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Recipe File

Simple Tiramisu

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Tiramisu is recently become an extremely popular Italian dessert that is now served in virtually every Italian restaurant. Traditionally served in the afternoon as a "boost", tiramisu contains both caffeine and alcohol in a creamy cheese mixture served in layers. Tiramisu can be complex (featuring layering of different flavors and textures) or simplistic. This recipe does not use any eggs (cooked or raw) and provides the simplest blend of ingredients to form a fast and tasty basic tiramisu.

First, start by assembling the ingredients. We'll need one pound of mascarpone cheese, a cup of heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons rum (brandy also works well), ~20 lady's fingers (a light, oblong italian cookie with powdered sugar on one side), cocoa powder, a double shot (about 2 to 3 ounces) of espresso, 1/2 cup of prepared coffee, and shavings of unsweetened dark chocolate to top (1 oz. should do).

Chill whipping cream and bowl. Mix coffee and espresso and chill.

Whisk the whipping cream until it reaches stiff peaks. This can be accomplished in a few minutes with an electric mixer or by hand (times will vary depending on arm strength and stamina).

Put the cheese, sugar, and brandy into a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Add more sugar or alcohol as desired.

Fold in the whipped cream to create the cheese mixture.

Soak lady fingers in espresso for a couple seconds, rotating to coat all sides. Place lady fingers side by side on bottom of a 8x8-in. pan.

Put half the cheese mixture on lady fingers in pan. Smooth with a spatula or spoon.

Sift cocoa powder liberally on surface of layer.

Apply second layer of lady fingers and remaining cheese.

Sift cocoa powder and half of chocolate shavings.

Cover in plastic wrap and chill.

To serve, use the remaining chocolate shavings by sprinkling a bit onto eight plates. Cut tiramisu into eight rectangles and serve on plates (or simply spoon them out).

Basic Tiramisu (serves 8)
about 20 lady's fingersdiplayer & spread twicecover
2 shots (2 ounces; 60 mL) prepared espressomix & chill
1/2 cup (120 mL) prepared coffee
1 cup (240 mL) heavy whipping creamwhisk to stiff peaksfold
1 lb. (455 g) mascarpone cheesemix
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
3 tablespoons (44 mL) rum (or brandy)
cocoa powder
shavings of unsweetened dark chocolate
Copyright Michael Chu 2004
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Written by Michael Chu
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117 comments on Simple Tiramisu:(Post a comment)

On November 09, 2005 at 08:40 PM, an anonymous reader said...
no pictures?!?

On November 09, 2005 at 08:41 PM, an anonymous reader said...
IMHO, there should not be any chocolate shavings on a Tiramisu and the liquer (try Amaretto) should be mixed into the coffe (only take espresso anyway - do not mix with regular coffee).

Originally the mascarpone is mixed with some egg yolk, but i too prefer not to eat raw egg and take whipped cream instead.

If you've never done a tiramisu before, try it. It is amazing how relatively quickly this ultra delicious desert is done.

On November 09, 2005 at 08:43 PM, Michael Chu said...
No pictures yet. I'm bringing tiramisu to a potluck and wanted to post the recipe before doing so. Unfortunately, I am posting from the convention floor of Intel Developer Forum and my wife is following the recipe that I laid out here. Thus, no pictures. (I plan to make it again and post pictures to this article then; I figured I shouldn't gate the release of an article simply because I lack pictures, right?)


This is the simplest tiramisu that I know how to make and enjoy the results (thus Basic Tiramisu). Cook's Illustrated has an exquisite recipe involving both egg white and egg yolks (cooked for safety) and no espresso (it over powers the layers of flavors they have). It's a few more steps and ingredients than the basic tiramisu presented here. I'll try to dig up a copy of the recipe and post it here.

On November 09, 2005 at 08:44 PM, an anonymous reader said...
May I ask whether you are actually coming up with these recipes and advice? I mean, there's no credit given anywhere for any information, nor any "about this site" content.

Would you mind telling us about your background and why you're creating this site? I'd hate to think you were passing off other people's work as your own.

On November 09, 2005 at 08:45 PM, Michael Chu said...
I'm glad you asked! The recipes that are listed as "Recipe File" are the recipes that I use when I want to make a particular dish. "Recipe Test" are recipes that have been recommended to me or I have come across that I test and don't necessary stand behind. Some of the "Recipe File" recipes are my own recipes or have been passed down to me and "perfected". Others are not, but the source is credited (see Basic Pancakes or Lemon Bars for some examples).

I am a Computer Engineer (currently in the role of a hardware application engineer) who works for a large semiconductor manufacturer in Silicon Valley (San Francisco Bay Area, California). A few years ago, I used to host dinner parties once a week (and later twice a week) to watch "Family Guy" episodes and enjoy good food. Sometimes the dinners (that I would cook for twelve to twenty people at a time) would be excellent and sometimes they didn't come out at all (such as burnt beef stew). Over the last several years I've been cooking in my free time and writing "cheat sheets" on post it notes for quick reference during the cooking process. These "cheat sheets" became the recipe summaries that I have at the end of each recipe article.

This website was started because I needed a repository for cooking info that I wanted to refer to as well as some of my favorite recipes. I used to keep all this information on my Palm through the Memo Pad application. Unfortunately, I was synchronizing Memo Pad with my laptop (on Outlook) and discovered that after three months our Exchange server deletes old Outlook Notes. So, exactly three months after synchronizing all my recipes, they all got deleted and on the next synch, were consequently removed from my Palm. I've been reinventing some recipes and looking of other since and decided to put them online.

