I am traveling in Italy at the moment and having way too much fun! To share at least some of the joy with you, I decided to upload my home made tiramisu recipe, a dessert that must be one of the most well know and popular desserts in the world.... and no wonder why!
Italy with its landscape, history, culture and food is one of my favourite destinations to visit! I adore everything about it, been there 10+ times and beside gelato, canolli and sfogliatella, tiramisu is one of the desserts I have to try every single time when I am here.
This home made tiramisu features airy ladyfingers from scratch that are layered in between light mascarpone cream. Rich espresso flavor and a touch of cocoa finish. Dolce vita! You absolutely have to make this recipe, no excuse!
What is exactly tiramisu?
Now if you just landed on Earth and never tried tiramisu before you might wonder what is this fuss about!
Tiramisu appears to have been invented in the 1960s or 1970s, but where and when exactly is unclear. What a time to be alive! In short, tiramisu is a coffee-flavoured ceamy Italian dessert that is served cold. It is made of ladyfingers (savoiardi) dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa. It is origined from among Italian regions of Veneto but nowadays widely popular across the entire world.
My Top 5 Baking Tips for home bakers
- Read the recipe carefully including my tips and recommendations on how to avoid and fix typical issues during baking.
- Avoid using substitutes and changing the recipe unless you are aware of how to fully reformulate the recipe in order to keep the balance in texture as well as flavour. Reducing sugar, replacing egg, using milk instead of cream, using poor quality mascarpone will have an impact on your tiramisu
- For consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is provided as an indicative figure only and might be used for less complex and large batch recipes however it is not an appropriate method if you want consistent results
- Did you know that most home ovens can significantly under or oven run? Also, oven temperature hugely drops when opening the oven door therefore it is recommended to always pre-heat the oven above the required baking temperature.
- Temperature is so important when it comes to baking and accurate oven temperature is key, can make or break any recipe. Make sure you invest into an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer to avoid under baked, burnt, sad looking desserts
Some important notes regarding the ingredients of this home made tiramisu recipe
Home made ladyfingers (savoiardi)
- Egg: For making lady fingers you will have to use egg white and yolk separately. Egg white plays a key role in getting the airy ladyfinger sponges light and fluffy so make sure you use fresh eggs in order to be able to successfully separate yolk from white
- Sugar: You can use simple granulated sugar or superfine sugar the point is to cream it with egg all the way up until sugar fully dissolves. If want to learn about the different types of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here
- Pastry flour and corn starch: This home made ladyfinger recipe calls for a mixture of fine texture pastry flour as well as starch for the fluffiest results. Alternatively use AP flour and corn starch mixture but do not skip the starch. If you want to be a Pro when it comes to deciding what type of flour to use in your baking, please read my article in here
For the mascarpone cream
- Eggs: Traditional home made tiramisu recipe calls for raw egg yolk and please please do not skip it. If you are uncomfortable about row egg just think about how many times you enjoyed tiramisu before and yes, those must have been all made with row egg yolk. Needless to say use fresh, free-range egg if possible
- Mascarpone: Very rich Italian cream cheese, exceptionally smooth and easily to spread or whip. The flavor is milky and slightly sweet. Use at room temperature. There is no substitution for mascarpone while making this home made tiramisu. No mascarpone, no tiramisu
- Heavy cream: Also known as whipping cream has a fat content between 36% and 40% , I always use 36% cream. Use it very cold and do not substitute with vegetable based "whipping cream"
Coffee and cocoa powder
- Coffee: Home made tiramisu is a coffee flavoured dessert so the ladyfingers must be lightly soaked into coffee. I prefer to use espresso type of coffee here for rich, deep coffee flavour. Freshly brew, only very slightly sweet. If there is any concern regarding coffee, I guess it can be skipped, but the ladyfingers then should be soaked into something else to achieve the signature soft texture we are aiming for
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Generally always use unsweetened, 100% cocoa powder in baking. I use dutch-process cocoa powder, it has a lovely dark colour and it is lower in acidity, the perfect taste and colour for home made tiramisu
4 tips regarding the technique of making this home made tiramisu recipe
1. How to bake home made ladyfinger (savoiardi)
Ladyfinger is a sponge biscuit shaped basically like a large finger. Home made ladyfinger is much more like a sponge than its store bough version that is not as soft and the texture is more like a biscuit. Making ladyfinger at home is so easy and so rewarding, you will never buy it from the store ever again. It is made of a few basic ingredients only and baked in 10 minutes! Technique wise same rules apply as baking airy sponge cake. No 1. rule is to fold the mixture carefully.
