The Washington Post

Carminantonio's Tiramisu

Carminantonio's Tiramisu 6.000

Bill O'Leary

Jul 11, 2007

The original tiramisu was served as a free-standing cake, according to Baltimore pastry chef Carminantonio Iannaccone, making a more elegant presentation.

This dessert has several steps, so here's one way to work efficiently: Make the zabaglione and pastry cream in the morning, assemble the tiramisu in the afternoon and chill it overnight; that will allow the flavors to develop and makes the tiramisu easier to serve.

Servings: 6
  • For the zabaglione
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • For the pastry cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • For the whipped cream
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the assembly
  • 2 cups brewed espresso, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 36 store-bought ladyfingers
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder


For zabaglione: Have ready a double boiler.

Combine the egg yolks, sugar, Marsala, vanilla extract and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until the yolks are fully blended and the mixture is smooth. Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler; fill the bottom pot with hot water and place the top pot on top. Over low heat, cook the egg mixture, stirring constantly, for about 8 minutes or until it resembles a thick custard. It may bubble a bit as it reaches that consistency. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

For the pastry cream: Combine the sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the egg yolk and half the milk. Whisk until smooth. Place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent curdling. Add the remaining milk a bit at a time, stirring. After about 12 minutes the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble. (If you have a few lumps, don't worry; push the cream through a fine-mesh strainer.) Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

For the whipped cream: Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with a large whisk, hand mixer or immersion blender until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside.

For the assembly: Have ready a large rectangular serving platter.

Combine the espresso, rum extract and sugar in a shallow dish, whisking to mix well. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon; this will make it easier to mix. Add the reserved zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set the cream mixture aside.

Working quickly, dip 12 of the ladyfingers in the sweetened espresso, about 1 second per side. They should be moist but not soggy. Immediately transfer each ladyfinger to the platter, placing them side by side in a single row. Spoon one-third of the cream mixture on top of the ladyfingers, then use a rubber spatula or spreading knife to cover the top evenly, all the way to the edges. Repeat to create 2 more layers, using 12 ladyfingers and the cream mixture for each layer. Clean any spilled cream mixture; cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight.

To serve, carefully remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the tiramisu with cocoa powder using a fine-mesh strainer. Cut into individual portions.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from Carminantonio Iannaccone and the Rosengarten Report.

Tested by Jane Black.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving : 611

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 25g 38%

Saturated Fat: 13g 65%

Cholesterol: 404mg 135%

Sodium: 143mg 6%

Total Carbohydrates: 86g 29%

Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%

Sugar: n/a

Protein: 11g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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