On November 09, 2005 at 08:45 PM, RobC (guest) said...
Michael... Great site... will be back for seconds!
I love your idea for presenting recipes, very concise and logical.
Keep up the fantastic work!

On November 09, 2005 at 08:46 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I just thought I'd say that your format of directions is really intuitive. Maybe it's just because I'm an engineer though...

On November 09, 2005 at 08:46 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Love your work! Very clear and easy to follow. Consider yourself bookmarked!

On November 09, 2005 at 08:46 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Be careful what kind of ladyfingers you use. I made tiramisu once with some ladyfingers that had a sugary glaze. The espresso just wouldn't soak into them, and they floated! It was a disaster. I've actually had much better results using poundcake sliced thin.

On November 09, 2005 at 08:46 PM, J (guest) said...
intuitive? i think those charts are brilliant, not just intuitive! are you taking on recipes from other engineers who like to cook (i.e. me)?

On November 09, 2005 at 08:47 PM, sharkey (guest) said...
Great concept! The logical diagrams are cool. Who says cooking and engineering can't mix, right?

On November 09, 2005 at 08:47 PM, Cowboy Caleb (guest) said...
Your site rocks. Please don't ever stop posting new recipes. Hope you don't mind, but I linked to you.

On November 09, 2005 at 08:54 PM, M (guest) said...
Absolutely fantastic. I'm gob smacked...
I'm also thinking that the potential of this site is being severely limited by its format.
Have you considered opening it up a bit (not completely as its your dream) and making a WIKI of it?

On November 09, 2005 at 08:56 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Good idea, as a professional chef I can see your "cheat sheet" being a real help remembering how a recipe goes together. One suggestion, though. To be really accurate, most of the measurements should be in weight, not volume. (One can take this to extremes, see the recent "Fox Trot" comic strip, where Jason calculates that a 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder weighs 0.0256 grams.)

On November 09, 2005 at 08:56 PM, killah (guest) said...
I had tiramisu when I was in Italy and I loved it, I had been wondering what it took to make it and now I see it's much simpler than I could have thought, great site, great job, keep up the good work

On November 09, 2005 at 08:56 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Here's a *new* requirement straight from the stakeholders:

Enable dropdowns of alternatives for each recipe ingredient, and have the encapsulating actions adjust according to the user's selection based on user defined business rules (yes, you must write an interface for defining business rules that people wicked into cooking can learn AND OF COURSE you will implement all the default rules necessary to support three permutations per ingredient (yes, I want to see a report in two days on the system requirements for this endeavor which takes into account the speed in which the average browser can dynamically generate intricately cssed dropdown boxes) using javascript to manipulate your DOM (yes, consistent "cross browser javascripting" is possible).

We need this right away.

On November 09, 2005 at 08:57 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Just found your web site from /. and wanted to say that it looks good in Firefox 0.8. Keep up the good work :).

On November 09, 2005 at 08:57 PM, an anonymous reader said...
That table recipe format is really easy to follow! I like it.

On November 09, 2005 at 08:58 PM, Susan (guest) said...
Actually, the ingredients listings of recipes don't belong to anybody per se (at least that's my understanding). The instructions detailing what to do with me can however ... and it seems unlikely that anyone else has ever thought to present recipes this way. As an engineer myself, I love it!

On November 09, 2005 at 08:58 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I'm using Safari, and things look fine to me - maybe there's some extra fancy stuff going on if you use a different browser, but everything's nice and clear.

On November 09, 2005 at 08:58 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Hello Michael,

I was quite impressed with your site and called my wife down for a quick look. She said it was very good and geeky looking. I said I'm not a geek but I can follow those recipes. (maybe just a little)
I'm also in the programming industry, enjoy cooking but have a hard time following recipe books for some reason. I find myself reading and re-reading recipes while cooking because they are not written in a logical step by step sequence. Your recipe format seems inherently very well structured in a manner that makes it easy to step through the process and not get lost doing so.

Keep the great ideas flowing,

ps. Enjoyed your freezing article. Would enjoy reading more of these types of informational articles if you thinking about writing others. Its interesting to get the technical side of why we should or shouldn't be doing something in a certain way.

On November 09, 2005 at 08:58 PM, anna. (guest) said...
excellent site! the only thing i dislike is the fact that you only have a few months worth of recipes. i would love to browse all night... thank you. :)

On November 09, 2005 at 08:59 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Double (heavy) cream alone works as a well as mascarpone (and egg in the traditional way), imo, perhaps better and saves time, cost and effort. As mentioned above, amaretto is mixed with express/coffee and the biscuits are dipped - it's quite important that they have a little crunch. I agree with the other comment about no chocolate.

Btw, I heard from a normally reliable source that this isn't an Italian dish but was invented in a Geneva restaurant about 30-40 years ago.

On November 09, 2005 at 09:01 PM, an anonymous reader said...
There's a large part of the world that doesn't use American recipe measures. Some of us use those screwy metric kilogram and litre things, some of us use those screwy imperial pints (a pint is 20oz NOT 16oz).

Can you include metric measures in your recipes?

