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Tiramisù means pick me up (tira= 2nd person singular of the verb tirare, to pull or to throw -- mi = me -- su, without accent = up). It is such a popular dessert that it needs no introduction =)
The opposite of su is giù.
- 6 uova (eggs) a temperatura ambiente (lit. at environment temperature -> room temperature)
- 750 g mascarpone (about 26.5 ounces, at Shaw's you can find the brand Belgioioso)
- 8-10 cucchiai di zucchero (spoons of sugar)
- (a drop of marsala or rhum or another liquor)
- 2-3 packages of ladyfingers (savoiardi, you can find them in the Italian sector at any grocery store)
- a tablet of dark chocolate (cioccolato fondente, altough fondente does not mean dark,
but melting) or cocoa powder (cacao in polvere)
- caffè (coffee) as much as needed (1 or 2 cups are usually sufficient)
1- in a ciotola (bowl) mescola (mix) the egg yolks (i tuorli or rossi d'uovo= lit. the reds of the egg) with the mascarpone [and the marsala]
2- in another ciotola whisk the whites (monta gli albumi or i bianchi) with the sugar (you can whisk by hand with a fork or a hand whisk, or by using an electric beater).
Then mix the two creams gently: you want to avoid the egg whites foam to collapse
3- in the meantime prepare your favorite coffee (I use espresso, I will write more about caffè in the next days), let it cool down and put it in a shallow dish
4- dip the ladyfingers in the coffee and make a layer on a rectangular pyrex/ceramic pan. Then put a layer of cream. Then another layer of soaked ladyfingers...
5- make in total 2-3 layers of ladyfingers, end with a thin layer of cream and sprinkle with shaved dark chocolate (you can shave the chocolate with a cheese grater) or cocoa powder
6- put in the fridge, if you have enough patience wait (aspetta, from aspettare) a few hours and enjoy. If you wait one day it tastes even better. Serve chill!
Variations: if you prepare tiramisù for kids, you can substitute the caffè with a mix of milk and decaf.
During the Spring 2012 I taught one of many interdisciplinary undergraduate seminars in the Experimental Study Group at MIT. Each class is based on the preparation of a simple delicious dish and on the bite-sized acquisition of parts of the Italian language and culture.