Did you know that the literal translation of tiramisu is 'pick me up'? And after one bite of this classic Italian dessert, you'll see why. This layered delight is sure to put some pep in your step.
For a pudding loaded with layers of espresso and rich cream, tiramisu still feels light yet indulgent – and that's just how they offer it up over at Il Baretto, Magna at the Mezz and Thirty Eight Chairs.
Layers on layers
Layered cakes have been around for a long time – but it's the ingredients in tiramisu that sets it apart from the crowd. The idea of combining coffee, luxurious zabaglione cream and alcohol is the true innovation here. It's the after-dinner holy trinity: coffee, cream and booze.
Typically, sweet sponge fingers are soaked in espresso and a sweet alcoholic drink of choice till soft. A custard-like cream called zabaglione made from whipped eggs, sugar and mascarpone cheese provides the cream layer – and then it's just a matter of stacking the ingredients up, alternating cake and custard. The top layer is always a rich helping of sweet mascarpone, and often topped off with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or grated chocolate for extra goodness.
The great Italian cake debate
Tiramisu is one the of the world's best-loved sweet treats – and we think it's something to do with its booze soaked sponge and creamy mascarpone topping. But a decidedly sour debate has broken out in Italy over when and where tiramisu was invented.
While some people think it first popped up in Tuscany, a more popular origin story places it in Treviso, near Venice. Supposedly, a trattoria called Le Beccherie rustled it up in the 70s. Owner Ada Campeol craved something that would help energise her after becoming a first-time mother – and that's how the now-classic combination came to be.
Where to find a pick-me-up
The good people of Thirty-Eight Chairs proudly claim that their glass of creamy coffee flavours will cure your tiramisu cravings. Topped with just a dusting of cocoa powder and a sprig of fresh mint, this dessert will keep you coming back for more.
At Magna at the Mezz things may look hipster – they serve their tiramisu in a jam jar. But the taste is nothing short of traditional. Rich coffee flavours cut through the sweet cooling cream for that familiar contrast. And that's just how they do it at Il Baretto too. A perfect balance of coffee and chocolate are a match made in dessert heaven.
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