Tiramisu is a dessert I’ve only eaten at restaurants–usually with my family. For some reason, the alchemy of its components always eluded me. It seemed like it might be very tricky to make. And then, for the Sopranos finale, I decided to give it a go. I pushed aside all the more complex recipes that involved egg yolks and heat, and used one right out of the Sopranos cookbook. It took less than ten minutes and the results were pretty dynamite. Here’s how to do it.
1. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 pound mascarpone, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons amaretto or Cognac until smooth.
2. In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, whip 1 cup heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.
3.* Place 1 cup brewed espresso (at room temperature) in a pie dish. [* This is my added step. It was my idea to put the espresso in a pie dish. Genius!] [Oh, also, I used instant decaf espresso, adding hot tap water until the espresso had a strong flavor. I realize decaf is anti-gourmet, but I didn’t want my guests to be up all night.]
4. Lightly dip 12 savoiardi (imported Italian ladyfingers) in the espresso and arrange them in a single layer in the bottom of an 8-inch square pan. [The Barefoot Contessa said on her show to just hold the ladyfinger in the espresso for a “one” count–any more and it’ll get too soaked.]
Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the savoiardi. Sprinkle with chopped bittersweet chocolate.
5. Dip the remaining 12 savoiardi in the espresso. Top with the remaining mascarpone mixture, spreading it smooth. Sprinkle with more chopped bittersweet chocolate (1/4 cup). Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, before serving.
That’s it! And it tastes like what you might get at a restaurant. Your guests will love it. Unless they’re too full from lasagna.