How about some automation, so I get a browser cookie set that says, "screwy european, give him metric stuff" and if I view a recipe it's automagically converted.

We also measure oven temperatures in celcius, not fahrenheit. The British even have a thing called "gas mark" for gas oven temps.

On November 09, 2005 at 09:01 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Your recipe overview (cheat sheet) is an excellent design. Your site looks good viewed in OmniWeb5. Hope the next dish you cook is yummmmy!

On November 09, 2005 at 09:01 PM, an anonymous reader said...
You can find a picture here:

Tiramisł in the picture on the left side, with number 2.

In Italy Tiramisł means "pick me up", maybe because of the high energetic content (eggs, mascarpone, coffee).

On November 09, 2005 at 09:01 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I am one of the many people directed here from /. I just looked at the first recipe I could find, this one, and by god I must say that this sight is pure genious. I don't know if this recipe is any good, allthough I believe so as it sounds very similar to one I have tried. However it is not the recipe itself I am applauding, it's the layout of the ingredient list coupled with short direct instructions. This is the first time I see it applied to recipies and it is pure genious. From now on this will be my source for recipies . Thank you.

On November 09, 2005 at 09:03 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I can't believe I wrote "sight" instead of site in my previous post. Too tired, too lazy.

On November 09, 2005 at 09:04 PM, an anonymous reader said...
For the receipe:

Note that tiramisu is often made with stale layfingers, which in my opinion enhances the dish in a most pleasing way.

Bakeries (like the one I used to work at) and most well run kitchens have many uses for foods that can't be sold in their condition (staleness, etc.). Stale bread makes a lovely bread pudding, and if that's too sweet for you, bake it again and grind it up for breadcrumbs.

Also, anyone looking at this site would probably enjoy
"The New Professional Chef", from the CIA (Culinary Institute of America). It's a cooking textbook with scores of useful information about selecting quality equipment, cooking techinques, determining freshness of materials, understanding sauce making, and much more. Being a textbook, most engineers should digest it rapidly.

I can't really say enough about this book. It has a few recepies in it, but not many. It's a book on how to improve cooking skill and understand the basic (and not so basic) cooking principles.

On November 09, 2005 at 09:04 PM, WanMaster (guest) said...
That's a great recipe! Although the provided cooking diagram that accompanies this article will satify most visitors, I needed a more practical solution. The implementation below helped me to compile the recipe and its ingredients to a succesful desert. As a software architect and open source enthousiast, I would like to share the information to all cooking engineers... Happy cooking!

var cheese;
var cream;
var sugar;
var brandy;
var ladys_fingers;
var cocoa_powder;
var expresso;
var coffee;
var chocolate;

var bowl1 = new Bowl;


var coffee_and_espresso = rnd(coffee + espresso);

while (!bowl1->ingredients[cream]->stiff_peaks)

var bowl2 = new Bowl;


while (!bowl2->ingredients[cheese]->smooth || !bowl2->ingredients[sugar]->smooth || !bowl2->ingredients[brandy]->smooth)

for (i = 0; i < bowl2->ingredients.length; i++)

while (!bowl1->folded)

var t = GetTickCount();

while (GetTickCount() - t < 3000)
soak(ladys_fingers, expresso);

var pan = new Pan(7, 7);


var cheese_mixture = bowl1->pop(bowl1->ingeredients[0]);

pan->push(&cheese_mixture * 0.5);

if (!pan->ingredients[1]->smooth)


pan->push(&cheese_mixture * 0.5);

if (!pan->ingredients[3]->smooth)

pan->push(chocolate * 0.5);


On November 09, 2005 at 09:05 PM, an anonymous reader said...
> Sift cocoa powder and half of chocolate shavings.

What happens to the other half of the chocolate shavings? Munchies for the chef?

On November 09, 2005 at 09:06 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Lol, I love your recipe website! I actually understand it too...which is scary. :)

Keep up the good work and I think I'll be adding your site to my bookmarks. *two thumbs up*

On November 09, 2005 at 09:09 PM, an anonymous reader said...
your text leaves half teh chocolate shavings (uses only half). not what i expect from engineer (dont you unit-test yout algorithm?)
thanks anyway for the nice recipe. i will try & fwd.

On November 09, 2005 at 09:09 PM, Michael Chu said...
Oh! I forgot an important step - plating. To serve, sprinkle remaining chocolate shavings on plates and spoon portions onto plates (or cut into squares and place on shaving sprinkled plate).

This is what happens when you try to rush out a post during a thirty minute break in a busy convention center.

On November 09, 2005 at 09:10 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Tiramisu can also be made in deep dessert dishes. It freezes very well, and even tastes good frozen (I'm ashamed to admit that ;> ). If you have some self-discipline, most batches of tiramisu will last through two small dinner parties. When you thaw the tiramisu, take it out of the freezer the day before and stick it in the fridge. If the plastic sticks to the surface of the dessert, just dust with chocolate again to make it pretty.

I've often thought about making tiramisu in small plastic holiday cups, for a dessert reception, but I would need a "chilling tray." I don't know if such a thing exists.

Your recipe seems fine to me, but there are many variations available at . If my guests are reasonably sophisticated, I use sherry instead of brandy. (Rum? No, don't think so.)

On November 09, 2005 at 09:10 PM, an anonymous reader said...
The original tiramisu is of course with Marsala-wine...Tastes better that way. Also, use cream in stead of whipped-cream (cream for whipping is different) and add some cream-cheese (like monchou-cheese), whip that.
But most of all USE MASCARPONE! It's really essential, even for a basic-tiramisu...

