Tiramisu: Classic Italian recipe

Traditional Italian tiramisu
By KarmaWeather - 18 April 2020
© KarmaWeather by Konbi - All rights reserved

Italian tiramisu, grandma style

KarmaWeather offers a succulent recipe from the famous traditional Italian tiramisu below. This recipe is very easy and you should be able to easily make it successfully, to the delight of your guests and your family.

The great strength of Italian cuisine being its simplicity and the enhancement of its quality ingredients, some people will always set themselves up as guardians of the temple of what they consider to be the one and only true original recipe. However, we believe that adaptations are always possible to any traditional recipe, provided that the original nature is not distorted. We will therefore endeavor, in the description of the different stages of production of this legendary Italian dessert, to explain our approach and, if necessary, the options which seem to us the most appropriate.

Level: easy / beginner
For: 8 people
Preparation time: 40 mins
Cooking time: None

Which Chinese zodiac signs love tiramisu the most?

A quick nod to our friends born in the Year of the Monkey, whose entire natal chart of the elements of WuXing and Feng Shui. Indeed, according to Chinese astrology and the precepts of WuXing, Tiramisu symbolically contains the elements Earth, Metal and Water. If you are a Rat, Dragon or Snake and you want to win the heart of a Monkey or strengthen the mutual love that you already have, tiramisu is one of the desserts that are likely to tip the scales in your favor.

Ingredients and utensils


  • 500 gr. mascarpone
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of icing sugar
  • 30 spoon cookies (boudoir)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of soluble coffee (freeze-dried)
  • 2 caps of rum (or amaretto for purists)
  • 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1 pinch of salt


  • 1 large salad bowl (to whisk the egg whites)
  • 1 large container (to mix the cream)
  • 1 bowl (for the coffee)
  • 2 to 3 dishes or 6 small tupperwares (to put the dessert on)
  • 1 electric whisk (or else a standard whisk)
  • 1 spatula (or big spoon)

  1. Preparation of ingredients

    Duration: 5 mins

    In small containers, set aside the two rum caps, the two teaspoons of freeze-dried coffee, the vanilla and the pinch of salt.

    The traditional tiramisu recipe is made with amaretto. However, rum is a great substitute. In general, for desserts, we have a predilection for Negrita rum, which is an amber gourmet rum whose delicate and golden fragrance does not require adding more than necessary. Alcohol is optional in this recipe. We therefore advise you not to seek a replacement at any cost. The combination of coffee, cream and vanilla is already more than enough to satisfy the most gourmet amongst us.

    If you do not have a vanilla pod available, the use of a liquid vanilla flavor is also perfect, provided you only pour 3 to 4 drops at most, because it is a synthetic flavor concentrated.

    Freeze-dried coffee seems ideal because it is quick to use and easy to dose. If you have a Nespresso type coffee machine, you can of course use it instead of instant coffee. Then replace the two teaspoons of freeze-dried coffee with a double espresso.

    Coffee, rum, vanilla, salt
    Instant coffee, rum, vanilla, salt

    2 to 3 tablespoons icing sugar is enough. Indeed, the spoon cookies used in this recipe are already sweet. No reason to add more than necessary, especially since it could overwhelm the subtlety of the combination of flavors of the other ingredients.

    💡 I don't have icing sugar, what should I do? You don't have icing sugar in your cupboards? No problem, use white caster sugar instead. On the other hand, when preparing the cream, use a whisk to whiten the egg yolks with the caster sugar, to make sure that the sugar grains are well melted.

    Icing sugar
    Icing sugar

    In this tiramisu recipe suitable for 8 people, we recommend the use of 6 medium eggs.

    6 eggs

    Set aside a 500 gram jar of mascarpone.

    ⚠️ Although we are flexible on other aspects of the preparation, it seems difficult to us to consider something other than mascarpone for the recipe of a tiramisu worthy of the name. In our opinion, crème fraîche, whipped cream or crème Chantilly, despite their many qualities, have no place in this recipe.

    Mascarpone cream

  2. Preparation of the cream

    Duration: 5 mins

    Now start by separating the whites from the egg yolks, each in a bowl-type container. Set the whites aside for the moment. In the container containing the yolks, add the icing sugar. If you use caster sugar, vigorously beat the yolks and sugar before incorporating the mascarpone.

    Icing sugar and egg yolks
    Adding sugar to egg yolks

    Add the mascarpone, one of the two caps of amber rum (or otherwise amaretto or kirsch), vanilla (3 to 4 drops of vanilla flavor or the seeds of a vanilla bean).

