Tiramisu (senzi Gli Uovi!)

 

Ah, tiramisu - the iconic boozy dolce of the Italian Restaurant. I spent a year studying the art of food, ahem I mean semiotics, in Bologna, in the food-famous region of Emilia-Romagna. There, tiramisu was but an after-thought, overshadowed by dishes made with the syrupy balsamic vinegar of Modena, the succulent prosciutto from Parma, the homemade tortellini from Bologna proper and the dense, dark chocolate that found its way in to most desserts and beverages. That is, except in the eyes of my Sardinian 'compagna di stanza', who made us tiramisu...almost every day. She was scared silly of raw eggs (some grandmother's effective and unnecessary campaign in a land of truly farm-fresh eggs!) and refused to make hers with the customary 3-4. Instead, she would lighten hers with some cream and a vigorous hand beating (no electric things in our kitchen that year). You'd never know your silky dessert was missing an otherwise key ingredient. This is a simple dessert that depends on the strength of its ingredients - an excellent espresso, an excellent rum (steer away from Vanilla-ish rums, it will start to taste too vanilla-y and slightly fake) and an excellent cocoa powder and you have an excellent dessert. In my opinion, tiramisu tastes best when it's very cold, and has had time to develop. I try to make mine the day before I'm serving, or at least that morning, to give the flavors enough time in the fridge.

What you will need

32 ounces mascarpone cheese

1/4 cup half-and-half

8-10 tablespoons confectioners sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

400 grams (standard package size) savoiardi biscuits

2 to 3 cups strong, freshly brewed espresso

Rum

unwseetened cocoa powder

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