On November 09, 2005 at 09:10 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Wanmaster forgot to define his variables? how much of each?... etc.

On November 09, 2005 at 09:10 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Here is a cheap alternative for Tiramisu I have used sometimes with fair results:

* Substitute Lady's Fingers with dry sponge cake (We call these "Bizcocho de Soletilla" in Spain, unfortunately I don't know the correct English name)

* Mascarpone can be substituted by any sweet creamy cheese. Philadelphia Cream Cheese works fine.

I find the main trick is not to make it too sweet and use very strong coffee. I also recommend to avoid the chocolate shavings.

Of course, this is just a very cheap knock-off of true Tiramisu, but it is good enough for most purposes.

On November 09, 2005 at 09:11 PM, an anonymous reader said...
First things first: This way of presenting recipes is INGENIOUS! I suppose, you win the next cooking nobel price!

And now my 2ct to the recipe:
I substitute the mascarpone with stiff (made with fewer liquid, i.e. milk) vanilla blancmange/pudding (I am not sure if the translation is right. My translator has the firm believe that the german "Pudding" translates to "blancmange". In Austria, blancmange is made from almonds (wich would not taste well).).
As topping, I use cocoa powder, leaving the chocolate shavings (as suggested before).

On November 09, 2005 at 09:11 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Once a recipe is published it becomes public domain. You can not trademark a recipe but you can give credit to the original author if you know who it is. Recipes get tweaked by the cook so they are generally never the same as the original to begin with.

On November 09, 2005 at 09:11 PM, Martin (guest) said...
A few suggestions about the tiramisu:
I wouldn't use Amaretto at all. It is to sweet (for me). Perhaps you could use grappa.
Or try to omit the espresso and use for the liquid strawberry-juice mixed with gin and add a layer of strawberrys beetween the ladys fingers. Just heat them with a bit of sugar to make them soft.
Greetings from Berlin, Europe

On November 09, 2005 at 09:11 PM, Astrid (guest) said...
hi, i'm from italy and i can confirm you that the "original" tiramisu has no chocolate and no liqueur, and that the cocoa powder is sifted only on the final layer, not in the middle.
it is not meant as a criticism, yours is a great site =) ciao!

On November 09, 2005 at 09:12 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Great site! Forwarding it to my daughter at U of Iowa School of Engineering..
Go Hawks!

On November 09, 2005 at 09:12 PM, an anonymous reader said...
wa weee...
this is not for engineers only!!!
but housewives too....isn't it????

On November 09, 2005 at 09:12 PM, Samantha Drab (guest) said...
How much, i.e., what measurement, is a "double shot of espresso"?

On November 09, 2005 at 09:14 PM, Michael Chu said...
re: shot sizes

Shot sizes generally range from 1 fluid ounce to 1.5 fluid ounce depending on where you are (or where your coffee shop originated from). Use whatever you are comfortable with - if everyone in your area sells 1.5 ounce shots, then it's usually best to use 1.5 ounce shots in this recipe since people in your area will associate espresso with more caffeine than someone who drinks one ounce shots.

On November 09, 2005 at 09:14 PM, an anonymous reader said...
what happened to your creme brule recipe ?

On November 09, 2005 at 09:14 PM, an anonymous reader said...
coffee liquor makes this recipe sicilian style...

On November 09, 2005 at 09:15 PM, Michael Chu said...
The creme brulee recipe is located here

On November 25, 2005 at 01:52 AM, engr cook (guest) said...
Subject: Tiramisu
I first tasted Tiramisu as an ice cream--Dreamery Tiramisu by Dreyer's. My first bite convinced me that it was the best ice cream in the world. They have since discontinued it-- (*&#$^#$()&@! It led me to the tiramisu with lady fingers et al, though.
I, too, really like your site and recipe diagrams.

On March 09, 2006 at 10:29 AM, Saumya (guest) said...
Love your site!

Do keep at it, and all the best! :) [/img]

On April 27, 2006 at 12:43 PM, an anonymous reader said...
"Cover in plastic wrap and chill"

How long must we chill the tiramisu before we can serve? And for how long can we leave it in the fridge? As I am planning to prepare it in advance to save time. Thanks!

On April 27, 2006 at 06:10 PM, Michael Chu said...
Anonymous wrote:
How long must we chill the tiramisu before we can serve? And for how long can we leave it in the fridge? As I am planning to prepare it in advance to save time. Thanks!

I'd estimate the chilling time to be about four hours. It should keep fine in the fridge for up to a week, but it's best the first day after you make it.

On May 28, 2006 at 10:02 AM, lovebites (guest) said...
Subject: How long do you chill it for?
How long do you chill it for?

On June 13, 2006 at 02:09 PM, Guest (guest) said...
Subject: Tiramisu recipe from Cook's Illustrated
Hi Michael,
you mentioned that you have a recipe from Cook's Illustrated magazine... do you still have it? I had some at a dinner party and it was the BEST Tiramisu i've ever had. Would you please post the recipe if you get a chance? Thanks a million!

On July 12, 2006 at 07:42 PM, Judy (guest) said...
Subject: Tiramisu
This looks sooooooo good. Next time there is a potluck around here I KNOW what to take.

