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Tiramisu: 5 mistakes we often make
Tiramisu: 5 mistakes we often make

Riddle: what is the dessert that even those who can't cook think they know how to make? Chorus response: the tiramisu, but. Because there is, of course, a but. Indeed, more than one.

In fact, you might add "but it is not as simple as it seems".

Or ask yourself "but then why is the world full of so many bad tiramisu?". And, of course, observe "but making mistakes, 5 errors obviously, it's a moment ".

Well, at least for those, I can help you. With the hope of making things easier for you and getting some bad tiramisu out of the way.

1. Ignore the origins


I myself, when I was young and inexperienced, was convinced that tiramisu was a Milanese or, at most, Lombard dessert.

Maybe because this is the origin of mascarpone, a fresh cheese made from the acidification of cream, traditional from the area south of the capital, roughly between Lodi and Abbiategrasso.

Or, because my grandmother, a true Milanese, always prepared it for me. Or also because there was not (and still does not exist) a typical restaurant in the shadow of the Madonnina that, after yellow risotto and cutlet, did not serve a generous portion of this delight of cream, ladyfingers, coffee and cocoa.

Of course, as we all know today, I was living in a misunderstanding because tiramisu was born in Treviso (or perhaps in Venice, I leave the diatribe to the readers) and in short, it is a Venetian specialty in all respects.

Giving Caesar what belongs to Caesar, therefore, the first step to know and respect this recipe, jealously (and rightly) claimed by the Treviso people, which despite its recent invention (the accredited version dates back to the Sixties / Seventies) has entered right among the great desserts of Italian cuisine. Chapeau.

2. Wrong season


Fresh Cheese and Raw Eggs: If you think of something more sensitive to high temperatures, let's talk about it. Otherwise, resign yourself: to make tiramisu and eat it in complete tranquility (hygienic), as well as with the right consistency, you still have only a couple of months. From May to September, better postpone.

I remember, among other things, that, in late spring, mascarpone cheese disappeared from the delicatessens to reappear in early autumn. Yes, because in the past it was only bought in bulk: the refrigerated tray is a relatively modern invention (and of not always excellent quality).

And all in all, at least for me, summer tiramisu is heavy. Don't you think?

3. Replace the ladyfingers

savoiardi biscuits
savoiardi biscuits

Leaving aside versions of fantasy or recovery (a classic: making the base with panettone, pandoro, veneziana or colomba after the holidays), the home use of Pavesini is quite common (I don't want to: they are not bad, eh, but how snack!) or sponge cake, especially in restaurants, where it seems to give a chic touch and allows for a more regular and - I guess - easy to manage base.

But tiramisu was born with ladyfingers. Dry. Get wet with coffee. Quickly (the humidity of the cream will also take care to soften them), to prevent them from releasing an unpleasant brownish water on the bottom of the pan.

I use a brush, or a quick pass in a flat plate with a little coffee. Cold, sweet or not according to your taste.

No liquor, no sweet wine. What do you think, do you agree?

4. Measure by eye


6 egg yolks for every half kilo of mascarpone and about 30 ladyfingers, for a pan for 4-6 people (depending on the throat).

This roughly says all traditional recipes and these are the doses with which you have guaranteed a thick cream that does not taste too much of egg.

While we're at it, let's review the technique.

Whip the egg yolks with 120 g of sugar (you can measure this in spans, calculating 6 soup spoons) until they are white and frothy. Add the mascarpone a little at a time, with a spatula, used with a very light hand, alternating with the whisk to break up any lumps that, alas, fresh cheese sometimes does.

Dip half the ladyfingers in the coffee, as mentioned in the previous point, and form a layer on the bottom of a baking dish, placing them side by side without overlapping them. Cover with half of the cream, the remaining soaked biscuits and the rest of the cream.

A veil of bitter cocoa sieved on the surface, film (be careful not to touch the cake, otherwise it spoils the aesthetics) and fridge for a few hours: the longer it fits, the more the flavors mix, but do not exceed half a day. Before serving, sprinkle with fresh cocoa (do not overdo the first or the second).

5. Add egg whites or cream


Now, I know that many do it: "lighten" the cream by combining the whipped egg whites or whipped cream.

Lighten in quotation marks because, if it is true that such a cream is softer on the palate, I find it infinitely heavier in terms of taste, especially with cream.

What then, mascarpone is cream, and even I who love this ingredient so much find that doubling it is really too much.

On the contrary, what I like about mascarpone cream is that it is consistent. And, while we're at it, aptly colored, as the aforementioned additions fade it.

Yet, I know that among you there will be those who put one or the other, those who replace the ladyfingers, those who alcoholic soaks them and yes, even those who make strawberry tiramisu and various fruit and even those who try the light route using ricotta and the like..

Do you want to tell it? And maybe convince me that your recipe will be unorthodox but you still make an excellent tiramisu?

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