Tiramisu is one of the world's most exciting inventions. Sure, there was the wheel, the lightbulb, the World Wide Web – but an outrageously indulgent dessert of layered-up coffee-soaked sponge and velvety cream? Much more essential.
In fact, when a dessert's name actually means 'cheer me up', you know you're onto a winner. The proof is in the pudding – tiramisu officially makes you happy. Passionate about the art of this authentically Italian dessert is Florence's Obicà, and Rome's Tiramisù and We Love Tiramisù – though the clue's probably in the name in the last two.
Savoiardi biscuits (humorously called 'ladies fingers' in England, because of their size and shape) are soaked in strong espresso and some sort of alcohol. Marsala wine is the classic choice. Coffee liqueur is popular too, and dark rum is used in a lot of modern recipes.
The cream is more than initially meets the eye. While thick double cream sneaks into a lot of contemporary versions, it's traditionally made by whisking mascarpone cheese with egg yolks, making it impossibly rich.
Then it's a layering game – covering the bottom of a dish with the sweetly soaked biscuits, spreading a creamy layer over top, then repeating the process until you have a wonderfully wobbling dessert.
To learn which absolute genius created this bowl of heaven, we need to take a trip back in time – though it's up to you how far you go, as there's some debate over who invented this decadent dish.
If you're a fan of regal history, let's travel back to 17th century Siena. As legend has it, the tiramisu was first made here in honour of the visiting Grand Duke Cosimo III.
However, if you're a bit of a romantic, let's take a trip to the swinging 60s, and head to the restaurant 'Le Beccherie' in Treviso. As the story goes, its confectioner, Roberto Linguanotto, made it for his apprentice, Francesca, whose maiden name was Tiramisu.
Obicà's temptation lies in the traditional. A chic and contemporary restaurant, these guys are passionate about ingredients and authenticity, and even sweeping up rave reviews from The New York Times – and their tiramisu is no exception.
But for every traditional take on a dish, comes the contemporary twists on a classic. Along with the original, Tiramisù lets you create your own, with adventurous additions including Oreo biscuits, pistachios, Nutella, coconut, berries, caramel – and even beer.
And at We Love Tiramisù, they've put these crazy combinations together for you, but they're still every bit as creative. Wild strawberries. Apple and cinnamon. Fondant chocolate and hazelnut pralines. Or our favourite – the top selling Tiramisù Nutella. Need we say more?
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