Pietro’s Tiramisu

Tiramisu means “pick me up” in Italian, referring to the two caffeine ingredients espresso and cocoa.

“I received this authentic Italian recipe from Pietro, an Italian post-doc visiting the Shacklett lab on and off between 2009 and 2011. He made this for us during his first visit. Light and creamy and oh so satisfying! I first made this for Delandy’s gowing away party in 2011.” – April Ferre

Pietro’s Tiramisu

Course: Pastries
Cuisine: Italian


  • 8 Espresso Coffees
  • 5 Eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 16 Ounces Mascarpone Cheese
  • 2 Packages Savoiardi (Lady Fingers)
  • Cocoa Powder
  • A Lot of Love & Passion (Main Ingredient)


  • Prepare espresso in advance and put in a flat container that allows you to easily dip the lady fingers later. (I use to dilute 1:1 because I don’t like it very strong, but it’s up to you.)
  • Divide the egg yolks from the whites into two different bowls.
  • Add half sugar to the egg yolks and beat the eggs with an electric beater at maximum speed until light and creamy white. Avoid the lumps! If you see them, beat again! Slowly add a couple of spoons of mascarpone cheese and mix it with beater at minimum speed. When the mascarpone is melted and mixed well with the cream, add another couple of spoons of mascarpone cheese and so on until you don’t have it anymore. (Mixture A)
  • Now you have to beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the rest of sugar. At maximum speed beat the white eggs until stiff. If you do it correctly you will have a mixture soft like snow. (Mixture B)
  • Fold the “snow” (Mixture B) into Mixture A and with a wood spoon (not with the beater!!!) Mix slowly and always in the same direction. This is the most difficult step because if you don’t do it correctly eventually you will have a liquid mixture! The right thing is to eventually have a dense and thick cream that you can easily spread.
  • Dip the lady fingers (non-sugared side) in the coffee one by one (I do it quickly: 1 second. If you keep them in the coffee too much they will be completely melted. Too quickly, on the other hand, they will be too dry.), and put them in a 9×13-inch baking pan sugared side down. When the first layer is done, cover them with the cream you made before and spread it with a flat spoon. Repeat the procedure. (If you want you can put the ladyfingers in the opposite direction: first layer horizontal and second one vertical.) Cover the ladyfingers with the cream and spread it with the spoon like before.
  • Sift the cocoa powder on the top. Cover the pan and put at 4°C (in the refrigerator) for 2 to 4 hours before eating.
  • Et voilà! Buon appettito!

2009 Recipe – Pietro Presicce