Gioia's Tiramisu

If you're searching for an incredible Italian dessert to make this summer, look no further. Today I came across a tiramisu recipe acquired during a family vacation in Chianti and I can't wait to share it with you! It's rich, refreshing and contains espresso. I urge you find these six ingredients and try it tonight - no oven required. 

I only made 1/2 the recipe, so my tiramisu has only one layer; my brothers and I were more than satisfied after devouring a few pieces!

Back in June of 2008 my family and I spent a week at Le Bonatte farm in Radda in Chianti. It is a lovely property about sixty kilometers south of Florence. That one hour drive along sickeningly windy roads is made even more dangerous by the breathtaking expanse of rolling hills and valleys draped in vineyards that beg you to drag your eyes away from the gray road. Che bella vista!

One afternoon our hostess Gioia came to the main house to offer us a cooking lesson, and by evening we had prepared a superb four course meal. That divine combination of fresh ingredients, simple recipes and tasty results... my memories are so vivid, even four years later. Fried zucchini blossoms and sardines for our appetizers, pasta made from scratch on the gorgeous marble kitchen table, and, of course, tiramisu. Buon appetito.

Gioia's Tiramisu Recipe (serves 8)


4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups mascarpone 
300-400g ladyfingers (depending on the desired proportion of cream to ladyfingers)
Coffee (strong coffee, Italian style - or espresso)
Cocoa powder (to be sifted on top)


1. Soak the ladyfingers in hot coffee (or put the ladyfingers in a container and pour the coffee over). Make sure the coffee is distributed evenly among the ladyfingers. [I placed each finger in one at a time, submerging them for 5 seconds apiece; any longer than that and they began to crumble and fall apart.]

2. Separate the egg yolks and beat them with the sugar. When ready fold in the mascarpone. 

3. Beat the egg whites until stiff. (You should be able to turn the bowl almost upside down and the whites should stay in the bowl. For best results the egg whites must be very cold. Adding a pinch of salt before beating might also help.) 

4. Fold slowly the egg yolk mixture into the stiff egg whites. 

5. In a round or rectangular pan put one layer of ladyfingers, one layer of creamy mixture, etc. Keep in the refrigerator for a few hours. Before serving sprinkle a very fine dust of cocoa powder on top. 

See Le Bonatte's website to have your own cooking lesson with Gioia Milani Landi, owner of Le Bonatte farm in Chianti. 

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