In the 90s, Roma had few pubs, which offered a place to sit and enjoy a pint of your favourite beer. Men dominated the space behind the bar and pushed women to the kitchen. Lorenza had no choice but to work as a cook to support herself during her university days. She used to prepare simple snacks and tiramisu from her aunt’s recipe. A pleasant addition to her daily wage was free booze that was pouring in streams after the closing hours. Students’ life is not a sad life.
Twenty years and several continents later, Lorenza and I prepared tiramisu from the same recipe. Not in a pub but in our small kitchen in Iraq. We replaced mascarpone with Qaymar, clotted cream, which is a favourite breakfast pick in the Middle East and some Balkan countries. The cream contains 20% more fat than mascarpone. If you decide to use it, whisk a couple more egg whites to maintain the tiramisu “fluffiness”. If you have access to the real mascarpone, enjoy this classic Italian recipe as it is.
30 minPrep Time
4 hr, 30 Total Time
30 savoiardi (ladyfinger cookies)
500 g mascarpone
8 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cup espresso
cocoa for sprinkling
Beat the sugar and the egg yolks in a bowl until creamy.
Beat the egg whites until fluffy.
Stir egg yolks into mascarpone and slowly add whisked egg whites.
Spread two table spoon of the mascarpone cream at the bottom of a baking dish. Take savoiardi, dip them in hot freshly brewed espresso one by one and arrange over the mascarpone. Afterwards, spread an additional layer of mascarpone cream and of savoiardi at the top. Repeat until you run out of ingredients.
Finally, dust with cocoa powder and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.
Tiramisu (basic recipe); form 20x20cm, 3 layers
While combining eggs with a dough, always stir it in one direction: either left or right.
Also, stick to the order of adding ingredients and original measurements. It really matters in baking.
While making tiramisu use a high dish, as the more layers you arrange, the tastier it will be.
The last thing is that you have to be fast while dipping savoiardi in espresso. If they absorb too much coffee, they will become very mushy. Imagine that the coffee is boiling and you’re dipping your fingers in it. That’s how fast it should be.
If you're using Qaymar, the clotted cream, instead of 5 eggs you use 7, and instead of 8 tbsp of sugar, add 12.
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