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Course Dessert
Place of origin Italy
Main ingredients Savoiardi, egg yolks, mascarpone, cocoa, coffee

Tiramisu (from Italian, spelled tiramisù, , meaning "pick me up" or "lift me up") is a popular coffee-flavoured Italian dessert. It is made of ladyfingers (Italian: Savoiardi, ) dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa. The recipe has been adapted into many varieties of cakes and other desserts.[1] Its origins are often disputed between Italian regions such as Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piedmont, and others.


  • History 1
  • Original characteristics 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


Most accounts of the origin of tiramisu date its invention to the 1960s in the region of Veneto, Italy, at the restaurant "Le Beccherie" in Treviso, Italy.[2]

Some debate remains, however. Accounts by Carminantonio Iannaccone (as first reported by David Rosengarten in The Rosengarten Report and later followed up by The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Post) claim the creation of tiramisu by him on 24 December 1969 in Via Sottotreviso while he was head chef at Treviso, near Venice.[3][4][5][6] Other sources claim that the dish was first created in Treviso in 1967 by a baker named Roberto Linguanotto and his apprentice, Francesca Valori.[7][8] Alternatively, it may have originated as a variation of another layered dessert, Zuppa Inglese.[9] It is mentioned in Giovanni Capnist's 1983 cookbook I Dolci Del Veneto,[10] while Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary gives 1982 as the first mention of the dessert.[11] Other sources report the creation of the cake to honour Grand Duke Cosimo III when he visited the city of Siena.[12]

Regardless, recipes for tiramisu are unknown in cookbooks before the 1960s and the Italian-language dictionary Sabatini Coletti traces the first mention of the word to 1980.

In traditional pastry tiramisu has similarities with cakes in addition to the above Zuppa Inglese, in particular with the Charlotte, composed of a Bavarian cream surrounded by a crown of ladyfingers and covered by a sweet cream; the Turin cake, consisting of ladyfingers soaked in rosolio and alchermes with a spread made of butter, egg yolks, sugar, milk, and dark chocolate; and the Bavarese Lombarda, with is similar in the preparation and the presence of certain ingredients such as ladyfingers and egg yolks (albeit cooked ones). In Bavarese, butter and rosolio (or alchermes) are also used, but not mascarpone cream nor coffee.

Original characteristics

Traditional tiramisu contains a short list of ingredients: finger biscuits, egg yolks, sugar, coffee, mascarpone cheese and cocoa powder. In the original recipe there is no liquor or egg whites.

The original shape of the cake is round, although the shape of the biscuits favors the use of a rectangular or square pan, spreading the classic image "to tile". However, it is also often assembled in round glasses, which show the various layers, or pyramid. Modern versions have as a rule the addition of whipped cream and / or whipped egg combined with mascarpone cream, in order to make it lighter, thick and foamy. Among the most common alcoholic changes includes the addition of Marsala. The cake is usually eaten cold.

Another variation involves the preparation of the cream with eggs heated to sterilize it, but not so much that the eggs scramble. Over time, replacing some of the ingredients, mainly coffee, there arose numerous variants such as tiramisu with chocolate, amaretto, berry, lemon, strawberry, pineapple, yogurt, banana, raspberry, coconut, and even beer.

Countless variations of Tiramisu exist. Some cooks use other cakes or sweet, yeasted breads, such as panettone, in place of ladyfingers.[13] Other cheese mixtures are used as well, some containing raw eggs, and others containing no eggs at all. Marsala wine can be added to the recipe, but other liquors are frequently substituted for it in both the coffee and the cheese mixture, including dark rum, Madeira, port, brandy, Malibu, or Irish Cream and especially coffee flavored liqueurs such as Tia Maria and Kahlua.

See also


  1. ^ "Tiramisu Bread Puddings".  
  2. ^ "Le Beccherie". 
  3. ^ David Rosengarten (October 2006) "The Man Who Invented Tiramisu!" The Rosengarten Report, Publisher: Walter Pearce, Salt Pig Publishing, pp: 17-19.
  4. ^ "Piedigrotta: History". Retrieved 14 March 2010. 
  5. ^ Vozzella, Laura (8 October 2006). "The Unsung Inventor of Tiramisu".  
  6. ^ Black, Jane (10 July 2007). "The Trail of Tiramisu".  
  7. ^ Capnist, Giovanni (2003). Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History).  
  8. ^ "What gave the Tiramisu its name?". Ticino Online. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "History of tiramisù". Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  10. ^ Capnist, Giovanni (1983). I Dolci Del Veneto.  
  11. ^ "Tiramisu". Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary. Retrieved 14 March 2010. 
  12. ^ Francesco Soletti, Ettore Toscani L'Italia del caffè, 2004, p. 110.
  13. ^ Larousse Gastronomique, New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers, 2001, pp. 1214.
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