So you think you know tiramisu? Try this recipe…Tiramisu al Martini

Since we can’t get enough of Davide (Florentine restaurateur extraordinaire, see here for more info), we are having an extra special Select Study Abroad feature…our first Select Study Abroad Italian food recipe!!Following the life rules we here at Select Study Abroad always adhere to, we begin this little adventure with dessert. This particular dessert is a Davide special. In fact, I think he invented it because I can’t find a single recipe for it online! It is Tiramisu al Martini. Spoiler alert: there is no coffee in this recipe! It is, as the title indicates, made with martini mix…or vermouth rather. Some of you may be shocked. As an avid coffee drinker I thought I wouldn’t like it. I was severely mistaken. Honestly. Would Davide ever lead us astray? Never. Here’s the back-story:

Davide in the back with a certain gleam in his eyes...

One night eating at his restaurant, Cesarino, we were digging into our third course of heaven and Davide snuck into the back. One of the waitresses came out and looked at us and said with glee, “He’s making your dessert.”

What? The owner of the restaurant is making our dessert? Right now??
It was true.
So we went to see what was “cookin’” back there. Well, nothing was really, since this recipe is super easy (only ten quick and easy steps!) and involves no double boilers or heating or waiting for hours for things to refrigerate. It truly is instant deliciousness.
What follows is a photo-documented recipe-tutorial all thanks to Davide.

– 6 large eggs, separated into yokes and whites
– 4 tablespoons sugar
– 2 cups mascarpone cheese (drain any excess liquid)
– 1 cup sweet vermouth
– Two 7-ounce packages ladyfingers cookies (ideally imported from Italy or some reputable Italian brand.)
– Cocoa powder (just enough to sprinkle on top)

Step 1. Separate the yokes into one bowl and the whites into another

Step 2. Using a standing or hand-held mixer, beat the egg yolks with 3 tablespoons of the sugar until the texture becomes foamy and the color slowly fades to a pale yellow.

Step 3. Beat in the mascarpone until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.

Step 4. Whip the egg whites until frothy. Add the last tablespoon of sugar and whip until they egg whites hold soft peaks (Davide showed us the ultimate test for egg white readiness by turning the bowl upside down). Set aside.

Step 5. Pour the (ideally extra cold) vermouth into a small bowl.

Step 6. One at a time, dip the ladyfinger cookies into the vermouth. They should absorb a little of the liquid but not get mushy. Five to ten seconds dip will do. Place the soaked ladyfingers on the bottom of a ceramic dish or pie plate or in little individual dishes as seen here.

Davide takes a phone call while dipping ladyfingers. What a multitasker!

Step 7. Returning to your two bowls of whipped/mixed eggs, FOLD the mascarpone mixture into the egg whites.

Step 8. Evenly divide the mixture amongst your dishes.
(If you are using a large dish instead, take half of the mascarpone mixture and pour it over the first layer of tightly packed ladyfingers. Place another layer of soaked cookies over the mascarpone and repeat. End with a layer of soaked cookies.)

Step 9. Sprinkle with cocoa powder.

The final product. It really is a work of art.

Step 10. You can eat right away or refrigerate for extra chilled effect. We say eat it now.

Yeah. We liked it.

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