March 7, 2009

Authentic Tiramisu

I have done it. I successfully made the one thing that I wanted to create while living in Italy, a mouthwatering gluten free tiramisu. I have sat back this year and watched everyone eat homemade tiramisu for birthdays, Christmas, new years, etc. I have also had many tiramisus given to us by Mama Mias, the trainer's wife, and other local Italian women. They have been angrily stored away in my fridge for my boyfriend. But as of yesterday, I officially created the ultimate gf tiramisu!

Some of the wives of the players and myself were invited yesterday to the home of an Italian woman here in Pontebba, that seriously knows how to cook. She is affiliated with the team in one way or another and brought us into her home with welcome arms to learn the art of making tiramisu. We ooohhed and ahhhed over technique and were able to create masterpieces of our own. She speaks very little English, so there were many hand gestures and physical actions throughout the afternoon, but who better to learn to art from than a real Italian!

The other girls used lady fingers, or savoiardi in Italian, that were provided for them, whereas I had to come prepared with my own gf version. It all worked out perfectly in the end and I even learned some important facts about tiramisu along the way. One thing is that true tiramisu does not have alcohol in it, that is us yet again americanizing another Italian dish. Tiramisu is also eaten as a pick me up, thanks to the amount of seriously strong Italian coffee in there! It was a wonderful experience and I am now going to share with you the secret of making a truly authentic Italian tiramisu.

Gluten Free Sponge Cake
-modified from
~3 eggs at room temp, separated
~2/3 cup sugar
~1/2 cup brown rice flour
~1/2 cup Mix C Dr. Schaer (1/4 cup corn flour and 1/4 cup cornstarch can be used in place)
~2 tsp. gf baking powder
~1/4 cup milk
~1/4 tsp. vanilla

Heavily grease a rectangle glass baking (approx. 2 quarts) with butter. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Use an electric beater to whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tbs at a time, mixing between each addition until sugar dissolves. Continue mixing after all sugar is added for 1 minute or until mixture is thick and glossy. Add the egg yolks and mix until just combined. Sift the combined flour mix and baking powder into the egg mixture a little at a time while mixing. Pour the milk down the side of the bowl and use a large metal spoon to fold until just combined. Spoon mixture evenly in glass baking dish. Then drop the dish a couple times gently against counter to allow bubbles to rise out of batter. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. You will want the top to brown a bit and the sponge cake to feel firm and springy. It is better you cook it too long than too little, as you want to have lady fingers that the coffee will soak into. Remove cake from oven and allow it to cool. Once cooled cut the cake going from the long side of the dish in sections that are 2 fingers wide. Then cut the cake in the very middle from the short side. This will give you the right length and width for the lady fingers. Take lady fingers out of glass pan and set on separate plate. Each finger is still however too thick, so cut them in half width wise, so you end up with 2 thinner lady fingers. Now pay attention to where the lady fingers went in the glass pan, as you will want to put them back in approximately the same spot. At this point you are ready to move onto step two.

~5 egg yolks
~3 egg whites
~8 Tbs sugar
~500g mascarpone cheese
~lady fingers(see recipe above)
~unsweetened strong coffee

Make the coffee, pour into a shallow plate and then leave to cool. Beat the egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer until they turn pale and fluffy. Fold in the mascarpone until mixed. In a different bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt(salt is very important according to the Italians! so don't leave out!) until white and peaky. Add the egg whites to the yolk mix and fold together very gently. Think a forward motion coming high out of the bowl with each stroke(this is what we was demonstrated for us and is the key to a good tiramisu). Quickly dip the lady fingers into the coffee, using only one side. Then place in glass cake pan, coffee soaked side up. You do not want to soak the lady fingers very much, just quickly dip them in the coffee. You can also poor the coffee over the lady fingers with a spoon after they are lined up in the glass cake dish. Then cover with the mascarpone mix. Add another layer of the lady fingers dipped in coffee. Top this layer with the mascarpone mix and finish off by sprinkling with cocoa powder or grated chocolate. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before serving. Buon Appetito!!!!

Pictures are of Rosella demonstrating her Italian cooking skills.


Ducky said...

Wow, this looks great, I'm GF and love Tiramisu and haven't had it in years. Thanks for the recipes and hope that it can be done. I'll be giving them a try.

Gluten Free Alaskan Goddess said...

I'm glad you enjoy the recipe! It really is easier to make than it looks. I am also going to try and make a "summer" tiramisu today. So keep posted for another recipe that will be great during the summer months.

Natasha said...

Hey AK Goddess ;) I am making your awesome tiramisu for Jasmine's birthday tonight! Miss you.

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