On August 14, 2006 at 04:39 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Another tiramisu recipe for engineers
In the mid-Nineties, a tiramisu recipe was added to the release notes of SGI's Digital Media Execution-Only Environment software package (dmedia_eoe).

On December 13, 2006 at 05:29 PM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: how to fo find ingredients
Hi Michael,
where can I find:
1. mascarpone cheese
2. lady's fingers

i dont think they are sold are regular grocery store. can you pls help me?
thx a lot. i really appreciate it.

On December 14, 2006 at 03:54 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: how to fo find ingredients
guest wrote:
Hi Michael,
where can I find:
1. mascarpone cheese
2. lady's fingers

Where do you live? In the U.S., markets like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's keep both products stocked. I have had some success at finding both at Albertson's and Safeway. The best prices for these items are at Trader Joe's.

On February 04, 2007 at 04:58 PM, CB (guest) said...
Subject: Yummy
This was a fantastic and easy recipe! I have always loved tiramisu and was under the mistaken impression that it was difficult to make. Thanks!

On May 19, 2007 at 05:19 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: re: how to find ingredients
Most grocery stores I know carry marscapone, but this may be because I live in a big city. Are you looking in the right place? Most grocery stores seem to place the basic American dairy products (cheddar, cream cheese, American-style ricotta, etc.), in one case, and have the "gourmet" cheeses in another area of the store. You'll probably find the marscapone wherever you'd find the brie, fresh mozarella, etc.
Nevertheless, the best place to buy marscapone is Trader Joe's. My local grocery store (QFC) carries marscapone, but it's almost $5 for an 8oz container. I just bought marscapone at Trader Joe's today and the exact same brand (Bel Giosio) was $2.59.

Hope this helps!

On June 30, 2007 at 07:39 AM, Tiffany (guest) said...
Subject: Ingredients
Is it necessary to include rum and expresso in this recipe? I'm not sure if I can get a hold of these ingredients and was wondering if the quality of the tiramisu would be much different if these ingredients were not included.

On July 07, 2007 at 12:56 PM, BigCountry (guest) said...
Subject: Re: Ingredients
Is it necessary to include rum and expresso in this recipe? I'm not sure if I can get a hold of these ingredients and was wondering if the quality of the tiramisu would be much different if these ingredients were not included.

Espresso is fairly easy to come by, even the canned double shot espresso from Starbucks in most supermarkets should work if you can't get fresh brewed.

As to the rum, rum is probably one of the most produced liquors out there. Should be easy to find many types in a supermarket. Personally when I made this recipe last week I used Godiva Chocolate Liqueur instead of rum. Came out fantastic.

Oh and thank you Mr. Michael Chu for preparing this recipe. It was my first time making Tiramisu and I used your recipe and modified about 3 things of my own and it came out great. My modifications were: Madeleine cookies instead of ladyfingers, fresh brewed starbucks espresso to dip the cookies in, and Godiva Chocolate liqueur. Everything else I followed your recipe for, except I only used the cocoa powder on the top layer, and not in the middle.

Thanks again for the recipe, was quite tasty at the party and everyone loved it.

On July 30, 2007 at 12:20 AM, Rammy M (guest) said...
Subject: my 1st try
I had looked up a number of tiramisu recipes before creating my own simplified version.

I could only find expensive marscapone, so instead I used instant vanilla pudding (made with milk, as per instructions) plus a container of whipped cream cheese (stirred into the pudding mixture). Also, since I had coffee liquer, I used that to dip the lady-fingers into. I layered the above ingredients (was out of cocoa) and shaved chocolate on top.

Simple and delicious, but since it wasn't the "official" way, and since my name is "Rammy" (rhymes with Tommy), I called it ti-Rammy-su. ;-)

I subsequently found your wonderful page, with the easier to follow instructions (vs other sites), I will soon try again following a this more traditional recipe.

On August 06, 2007 at 08:05 PM, snowman said...
Subject: Recipe Card Format
Hi Michael
Thanks for a cool and practical website!
I find your screen formatting for the recipe card great. I like how the connectors (lines) morf with the window size. However, If I'm going to bring up the recipe card, it's going to be to print out on a 3x5 card (or whatever the larger size is). The only way I can get the recipe card to print with the screen formatting is to screen copy (or window copy), paste into a photo program, crop and print. Printing, select/copy/pasting or select/copy/printing selection from the browser all lose the connectors and print only text.

On August 07, 2007 at 03:11 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: Recipe Card Format
snowman wrote:
The only way I can get the recipe card to print with the screen formatting is to screen copy (or window copy), paste into a photo program, crop and print. Printing, select/copy/pasting or select/copy/printing selection from the browser all lose the connectors and print only text.

There is currently a problem with the printing of the recipe card. I am working to fix this problem. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Updated: Aug. 8, 2007 - Thanks to reader Isaac L., the error has been found and corrected. You can now print the recipe cards with the formating intact.

On August 24, 2007 at 03:06 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: RE: Ingredients
Thank you for this wonderful site.
I found marscapone to be rather expensive here in the Kansas City area
so used the substitute which is cream cheese and whipped cream.
It is difficult blending the cream cheese to obtain a creamy consistency
(ie: to remove the lumps) therefore when you use the marscapone
substitute recipe use the whipped cream cheese product which will blend
more readily with the whipped cream.
Another point, it is easy to introduce too much liquid into the recipe when
you soak the lady fingers in the coffee. A work around may be to sprinkle
the dry coffee granules on the lady fingers, instead of dipping them.

