Venice. Zabaglione was prepared in those times with sweet Cyprus wine.
The Savoiardi biscuits are much easier to place. The cookies were developed at the court of the Duchy of Savoy during the 15th century to welcome a visit from the King of France. Later, Savoiardi lady fingers were given their name when they were granted the designation of “official court biscuit”. Savoiardi lady fingers are subtlety sweet, allowing them to pair well with the other sweetened ingredients that are added to tiramisu.
CLASSIC AND PINEAPPLE TIRAMISU
For the savoiardi biscuits:
5 eggs - separated
150 gr (3/4 cup) sugar
150 gr (3/4 cup) flour
For the mascarpone mixture:
6 eggs - separated
125 gr (1/2 cup) sugar
500 gr (2 cups) mascarpone
2 packages of unflavored gelatin
Other ingredients needed: coffee or espresso, cognac, cocoa powder (for the classic version) or ¼ of a fresh pineapple, thinly sliced and juice.
For the savoiardi biscuits:
Add the egg whites in one bowl and yolks in another. Whip each one with half the sugar.
Stir the two mixtures together and add the flour.
Pour the mixture into a sac a poche and squeeze out small 7 cm long (3 in) logs onto a baking tray.
Bake at 180°C/350°F.
For the mascarpone cream
Whip the whites of the eggs with half the sugar until stiff.
Whip the yolks with the other half.
Add the mascarpone and the melted gelatin to the yolks, then add the whites carefully to this mix.
In a small bowl, alternate layers of biscuit dipped in coffee and cognac with layers of cream.
Sprinkle cocoa on top of the last layer. For the pineapple version, alternate small pieces of pineapple with layers of biscuit dipped in pineapple juice and layers of cream.
Avignonesi Vin Santo di MontepulcianoThe thick cream and chocolate, nutty flavors of the tiramisu bring out a range of aromas and flavors from the vin santo and complements the rich and creamy consistency well.