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“Pick Me Up!” Tiramisu

A few years ago, our friend Moya told us a story about her Tuscan mother-in-law, who used this phrase in a sentence when her husband told a bit of gossip. She would say, “Tiramisu le calze!! Well, pick up my stockings!”

Tiramisu is a rich dessert, yet light as a feather. Spooning into the cream and scooping up a bit of coffee and liquor-soaked biscuit at the same time is certainly a spirit lifter. You can top it off with a sprinkle of chocolate shavings or fancy fruit or both. Chef Piero from our Culinary Adventure in Tuscany always gives it a touch of flair. I’m surprised he doesn’t put a monogrammed gold leaf on each one. Now that’s a good idea. It’s the most elegant dessert and always pleases.


3 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-oz) container mascarpone cheese (1 scant cup)
1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
2 cups very strong brewed coffee or brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
2 tablespoons sweet Vin Santo (more traditionally Tuscan) or Marsala wine
18 savoiardi (crisp Italian ladyfingers, 6 oz)
1/4 cup fine-quality bittersweet chocolate shavings or 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
8 wine glasses


Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Beat in mascarpone until just combined. Continue reading…