    Ingredients added to the cream
    Addition of the different ingredients of the cream

    Mix all the ingredients until the cream is homogeneous and takes on a buttery yellow color. You can use a manual or electric whisk for this phase of the recipe.

    Mixed cream
    The cream once all its ingredients are mixed

  3. Laying out and soaking the cookies

    Duration: 10 mins

    In the 2 to 3 large containers of your choice, place the spoon cookies. You can if you want to add a second layer of cookies on top of the first, leaving a breath between the first and the second stage, so that the cream can touch all the cookies.

    ⚠️ Is the tiramisu with speculoos still a tiramisu? If we do not want to settle on this thorny question, remember however that if you choose to replace the spoon cookies with specullos, then you will give a completely different flavor to the recipe. The speculoos being spicy biscuits (green anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove), the combined flavors of cream, vanilla and coffee risk being smothered by this cookie with a very assertive character. Also, the speculoos not being an airy and light cookie as can be the spoon cookie, it tends to become pasty if it is too wet, or on the contrary crumbly but a little too dry.

    Spoon cookies
    Spoon cookie arrangement

    If you are using freeze-dried coffee, first dilute it with a little boiling water, before you finish filling your bowl (or large cup) with cold water. If you chose the double espresso option, now pour it into a bowl and add cold water to finish filling it. Then, add the second cap of rum to the coffee.

    Visually, your coffee should look like American coffee, i.e. an elongated or very elongated coffee (depending on the importance you want to give to the coffee). If you make your tiramisu without alcohol, we advise you to opt for a coffee a little more full-bodied, but still elongated.

    Large cup of elongated coffee

    With a tablespoon, dip the cookies with the equivalent of a good tablespoon for each cookie.

    💡 If your bowl is empty and some of your cookies could not be covered, make another elongated coffee. Then write down on a notebook the proportion of biscuit / coffee that you will need later when you make this recipe again.

    Soaking the cookies
    Soaking the spoon cookies

  4. Rise in snow of egg whites

    Duration: 10 mins

    If it seems preferable to wait until the last moment to whisk the egg whites, it is to be sure that the whites will be as firm as possible when they are incorporated into the cream produced in step 2.

    💡 Why do you add a pinch of salt to the egg whites? Just before whisking the egg whites, adding a pinch of salt guarantees a better firmness of the whites.

    Egg whites after breaking the eggs
    The egg whites before they are whisked

    Using an electric whisk (or by hand if you have the strength and patience), whisk the egg whites until they become firm.

    💡 How do I know if my whisked egg whites are ready? When the whites seem more compact, turn the container upside down. As long as the whites have not become attached to their container, the operation is not yet complete.

    Whisking the egg whites
    Using an electric whisk to whisk the egg whites

    After less than 5 minutes with an electric whisk, the whites should be ready. The bubbles are now invisible to the naked eye and the consistency is solid in appearance.

    Whisked egg whites
    Whisked egg whites

  5. Incorporation of the whites and dressing of the dessert

    Duration: 10 mins

    Gradually add the whites to the container with the cream (step 2). Using a spatula or large spoon, gently cover each piece of snow white with cream, being careful not to break the whites. To do this, make a slow circular movement from top to bottom. Above all, avoid stirring the mixture laterally or too briskly. In the end, it is better that the appearance is not completely homogeneous rather than taking the risk that some of the whites will become liquid again because they have been used too much.

    Incorporation of the whites in the cream
    Incorporation of the egg whites in the cream

    Add the final mixture over the boudoir cookies previously soaked in coffee (step 3).

    Adding the cream to the cookies
    Adding the mixture to the cookies

    You can lightly shake your dish laterally to better distribute the cream in your container. Personally, we prefer to opt for a rustic and family approach, where part of the cookies remain conspicuously visible on the sides.

    Tiramisu before adding cocoa
    Tiramisu before adding cocoa powder

    Finally, last step of the recipe, sprinkle the tiramisu with cocoa powder. Still in the same spirit of an unpretentious family recipe, the dusting is done by hand, a big pinch of cocoa powder being poured randomly over the dessert.

    Tiramisu after sprinkling cocoa

  6. Tasting and storage

    Once step 4 is complete, your tiramisu should be kept in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. The long-term action of the refrigerator allows the cream to become firm and the cookies to obtain the desired texture (moistened, supple but always consistent). Since the tiramisu contains fresh uncooked eggs, it is best to taste it within 48 hours after making it.

    Buon appetito!

    Traditional Italian tiramisu
    Traditional Italian tiramisu, grandma style
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