- Have you baking tray with parchment paper ready or prepare a Silicone baking mat a before the whole process. You will probably need 2 baking trays (for 28 lady fingers)
- Also a good idea to prep a piping template ahead, I am using an eclair template that is 10cm / 4 inches long
- While beating egg yolk and sugar, make sure you beat it all over until sugar dissolves. When you take a small amount of egg yolk and sugar mixture between your fingers it should be smooth and not grainy
- For this recipe it is important to sift the flour as well as starch to avoid lumps and with that unnecessary foldings to fix it
- Using egg white you will be making meringue. The key part here is that sugar needs to be added to the egg white very slowly, one table spoon at a time while the Stand mixer is on otherwise it might get crystallised and you have to start the whole process all over again and who wants that? No one. The meringue is ready when it reaches stiff, shiny peaks however do not over beat it to a point where it would form lumps as that is a difficult texture to fold in with the rest of the ingredients
- After meringue reached the right consistency, it’s important to first loosen up the flour egg yolk mixture with about ¼ of the whipped egg white then fold meringue in VERY carefully with the help of a Rubber spatula. The batter should stay very airy before piping. If it gets too runny, you won`t be able to pipe and the mixture won`t be able to hold its shape
- For piping I am using a simple small 1A Round nozzle tip . Try to pipe the batter in a large finger size, bearing in mind that the ladyfinger will grow a lot in the oven
- The ladyfingers are baked in a relatively high temp (200 C / 392°F) for a short time (10-12min). If they are well baked, they get golden brown and only slightly deflate after removing from the oven
2. How to make the mascarpone cream for tiramisu
The mascarpone cream for this home made tiramisu should be light, airy, creamy, literally like a dream! This is not a difficult kind of cream but worth to bear in mind some rules while making it.
- Make sure you heat and slightly whip egg yolk and sugar over double boiler. Double boiler is a common method for melting chocolate without burning it and also for egg based creams without ending up with scrambled egg. All you need is a saucepan and a glass bowl that rests on the rim. You might have to play around with combinations of pans and bowls to find the perfect fit but it works perfectly fine. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl
- While whipping egg yolk and sugar over double boiler, use a hand whisk and make sure that sugar fully dissolves. When you take a small amount of egg yolk and sugar mixture between your fingers it should be smooth. I suggest to do it slowly over low heat and as soon as sugar dissolves and mixture slightly whipped up, remove it from the stove
- It is very important that after egg yolk and sugar fully whipped up, you wait until the mixture cools to room temperature. Do not attempt to fold mascarpone in while the mixture is still warm as it will break the mascarpone, the while mixture will get runny, and you have to start again.
- How to properly whip mascarpone? I recommend to use an Electric hand mixer as mascarpone needs to be whipped very carefully. First take the mascarpone out from the fridge and bring it to room temperature then start to whip on low speed. As soon as it reaches a fluffy consistency stop whipping it otherwise it might become runny
- After the mascarpone reached the right consistency, it's important to fold it with egg yolk sugar mixture VERY carefully with the help of a Rubber spatula. The cream should stay very airy, cloud like texture
- How to properly whip cream? Similar process to whipping mascarpone, the only difference is that cream whips up well when it´s very cold. Use an Electric hand mixer so that you don´t walk away for sure. First it will reach soft peaks, then stiff peaks, that is the stage when it is done. Do not try to over beat it, it won´t get "harder" instead it will become either too hard to fold with mascarpone or if you go too far, it will get grainy then you might as well make butter using that batch
- Folding cream into the mixture. Same as in case of mascarpone, it should be folded very carefully with a Rubber spatula
Please note that this cream will be very airy, fluffy and creamy after it is set in the fridge and only suitable for making traditional tiramisu which is a "bowl type" of dessert. However, it is not firm enough to hold its shape and not appropriate for tiramisu cake or tiramisu cupcake. Please check my tiramisu cupcake or tiramisu cakeroll recipe if you are interested in making those!
3. How to assemble the tiramisu
Once ladyfingers and mascarpone cream ready, here comes the fun part, assembling your home made tiramisu! You can assemble tiramisu either in a glass, in a bowl, in ramenkins, use whatever equipment you have at home.
