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Journal > Tiramisu: The perfect pick-me-up recipe

Tiramisu: The perfect pick-me-up recipe

April 5th, 2020 - Colin O'Brien

Anyone who has ever spent time with us in Tuscany will have fond memories of the tiramisu at Borgolecchi. In fact, anyone who has spent any time at all in Italy had at least one tiramisu after dinner that left a lasting impression. The name means “pick me up” in Italian, and that’s exactly what it is, a sweet, creamy, slightly caffeinated treat that puts a spring in your step after a good, long meal.

Although it’s a relative newcomer to the Italian kitchen – the origins are disputed but most trace its roots to Veneto some time in the 1960s – it’s arguably one of the country’s most widely recognised dishes. It can also be one of its most abused. The secret to a good tiramisu lays in its simplicity, but that hasn’t stopped people the world over adding their own unnecessary flourishes. We’re sticklers for originality here at inGamba, so the version we offer is the most simple, and according to our chefs, the most authentic.


2 Egg yolks
2Tbsp Sugar
250g Mascarpone
250g Whipped cream
50g Cocoa powder
1 Large cup of strong coffee (+/- according to taste)
50g Icing sugar
Ladyfinger biscuits (Savoiardi in Italian)

Difficulty — easy


01. Make up the coffee and set aside. Whip the cream, adding the 50g of icing sugar halfway through. Once the cream has become dense put it in a bowl, cover and place in the refrigerator. 

02. Now take the two egg yolks and beat them with the sugar using a whisk. Then add the mascarpone and mix well (try to use the whisk with an upwards action). As soon as the mixture is combined, take the whipped cream out of the refrigerator and add it to complete our tiramisu ‘crema’. (NB: A splash of Marsala whisked into the crema will add a grown-up finish, but it’s optional.)

03. Pour the coffee (which should be cold) into a wide dish to make dipping the biscuits easier, and add ½ cup of water if you don’t want it too strong. It’s important to dip quickly and lightly, because you don’t want a soggy tiramisu. The biscuits should still have a bit of resistance to them when you plunge your spoon into the finished product.

04. Using individual bowls for each portion, cover the bottom of the dishes with the biscuits, followed by a layer of the crema (about 2cm thick). Repeat the process with another layer of the coffee soaked biscuits, making sure they’re tightly packed, and then another layer of crema. Two or three layers of biscuits should be plenty, finished with a layer of the crema.

05. Once they’re built, it’s important to cover the bowls and put them in the for at least two hours so that the crema sets nicely.

06. Remove the bowls from the fridge just before serving and finish them with a dusting of cocoa powder (a sieve is best for this).

07. Buon appetito!

Colin O'Brien