On August 25, 2007 at 11:35 PM, glorybr (guest) said...
Subject: thanks!
My mom and I were looking for tiramisu recipes and we found your explanation to be fantastic. We plan on doing it as soon as possible, ans we'll also try out some of your other recipes :)

On September 09, 2007 at 09:03 PM, Me (guest) said...
Subject: Horay!
I drunkenly promised a friend I would make Tiramisu for a Itallian pot-luck she was throwing the next day. Thanks to you, I whipped one up and now everyone is wanting more. Kudos kudos kudos to you!

On January 02, 2008 at 01:30 PM, an anonymous reader said...
[u:02ea24b7ba]thank you[/u:02ea24b7ba]
love it

On January 10, 2008 at 11:18 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Thanks for your simple yet beautiful Tiramisu recipe! I tried it. Couldn't find the mascarpone cheese though, so I used cream cheese and a little whole milk instead. It turned out just fine. Now my hubby wants more. Never seen him so desiring a dessert. :)

On January 12, 2008 at 07:07 AM, Kat (guest) said...
Subject: thank you for tiramisu!
This is the simplest tiramisu recipe! It's also very delicious. I've done it many times now, and it comes out every time perfect!!! Thank you!

On February 01, 2008 at 06:07 PM, tammy (guest) said...
Subject: tiraminsu recipe
I made the tiramisu y'day and it was delicious. The only negative was that I bought the wrong kind of lady fingers (too thin) and they got too soggy with the coffee. Thanks for the recipe -- awesome

On February 04, 2008 at 11:03 PM, Sheetal (guest) said...
Subject: Ingredients Search!!
I read the recipe and am bit too excited to make it..but 2 major ingredients i.e. Mascarpone cheese and lady fingers are not readily available in Indian markets.. can i use cream cheese instead??..and any subsitute for lady fingers?
Would be glad if you could solve my querry. Thanks!!

On April 07, 2008 at 09:20 PM, Kotsuki (guest) said...
Couldn't find the mascarpone cheese though, so I used cream cheese and a little whole milk instead.

I might sound stupid but just want to make sure.

The substitue for mascarpone cheese would be cream cheese with milk.

Meaning...mixing those two together until they are...smooth, creamy?

On May 05, 2008 at 12:07 PM, karen_dodson (guest) said...
Subject: origin of tiramisu?
:) not an engineer but do like cooking format is easy to follow

On May 31, 2008 at 02:37 AM, Cindi (guest) said...
Subject: Tiramisu
Very nice step by step photographs! It has been my experience traveling throughout Italy that true Tiramisu is always made with eggs and mascarpone cheese. No coffee & only Italian espresso. Using whipping cream makes the desert to thick and is slightly acidic. Tiramisu should be extremely light and airy when running a fork through it. Hence it's nickname is "pick me up" and it is usually eaten in the afternoon to do just that...pick you up. It is also a desert that is found in many major Mediteranian cities as well, and made the same way. I have eaten it in many restaurants with the chocolate shavings as garnish on the plate, but not on top. If you still live in Silicon Valley...Do yourself a favor some weekend and go have dinner at Biba in Sacramento..assuming it is still there of course. You can buy pasturized eggs now at the supermarket, FYI.

On August 10, 2008 at 03:54 PM, Joseph (guest) said...
Subject: Chill Whipping Cream and Bowl
Ok...i am a little confused about the direction of chill whipping cream and bowl. Do I chill the whipping cream in the bowl or chill both separately for some reason? I need to make this for my wife so I want to follow directions precisely.

On August 10, 2008 at 04:03 PM, Dilbert said...
chill the cream/bowl together or separate - doesn't make a lot of difference. cream whips up better when chilled - chilling the bowl helps keep things cool during the whipping process - and yes, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't chill the bowl.... <g>

On August 16, 2008 at 11:24 AM, Tiffany (guest) said...
Subject: Where have u been all my life?
lol I absolutely love your site.....I'm a science geek: pre-med, work for the physics dept on campus, calculus nut...and i just discovered this new appreciation for chemistry....not to mention that im OBSESSED with baking! soooo, of course i'm in LOVE with your site! If I could date it, it would make life so much easier, lol...Granted, i havent tried any of your recipes (I make my own) but its a great place to easily learn new techniques (i love your graph thing on the bottom!) anyway, love the pics, commentary and everything! good job, keep it up!!!!!

On August 26, 2008 at 02:23 PM, an anonymous reader said...
this is the best thing i have ever made. i used a good cayman rum & it was so good everyone loves this.

thanks very much!

On November 06, 2008 at 02:44 AM, lizsong (guest) said...
Subject: serious goodness
this is some serious goodness. i had some made my michael himself...and i'm pretty sure that's what made it EXTRA amazing. i had two slices and was in pure heaven.

someone want to buy me a kitchenaid mixer???? i need to make this tiramisu quickly.

On November 06, 2008 at 04:40 AM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: serious goodness
lizsong wrote:
someone want to buy me a kitchenaid mixer???? i need to make this tiramisu quickly.

You can whip the whipped cream using a hand mixer (best with a whisk attachment, but the beaters will also work over time) or by hand with a whisk which can take 20 minutes to an hour (this depends on how fast you are able to whisk and how often you need to take breaks).

