When I worked in an Italian family restaurant in the North End of Boston, I remember the owner, Arturo, coming in to make his famous tiramisu for the week. The first thing he did was soak the ladyfingers in espresso and amaretto and let them sit before going to work on the perfect custard. He also knew that a real tiramisu needed at least 24 hours to come together, and was even better after a few days. Any less time didn't allow the flavors to mingle enough to give the dessert the legendary taste and texture it's known for.
Before this, I was certain there was no way to recreate a proper Italian tiramisu at home, but after watching Arturo go to work, I realized it's not as mystical as it seems! You too can have tiramisu without having to track down your nearest authentic Italian eatery. Just be careful - I've already warned you of its effects.
Step 1: Ingredients
- 6 egg yolks (~96g)
- 3/4 cup (150g) white sugar
- 2/3 cup (160mL) milk
- 1 1/4 cups (300mL) heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound (950mL) mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup (240mL) strong brewed coffee, room temperature (traditionally this would be espresso, and if you have access to that - do it!)
- 1/4 cup (60mL) amaretto, brandy, or rum (since that's what I already had)
- 6 ounces (170g) of ladyfinger cookies (my package was for 7 ounces. more cookies for me!)
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder