ES.S41 | Spring 2012 | Undergraduate
Speak Italian With Your Mouth Full
Lesson 9

Lesson 9: Cooking Instruction

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Watch two videos:

Lesson 9, Part 2: Ingredients and Cooking Instruction

Lesson 9, Part 3: Cooking Instruction, continued

Il Tiramisù/Tiramisu

Tiramisù means pick me up (tira = 2nd person singular of the verb tirare, to pull or to throw — mi = me — su, without accent = up). It is such a popular dessert that it needs no introduction =)

The opposite of su is giù.


  • Six uova/eggs a temperatura ambiente (Literally “at environment temperature”, at room temperature)
  • 750 g mascarpone (about 26.5 ounces, at Shaw’s you can find the brand Belgioioso)
  • 8–10 cucchiai di zucchero/spoonfuls of sugar
  • A drop of marsala or rum or another liquor (if you are 21 or over)
  • 2–3 packages of ladyfingers (savoiardi, you can find them in the Italian sector at any grocery store)
  • A tablet of dark chocolate (cioccolato fondente, altough fondente does not mean dark, but melting) or cocoa powder/cacao in polvere
  • caffè (coffee) as much as needed (1 or 2 cups are usually sufficient)


  1. In a ciotola/bowl, mescola/mix the egg yolks (i tuorli or rossi d’uovo = literally “the reds of the egg”) with the mascarpone [and the marsala].
  2. In another ciotola, whisk the whites/monta gli albumi or i bianchi with the sugar (you can whisk by hand with a fork or a hand whisk, or by using an electric beater).
    Then mix the two creams gently: you want to avoid the egg whites foam to collapse.
  3. In the meantime, prepare your favorite coffee (I use espresso, I will write more about caffè in the next days), let it cool down and put it in a shallow dish.
  4. Dip the ladyfingers in the coffee and make a layer on a rectangular pyrex/ceramic pan. Then add a layer of cream, then another layer of soaked ladyfingers.
  5. Make in total 2-3 layers of ladyfingers, end with a thin layer of cream and sprinkle with shaved dark chocolate (you can shave the chocolate with a cheese grater) or cocoa powder.
  6. Put in the fridge, if you have enough patience wait (aspetta, from aspettare) a few hours and enjoy. If you wait one day it tastes even better. Serve chilled!

Variations: if you prepare tiramisù for kids, you can substitute the caffè with a mix of milk and decaf.

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Spring 2012
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