On November 15, 2008 at 07:36 PM, TX ChemE (guest) said...
Subject: Be careful dipping the Ladyfingers
In the past making Tiramisu, I've had trouble with the Ladyfingers soaking up too much espresso, so I now use a basting brush and brush all sides of each Ladyfinger until it has absorbed the proper amount.

In answer to an earlier question, I've made Tiramisu without the Alcohol, but it is not quite the same.

On February 19, 2009 at 04:39 PM, xuxuio (guest) said...
Subject: An idea for an improved website
The only information that this and other cooking sites lack is the cost factor. I think this site would be complete if you had the average costs of the ingredients or cost of the entire recipe or both! Especially, with the struggles of the economy. When looking at some exotic or unfamiliar recipes with different ingredients it would be nice that this particular dish will cost you $25 or $10. That would really help to plan dinners more effectively don't you think. Thanks for this wonderful site and whether my 2 cents is ignored or appreciated I still enjoy the resources this forum provides.

On February 25, 2009 at 10:30 PM, LarryPoin (guest) said...
Subject: Beyond great
I just made this Tiramisu and my wife loved it! I added a bit more rum than it calls for, and my wife says it's the best she's had.

I dribbled the coffee/espresso over the top because the ladyfingers fell apart, and I forgot to chill the coffee/espresso first.

On April 18, 2009 at 02:29 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Recession Tiramisu
Is it possible to use ricotta cheese in substitution for the mascarpone cheese in the recipe? I figure that they are two very similar cheeses with similar textures, only that ricotta is more common where I live. Does this affect the taste or quality of the tiramisu, or are the two types of cheese interchangeable?

On another note, I really appreciate the simplicity of this site. It's much easier to understand compared to the other websites out there, and has a great-sounding tiramisu recipe. :)

On May 22, 2009 at 05:40 AM, Bic (guest) said...
Subject: i need some help
Yesterday i just made Teramissu by your simple recipe

and overall its test is good but when i mix malcapone chesse with rum and

sugar it doesnt come out as a smooth cream. it come out rough and

malcopone stick together like a little bubble.

so i need to know why

thx for a very simple but great test

On May 22, 2009 at 01:37 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: i need some help
Bic wrote:
malcopone stick together like a little bubble.

How long did you mix it? I usually takes me about three to four minutes of mashing with my spatula and stirring to get it smooth.

On September 08, 2009 at 12:38 PM, votermom (guest) said...
Subject: mascarpone substitute
I'm going to try this this week.
I can't find mascarpone, so I will use what Joy of Cooking says can substitute:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
Stir together until smooth

I am not quite sure if that will add up to a pound of faux-carpone or not?

PS Dang confirmation code makes me go through the alphabet song ...

On November 19, 2009 at 11:16 AM, Anon (guest) said...
Subject: Simple Tiramisu
Just wanted to mention that I originally found this recipe a few years ago, looking for a tiramisu recipe safe for a pregnant friend. Since then, I've made it a half-dozen times, and have gotten raves every time. Thanks!

On November 25, 2009 at 06:09 PM, petroskar said...
I am using a slightly different the cream whipping the cream to soft peaks instead of hard peaks, instead of brandy i use marsala wine (authentic recipe) and serve in a glass or cappuccino cup.

On December 07, 2009 at 09:01 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Thanks a lot for the recipy.....This is the best grt compliments for this.....All thanks to this recipy.....Also the Tiramisu was amazing.....Mind Boggling....Cheers!
Keep posting good recipes!!! :)

On December 30, 2009 at 11:47 PM, Guest (guest) said...
Subject: what can i use other than alchohol
other than alchohol what other thing i can use......

On January 22, 2010 at 08:05 PM, Sadaf (guest) said...
Subject: Using Marsala wine
I made tiramisu many time and I foun the most authentic touch is when u add a lil Marsala wine into the mascarpone to soften and adhere to its richness and flavor.

Make one version with marsala and one without and u would know the difference.

Be liberal with the wine as its not that potent.

I would add about 1/4 cup to 1 cup of mascarpone.

Note - in a warmed cheese this would quickly get runny.
You should leave the mascarpone in a chilled section of the fridge to acheive adding the wine and not have it runny.

Eitherways Tiramisu gets any and everyone in a good mood. :)

On December 08, 2010 at 04:10 AM, an anonymous reader said...
I have read that you can use orange juice instead of alcohol. Is that right? :)

On December 08, 2010 at 08:20 AM, Dilbert said...
>>without alcohol

at the simplest level, tiramisu is a cake thingie spread / saturated with good tasting gooey stuff.

variations on the theme abound - I've done it with pound cake that's gone a little stale - a crisp lady finger is more traditional.

the flavorings are defined by tradition as well - it's been done without the coffee, topped with nuts vs. chocolate, you name it, it's probably been done.

as a technical point, the further afield from 'the traditional recipe' one goes, the less 'authentic' it is under the tiramisu "name" - but what the heck, if it tastes good, call it anything you'd like!

On December 09, 2010 at 10:52 AM, Lwaters (guest) said...
Subject: Yum Yum Yum
Made this recipe a couple of times now, and am planning on making it again tonight for a work party tomorrow. Best tiramisu recipe yet! easy and yummy!
I was not a fan of using raw eggs as the original tiramisu recipes need, so I was thrilled to find this recipe online a couple of years ago.

