Tiramisu: A Haiku


Tiramisu: An Ode

Spongy decadence
Your caffeinated sweetness
it awakens me

Most of the recipes I write about in this blog are steeped in childhood memories or memories of the first time I had the dish in a restaurant or at a food truck.  That is not the case with tiramisu.  I don’t remember the first time I had it or where, and more importantly, how I felt about it.  I can still remember the first time I took a bite of the ginger spiced cake, for example, at Chow.  Or the time I had tempeh and didn’t realize it was tempeh, which was a good thing, otherwise I would have lost my tempeh(been waiting to use that pun for weeks now.)

Alas, I’m not Lidia Bastianich and tiramisu doesn’t inspire those childhood memories for me.  What it does inspire is poetry, hence  this haiku.

But finally, last night is a tiramisu memory that won’t fade for awhile.   Last night, we attended a crab feed at my son’s school and there was a silent dessert auction with a variety of desserts donated by members of the school community.  Some were homemade, others were store bought and fetched above modest prices from generous contributors.  We love our school and when close friends on the crab feed committee asked for a dessert donation, tiramisu instantly leapt to mind.

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I was a little (a lot) anxious about how it would taste, too runny, heavy on the rum, etc, etc.  Then came the moment of reckoning and I worried that no one would bid on it–like a girl going to her first dance and then doesn’t get asked by anyone.  I put a lot of pressure on that tiramisu.  Because I’m a dork, I stalked that auction table repeatedly and eventually sent my homie Marie to check on its current going price.

The tiramisu got asked to dance.  At a final selling price of $130, the tiramisu had, in fact, been elected prom queen.

Processed with MOLDIV


Tiramisu Recipe (adapted from: The Best Tiramisu You Will Ever Make: Ask Chef Dennis)


  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese – room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 -7 oz packages Italian ladyfingers
  • 1 cup cold espresso or strong coffee
  • 1/2 cup dark rum ( Ron Mocambo is my favorite)
  • 1 ounce cocoa for dusting


  1. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a bowl on  top of a double boiler, over boiling water. Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.  Keep stirring because you don’t want scrambled eggs.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.

  2. Add mascarpone to whipped yolks, beat until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks.
  4. Gently fold the whipped cream in the mascarpone egg mixture and set aside. The mascarpone does not have to be at room temperature, but it will be easier to mix in.
  5. Mix the cold espresso with the dark rum and dip the lady fingers into the mixture for only a second–don’t soak them or run the risk of overly soggy lady fingers.
  6. Arrange the lady fingers in the bottom of a 9 inch square baking dish (or container similarly sized)
  7. Spoon half the mascarpone cream filling over the lady fingers.
  8. Repeat process with another layer of lady fingers, alternating the mascarpone mixture and lady fingers
  9. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  10. Dust with cocoa before serving.

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