Make coffee first, I like to brew an Italian strong espresso type of coffee with a very small amount of sugar. Soak ladyfingers into coffee and start layering the ladyfingers next to each other then finish with a layer of cream. Repeat the process as many times it is required considering the size of your bowl.
Tip.:When soaking ladyfinger in coffee, use a generous amount of coffee to achieve that lovely tiramisu flavour however monitor how ladyfingers soak the coffee in and do not make it overly wet
Then comes the hardest part, wait! The layers of the tiramisu should set together for min 4 hours in the fridge, it is even better the next day.
4. What equipment is needed to make home made tiramisu
Making tiramisu is so easy and good news is that no special equipment is needed.
For making the ladyfingers, a piping bag and smaller size round nozzle tip is useful, alternatively cut a hole on the piping bag and try to pipe the cake batter without nozzle.
For making the cream part for the tiramisu absolutely no special equipment is needed, all you have to be careful is the technique to make sure cream stays fluffy!
For assembling and serving there are a few options. Either use a smaller glass container or a trifle bowl or for individual servings use Ramekins. Ramekins can be also used for Cème brûlée, soufflé or any other individually portioned desserts!
Other tiramisu recipes for your to try
Matcha tiramisu – Are you a tiramisu lover and matcha fan at the same time? Appreciating Italian and Japanese cuisine at the same time I created this matchamisu recipe using my home made tiramisu recipe with matcha, Japanese green tea instead of coffee and cocoa. If you like tiramisu, you have to try matchamisu, the green tea version of it! Find the recipe in here
Tiramisu cupcake – This tiramisu cupcake recipe is dream come true for coffee and tiramisu lovers! Coffee soaked melt in your mouth cupcakes with creamy mascarpone frosting on top dusted with cocoa powder! Cupcakes can´t really get any better than this! Recipe in here
Tiramisu cake roll – This is hands down the Best Tiramisu cake roll that you will ever make! My Tiramisu cake roll recipes consists of a super fluffy Japanese style sponge cake, that is easy to roll without breaking it. The sponge is drizzled with rich espresso, then rolled up with an airy, light whipped mascarpone cream filling. Recipe in here
STAY UPDATEDSubscribe to my recipes, sweet tips & latest travel news.
RECIPE CARD - Home made tiramisu
For ladyfinger (makes 28)
- 3 Egg yolk
- 70 g Granulated sugar
- 250 g Mascarpone
- 200 g Heavy Cream
- 1 cup Coffee strong espresso to soak the ladyfingers in
- Few Tablespoon Cocoa powder Unsweetened Dutch processed to decorate the top
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
Start with ladyfingers
- Start with ladyfingers. Heat oven to 200 C / 392°F
- Beat 4 egg yolks with half of the sugar (50g) until pale and fluffy and sugar fully dissolves, ideally in a Stand mixer so it will get fully whipped
- Using your Stand mixer make the meringue. Whip egg whites with the other half of the sugar, adding the sugar in small amount at a time. Whip for about 5 minutes just until shiny stiff peaks
- While making meringue sift flour and corn starch in and fold carefully with Rubber spatula just until combined. Mixture will become thick, that is normal
- Once meringue ready, mix ¼ of of with flour egg yolk mixture to loosen it up then fold in the rest of the meringue very carefully using a rubber spatula
- Get your piping bag and Wilton 1M piping nozzle tip and pipe 28 equal sized finger shapes leaving enough space in between them
- Bake for 10 minutes. After baked, let them cool on Cooling rack
Continue with mascarpone cream
- In a separate bowl whip very cold heavy cream starting slowly then increasing speed on your Electric hand mixer until stiff peaks (but do not over whip) and carefully with a help of a rubber spatula fold it into the mascarpone egg yolk mixture. At this point the cream should be airy and fluffy and it will further set in the fridge
- You can either make 6 small bowls of tiramisu or one or two larger ones. Soak lady fingers into freshly prepared espresso and place them next to each other on the bottom of the bowl.
- Spread an even layer of cream on the ladyfingers then place another layer of coffee soaked ladyfinger on top then cream again. Leave a small amount of cream for decoration and store in fridge.
- Refrigerate tiramisu for minimum 4-6 hours
- After tiramisu set in the fridge dust with cocoa powder