The changes: I only make 2 changes: Don't like or have brandy, so I use Kahlua instead. And I always double the recipe and it fits perfectly in my lasagna pan (13x9).

On August 05, 2011 at 10:51 AM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Tiramisu
Tried this today, my husband loved it and so did I. Very easy and no raw eggs!!! Yippie!!!

On October 05, 2011 at 03:22 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Subject: Vsauce sent me
Vsauce sent me B) this is such a great recipe and a fantastic website !!

On May 20, 2012 at 05:37 PM, Don Steffano (guest) said...
Subject: From an engineer to the other ...
... THANK YOU !!!

On August 14, 2012 at 06:07 AM, anjali (guest) said...
can i use regular cream cheese instead of mascapone cheese????

On August 14, 2012 at 06:39 PM, Michael Chu said...
anjali wrote:
can i use regular cream cheese instead of mascapone cheese????

You can, but it will taste significantly different. I assume by regular cream cheese you mean Philadelphia brand cream cheese or an product designed to mimic Philadelphia brand's flavor profile. If so, your tiramisu will have an added tartness that you may or may not like depending on your preferences.

On August 18, 2012 at 12:41 AM, Anders said...
I just thought I'd say that your format of directions is really intuitive. Maybe it's just because I'm an engineer though...

On November 09, 2012 at 09:14 PM, Jill (guest) said...
to whomever wrote the recipe as a program in 2005. I am exceedingly impressed. I am going to think about this for days. :lol:

On December 14, 2012 at 07:27 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Can this be made as a trifle?

On December 19, 2012 at 02:06 PM, Mjames said...
I use a little spray bottle to dampen the ladyfingers with brandy or whatever liquor I am using; same with the espresso. Less soggy.

On May 03, 2013 at 03:57 AM, guest (guest) said...
Subject: simple and lovely
I have made it twice and gotten raves and reviews. I know not using Expresso is not going to be kosher for some people but Most people who do not like Tiramisu would sight the bitter taste of the coffee. I dip mine for a fraction af a second. Tip I learnt from another chef is to put enough coffee in a deep plate or shallow dish that would allow only half of the lady fingers to be covered (add more as it is depleted). I dip, flip then dip the other side and remove and put in the dish.

Soggy Tiramisu is not cool!!!

I like the methodology used to put the recipe together, truly written up by an engineer :).


On December 01, 2013 at 07:12 PM, Taya (guest) said...
Subject: Love this dessert.
I want to say thanks for this tiramisu recipe, I've been coming back to it for years. It's my go-to Christmas dessert, I love that I can make it ahead of time, freeze it, then take it with me on the day. By lunchtime it's generally defrosted perfectly, and I always get compliments about it. Cheers, T.

On December 30, 2013 at 11:15 AM, an anonymous reader said...
This is an amazing recipe! It makes it look truly to easy and simple to follow! I am going to try this one next. Thank you and please don't stop posting! :)

On September 08, 2014 at 10:01 PM, actualenginner (guest) said...
Subject: meh-
Are we not engineers? Is this site not "Cooking for Engineers"? So why "simplify" an already simple dessert? While America's Test Kitchen has it's problems, they do have a good step-by-step recipe which shows how to properly soak the ladyfingers. And best of all, their recipe doesn't omit the yolks!

If someone served me the pictured Tiramisu, I would appreciate the effort, but be very disappointed with the dessert.

On September 08, 2014 at 10:15 PM, Michael Chu said...
Subject: Re: meh-
actualenginner wrote:
If someone served me the pictured Tiramisu, I would appreciate the effort, but be very disappointed with the dessert.

Did you even try the recipe? I know it seems odd, but it really does taste good and has won several small time cooking / baking contests. If you really don't want to try this alternative recipe, then we do have a more traditional one that starts with making the zabaglione: Classic Tiramisu recipe

On December 10, 2015 at 12:09 AM, Ridz (guest) said...
Subject: Tiramisu individual cups
Hi, Lot of interesting posts. I am not sure if anyone if u still chking this site last post was in 2014.. I will ask my question anyways.... I am making individual cups of tiramisu for 50 people.. And i an not able to find Ladyfinger..
Can I bake my own Vanilla bean cake with angle food cake box mix?? Or will it be too soft for this after dipping in coffee..
Also i do like the Idea if not using raw eggs.. I will try mixing ricotta,mascarpone and heavy cream(whipped)..

This is my first time making tiramisu i hope it trurns out good 😕😕

Any suggestions??

On December 10, 2015 at 08:21 AM, Dilbert said...
there are 'substitute' recommendations of 'any sponge cake' - but personally that has never worked too well as a crisp cookie. vanilla wafers have a similar texture but not the shape, you could make your own:

as to the eggs, ask around for pasteurized eggs. these are quickly and precisely heated to a precise temp to kill salmonella.

On January 31, 2020 at 02:59 PM, Ohioren (guest) said...
An amazing recipe. Are there vegan alternatives to the ingredients?

On January 31, 2020 at 04:15 PM, Dilbert said...
do a search on "Vegan Tiramisu" - many many many recipes turn up.
I'd search for a trustworthy source and follow that rather than attempt to modify this one.

On March 17, 2020 at 02:46 AM, SmartShabby said...
thanks for sharing the recipe, a worth to try!

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