Dating back to the 1960s, Tiramisu is believed to have first reared its velvety, cloudy topped head in the region of Veneto, Italy. Many say that this now prominent and staple of a dessert, was originally inspired by finding a way to use up ageing cakes and left-over biscuits.
Melbourne Italian restaurant Sarti, has taken the humble Tiramisu to new heights with their popular menu addition of the 5 Layer Tiramisu. We sat down with creator and Chef Paolo Masciopinto to find out how exactly he executes this flawless dessert.
What is the biggest mistake cooks can make trying to make a Tiramisu at home?
The cream of mascarpone is whipped too much or not enough. This can lead to a very dense tiramisu or a runny tiramisu in texture.
What coffee do you use for your recipe and what do you recommend for using at home if no espresso machine is available? Will plunger coffee suffice?
We use 100% Arabica Lavazza coffee and we make a long pour espresso. For people making it at home, a regular percolator will be perfect.
Describe the five layers to your Tiramisu and the idea behind the hot and cold components?
Top layer – Zabaione
4th layer – Mascarpone mousse
3rd layer - Thin chocolate biscuit
2nd layer - Savoiardi biscuit
Bottom layer - Coffee gelatine
The idea is to create a classic tiramisu in texture while trying to keep the same ingredients but separated into different layers. You have crispy biscuits and the flavour of the gelatine but then we start to play with different textures and temperatures. The cold gelatine and mousse plus the hot zabaione mix in your mouth gives a contrast in temperatures.
Some Chefs use Irish Cream liqueur, some prefer Marsala and others Kahlua for the alcohol content of their Tiramisu. What do you find is the best liqueur to use and why?
This really comes down to personal taste. For me, I prefer Marsala to best match with the zabaione. But the alcohol in a classic tiramisu changes from between the origins. And it also comes down to personal preference.
With so many bold flavours and hearty dishes in Italian cuisine, the classic dessert can sometimes be forgotten, what’s your take on the more dolce things in life?
Italian cuisine is famous for its variety of savoury dishes. I believe that we shouldn’t forget that for every good Italian dinner, we will always finish with a good ice cream, a slice of cake or a classic Italian dessert. We love to spend time at the table as Italians and dessert always comes with a digestive and is combined with beautiful conversation and beautiful family and friends.For those left inspired by Paolo’s passion in the kitchen, find his no tears Tiramisu recipe here.