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Tiramisini

by . Featured in NIGELLISSIMA
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Introduction

Some say, challenging more generally accepted ideas about the provenance, that tiramisu was invented in a casa chiusa (a house of ill repute) to give the working girls a pick-me-up, as the name (tira-mi-su) suggests.

Whatever its inception, this one reverts to the original formulation - although in dinkier format. This is not because I am a huge fan of the cute - you know that - but because it means you have a tiramisu worth making for fewer people (you don't need a partyful), and in less time. By which I mean very much less time, since, unlike the big, trifle-style tiramisu, these tiramisini - think coffee-soaked Savoiardi sponge fingers, topped with the familiar, whipped Marsala-spiked mascarpone in small-portioned martini glasses - don't even need to sit overnight before being ready to eat.

Some say, challenging more generally accepted ideas about the provenance, that tiramisu was invented in a casa chiusa (a house of ill repute) to give the working girls a pick-me-up, as the name (tira-mi-su) suggests.

Whatever its inception, this one reverts to the original formulation - although in dinkier format. This is not because I am a huge fan of the cute - you know that - but because it means you have a tiramisu worth making for fewer people (you don't need a partyful), and in less time. By which I mean very much less time, since, unlike the big, trifle-style tiramisu, these tiramisini - think coffee-soaked Savoiardi sponge fingers, topped with the familiar, whipped Marsala-spiked mascarpone in small-portioned martini glasses - don't even need to sit overnight before being ready to eat.

Tiramisini
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 4

Metric Cups
  • 100 millilitres espresso coffee (or strong instant coffee)
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
  • 4 savoiardi biscuits (fine sponge fingers)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 250 grams mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons marsala
  • approx. 1 teaspoon good-quality cocoa powder
  • 7 tablespoons espresso coffee (or strong instant coffee)
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
  • 4 savoiardi cookies (fine sponge fingers)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons marsala
  • approx. 1 teaspoon good-quality unsweetened cocoa

Method

You will need 4 x small (approx. 125ml / ½ cup) martini glasses.

  1. Make your espresso and pour it into a heatproof jug, adding the coffee liqueur, then leave it to cool. I find 10 minutes outside the window on a cool day does it!
  2. Break each Savoiardi sponge finger into about 4 and drop the pieces into the martini glasses, then pour the cooled espresso mixture over them. Tamp down gently, making sure the biscuits are soaked all over.
  3. Using an electric hand-held whisk for ease, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, and set aside for a moment.
  4. Scrape the mascarpone into another bowl, adding the honey; I love the way its mellow sweetness marries with the Marsala, though sugar would be fine too. Beat with the whisk (no need to clean it out first) and, when smooth, slowly beat in the Marsala.
  5. Fold in the egg whites, a third at a time, then dollop this mixture over the soused Savoiardi in each glass, using a spoon to whirl it into a swirly peak at the top.
  6. Let these stand in the fridge for at least 20 minutes and up to 24 hours, then dust with cocoa, pushing it through a fine-mesh strainer, just before serving.

You will need 4 x small (approx. 125ml / ½ cup) martini glasses.

  1. Make your espresso and pour it into a heatproof jug, adding the coffee liqueur, then leave it to cool. I find 10 minutes outside the window on a cool day does it!
  2. Break each Savoiardi sponge finger into about 4 and drop the pieces into the martini glasses, then pour the cooled espresso mixture over them. Tamp down gently, making sure the biscuits are soaked all over.
  3. Using an electric hand-held whisk for ease, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, and set aside for a moment.
  4. Scrape the mascarpone into another bowl, adding the honey; I love the way its mellow sweetness marries with the Marsala, though sugar would be fine too. Beat with the whisk (no need to clean it out first) and, when smooth, slowly beat in the Marsala.
  5. Fold in the egg whites, a third at a time, then dollop this mixture over the soused Savoiardi in each glass, using a spoon to whirl it into a swirly peak at the top.
  6. Let these stand in the fridge for at least 20 minutes and up to 24 hours, then dust with cocoa, pushing it through a fine-mesh strainer, just before serving.

Additional Information

For stockists of coffee liqueur please see the Nigellissima Ingredients Stockists list.

For stockists of coffee liqueur please see the Nigellissima Ingredients Stockists list.

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What 4 Others have said

  • I have known people to use gelatin instead of egg white. You can buy crystals of gelatine from the local supermarket. The instructions are on the pack.

    Posted by Sharp_Knife on 3rd November 2012
  • Can you please suggest a substitute for eggs in this recipe.

    Posted by shikhadhanuka on 18th October 2012
  • Made these for a dinner party yesterday. I used French Brandy in the Cream and Tia Maria for the Coffee as that is all I had in. I also did not have cocoa in and did not want to buy something I will not really use again so a bought a sachet of Highlights Bournville and dusted that on top. It was still very, very delicious and the creamy mixture was so light. Very easy to do with outstanding results.

    Posted by on 14th June 2014
  • Made this for the first time yesterday; wow! This recipe enables you to compromise on time and effort without compromising on taste. A 5 star recipe which you can rustle up last minute whenever the notion takes you, like it did me yesterday! Will definitely be making this again....and again! Thanks Nigella.

    Posted by Classy Lady on 10th March 2014
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