Curiosities about tiramisu

In Italian ‘tira mi su’ would translate as ‘pull me up’ or ‘raise my mood’ as it is an energy-giving dessert with coffee and chocolate.

There are several theories about the origin of this dessert, but all experts agree that it is a modern recipe despite being a classic of Italian gastronomy.

The Tasty Tiramisu

I am going to summarise these possible origins that tiramisu could have:

  1. The tiramisu of Cosimo III de Medici. This story is the one that places tiramisu furthest in the past towards the 17th century, but it is not very credible. The story goes that tiramisu was made as an offering to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo III de’ Medici. The recipe called for coffee, cocoa, mascarpone cheese and eggs. It is then questioned whether as by that time it was dangerous to consume raw egg products because of the high risk of salmonellosis. An other reason for not beliveing this theory is how mascarpone cheese typical from Lombardy region in the North of Italy arrived in good condition in Tuscany without refrigeration or preservation methods.
  2. The tiramisu of Camillo Benso. This legend is said to have originated in the 19th century in a pastry shop in Turin as an offering to the Count of Cavour, better known as Camillo Benso. In Italy he is known for his involvement in uniting the Piedmont region among other exploits and missions.
  3. The tiramisu of the brothels. This time tiramisu appeared in the 20th century in the Veneto region, the capital city of Venice, in the 1950s in the city of Treviso, prostitutes began to offer their brothel clients a dish that increased libido and mood with the promise that it would “take them up” using the Veneto dialect phrase: “te tira su”. In Italian it would be “ti tira su” Italian and from there it evolved into tiramisu.

Laura’s Tiramisu

As the saying goes in Spain: “There’s a book for every Master…”. So it is with tiramisu. There are many varieties and recipes, and as it is a dessert that is so widespread around the world, it must satisfy all kinds of palates.

I’m going to share my Italian friend Laura’s tiramisu recipe, which is delicious!

Laura’s Tiramisu


  • 500 g mascarpone cheese. Ideally choose a mascarpone that is creamy and not too liquid. If it is too pasty, you can add a little chilled cream to make it creamier.
  • 3 eggs.
  • 5-6 tablespoons of white sugar.
  • Savoiardi biscuits (4 packets).
  • Black coffee.
  • Cocoa powder.

Preparation of Tiramisu

  • Mix the mascarpone cheese with the sugar and the three egg yolks.
  • If cream is used, it should be mixed in gently later, just before the egg whites are added.
  • The cream and egg whites must be very cold so they can be put in the fridge.
  • Prepare the Coffee now in order to be ready at the end.
  • Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt. If not using a food processor, beat in a bottom-up motion, always in the same direction.
  • When adding the whipped egg whites, mix very gently in the same way as when beating the egg whites.
  • The biscuits are dipped into the coffee to make the base. For the first layer, the biscuits should not have too much coffee, otherwise they become too soft and the tiramisu does not stand up.
  • Now make a layer of cream, another layer of biscuits and another layer of cream.
  • Sprinkle the cocoa on top with the help of a colander. If served immediately, the cocoa has not soaked into the cream and is too powdery.
  • Place in the fridge and serve after a few hours.

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