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There are probably more recipes for this Italian dessert on the Internet than there are photos of cats, but for good reason. It can be made a day or two ahead of the event, it will feed a crowd, it is so easy to put together, and it is sensationally delicious. Too many food writers make this too complicated – there is no cream, you can’t use diet ceam cheese and sponge cake or lady fingers make abysmal substitutes. In Italy, there normally is not a wedding cake, but a series of “spoon desserts”. This one was served at my dqughter’s wedding outside of Ascoli Piceno.in Le Marche.
- 1.5 cups mascarpone (340gr)
- 8 oz (237ml) espresso coffee
- 3 oz (85gr) grated dark chocolate or dutched (alkalized) cocoa
- 1/3 cup (79ml) high quality brandy or Marsala
- 36-42 Savoiardi (do not use cake or soft ladyfingers)
- Any shallow casserole that holds 2-2.5 quarts (2.25 liters)
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup (150gr) caster sugar
- In a mixer bowl beat egg yolks with sugar until mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add Mascarpone and beat until smooth.
- In another non plastic bowl, (copper is preferable) whisk egg whites until soft peaks form..
- Fold into mascarpone mixture.
- Combine brandy and espresso in a shallow bowl.
- Dip savoiardi on both sides in the coffee mixture for a couple of seconds and arrange enough of them to create a compact bottom layer.
- It is important not to let the coffee soak too much into the savoiardi.
- Spread half the mascarpone mixture over this layer.
- Top with another layer of coffee dipped savoiardi.
- Spread the remaining mascarpone mixture over the top and smooth it.
- Dust with the cocoa powder or grated chocolate (I combine the two).
- Chill for several hours before serving..
- I combine half grated chocolate and half cocoa to top my version of this dessert.
- It will keep for several days in the fridge
- Sometimes I have generously sprinkled cocoa and grated chocolate on the first layer of the tiramisu as well.
After owning one of the best cooking stores in the US for 47 years, Nancy Pollard writes a blog about food in all its aspects – recipes, film, books, travel, superior sources and food related issues.