Easy Italian Dessert: Tiramisu


Everyone knows tiramisu and everyone revisits it in their own way. But where does it come from and when was it invented? Here is the story of tiramisu.

As often, it is difficult to determine the precise origin of a dish. But one thing is certain: tiramisu comes to us from Italy. Its Italian spelling is tirami sù, which literally means ‘pull me up’ or ‘cheer me up’, in the moral sense of boosting someone’s morale, or in the physical sense.

The tiramisu is a dessert whose base is comprised of eggs, sugar, cold coffee, mascarpone (Marsala or amaretto) to soak soft biscuits (ladyfingers, sponge cake, biscuit spoon) and powdered cocoa.

Prepared separately, these ingredients are then superimposed in successive layers.

So it’s an Italian dessert, but where does it come from? No one really knows it, and several legends are circulating. Here are a few:

The first is that tiramisu was invented in Tuscany at the end of the 16th century. It would have been created especially for the visit of Cosimo III de Medici, Duke of Tuscany to Siena. He would have liked it so much that it would have become his favorite dessert and would have made it known throughout Italy by bringing it back to the court of Florence. Mascarpone was added to the recipe in Treviso.

The dessert then spread outside the Italian borders in the 18th century, thanks to authors who disseminate the recipe in cookbooks. They add the boudoir biscuit.

It is also said that during the Renaissance, the Venetians offered tiramisu to their lovers for them to have more vigor, because it was considered an aphrodisiac. Or, it is also said that the Venetian prostitutes working above the bars, bought tiramisu to restore their energy.

Another legend is much more down to earth: tiramisu is actually a trick to not wasting cold coffee and leftover cakes. A little liquor was added to these 2 ingredients to soften the cake and then covered this whole with cream or mascarpone.

Over time, tiramisu has evolved and many variations have emerged: different cookies, use of fruit…

Easy Italian Dessert: Tiramisu

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 15 min Total Time 15 mins
Servings: 8
Best Season: Summer


Tiramisu is a coffee-flavored Italian dessert. It is made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavored with cocoa.

There are many tiramisu recipes. This is the original recipe (or in any case, one of the recipes that can claim to be!).

there is indeed alcohol in the tiramisu but it is dry Marsala (neither with eggs nor with almonds) mixed with very strong coffee.



  1. Separate the whites from the yolks.

  2. Mix the yolks with the brown sugar and the vanilla extract.

  3. Add the mascarpone with a whisk.

  4. Beat the egg whites and gently incorporate them with a spatula into the previous mixture.

  5. Wet the cookies in the coffee quickly before lining the bottom of the dish.

  6. Cover with a layer of mascarpone cream then repeat the operation, alternating a layer of cookies and a layer of cream, ending with the latter.

  7. Sprinkle with cocoa.

  8. Put in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours then enjoy cool.

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