Thursday, July 7, 2011


Ok so my first recipe post. Here goes...

I suck at baking. Period. Maybe it has something to do with me really disliking carefully measuring ingredients. That requires too much patience, something that I need to learn in the kitchen. But until then, I'm a total fan of NO BAKE desserts. And hello, what better no bake dessert than Tiramisu??

I always assumed that Tiramisu was made using lady fingers, until my Italiano started telling me one day about how his mother made the best Tiramisu in the world. So before he came to Toronto, I asked him to ask his mamma for the recipe so I can try to duplicate it. "Lady fingers, right?" I asked.
"E' schifoso!!", he replied (Gross!). Sorry, I didn't realize lady fingers could be "gross". He said mamma only uses something called Pavesini. Pave-wha?? Pavesini --They are these little Italian, lightweight-fluffy-but-cripsy cookie type things that are slightly sweet. So when he arrived in Toronto, he came with 2 packs for me. Then I discovered that I could actually buy them here at an Italian grocery shop for about 4 bucks a pop.

If this is your first attempt at Tiramisu, don't worry. You can't really go wrong. Remember, it's NO BAKING. So if you throw in a lil extra sugar, or forget to sprinkle extra cocoa powder on top, it will still be good!

Prep time: Approx 20 minutes. 

The ingredients:
  • 2 packs of Pavesini (You may not use them all, depends on how big your dish is. You can always keep the extras for next time or dip them in coffee for a snack. Yum!) --if you're in Toronto, you can get them at Grande Cheese
  • 4 large eggs 
  • One 250g container of mascarpone cheese
  • 4 generous teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 small cup of strong coffee
  • cocoa powder
  • A small chunk of any chocolate of your choice (I like to mix milk and white chocolate--Bulk Barn is cheap!)
  • a pyrex dish --for this recipe I would use a round one that's about 9" in diameter and 3" deep
  • egg beater
  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • a spatula
  • a grater
  • a sifter
To prepare:

my first time making tiramisu, not bad!
  1. Prepare a cup of coffee and let it cool in a bowl. Don't have a coffee maker? Go buy a cup! I ran down to Starbuck's my first time. =P
  2. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and place each in its own bowl. Tip: I like to crack the egg in half and let the egg white spill into it's own bowl. Then you can gently pour the yolk back and forth into each half of the shell until all the egg whites have fallen out. If it's your first time, don't worry, I messed up a few eggs and had to do it again and again. So keep a few extra eggs handy.
  3. Whisk the egg whites with the egg beater until they become completely fluffy and opaque. If you don't have access to fresh eggs, throw in a pinch of salt. When I first whisked egg whites, I got a little nervous because they didn't seem to fluff up. Don't worry, it doesn't happen in seconds. Takes a few minutes. They are ready when you can pick up the egg whites and they don't drip off the whisk.
  4. Add the sugar to the egg yolks and beat them together. Basically, you're adding one spoonful of sugar for each yolk. 
  5. Add the mascarpone to the egg yolk mix and mix it all together with the spatula.
  6. Gradually add the fluffy egg whites to the mascarpone mix. Tip: Fold the egg whites gently into the egg yolk mix. You want to avoid beating it all together, then the egg whites will lose their fluffy texture and the mix can become more runny.
  7. Take each Pavesini cookie and dip it in the coffee for a quick second then lay it in your serving dish. In and out, don't let it soak in the coffee otherwise it'll turn into mush. Repeat this until the bottom layer is covered.
  8. Take your mascarpone mix and spread a good amount of it on top. Sort of like icing a cake.
  9. Add cocoa powder in your sifter and gently tap it out so it sprinkles all over the first layer evenly. 
  10. Grate some of your chocolate on top for added chocolate goodness.
  11. Repeat steps 7-11 until you have 3 layers. The top layer of mascarpone should cover the entire dish, almost like it's sealing everything in.
  12. I like to get a little more generous with the chocolate shavings on the top layer --looks pretty.
  13. Cover the entire dish with saran wrap and leave it in the fridge for at least 5-6 hours. I usually make it in the morning to serve in the evening. Or you can make it in the evening to serve the next day.
This dish will serve about 6 people. If you want to make more, just double up. If you noticed, I skipped the traditional marsala wine that is normally added. I like mamma's version because it's simpler and it tastes damn good!



  1. La mia fantastica ragazza ha sempre ragione... Well, non sempre, ma questa volta si!
    La versione italiana del Tiramisu è dannatamente buona...!!! Hmmmmmmmmmm!!!!

  2. Where did you get the Pavesini in Toronto?

    I've been looking around. Grande Cheese seems to no longer stock them!

    Can anyone help me?

  3. Hi Vince,
    I know, I was just in Toronto for 3 weeks and couldn't find them anywhere! I went to 2 different Grande Cheese locations (Orfus and Richmond Hill) and I don't think they carry it anymore. I even checked Bruno's and another small local Italian bakery. I had to make this with savoiardi (lady fingers) and I found that it didn't taste as good. Sorry I can't help! Good look hunting, let me know if you find them!


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