Nonna’s special tiramisù is a recipe we had lost and recently found again.
So many of her recipes brighten tables that are not our own.
Nonna left few written recipes compared to her enormous repertoire.
On the other hand, she shared them by letter with other women and as many as she received. Or she exchanged them with friends, relatives, and acquaintances.
And this is the reason why, from time to time, we retrieve some of them.
I should tell Grandma Sara’s life.
And perhaps someday I will do so to write about the adventures of that extraordinary handful of azdore who raised me and whom I was fortunate enough to meet.
Something about a person
I felt joy when my mom called to tell me, “You will never believe what I have found: grandma’s tiramisu recipe, the special one.”
It has been an event for us who remember the taste of that dessert.
I wrote about that in the post dedicated to the Robiola Cake, one of her culinary masterpieces.
Before the recipe, let me tell you something about her.
Nonna was born into a poor peasant family in Romagna. She escapes, unaided, from misery, illiteracy, and deprivation. She wants to guarantee her and her daughter, my mom, a different future.
Grandma never learned to write without mistakes, but that did not stop her from maintaining correspondence to exchange recipes and information that opened the doors of her world.
Driven by the typical characteristic of intelligent people, curiosity, in a short time, she cooked from the local cupboard cake to the preparation of sophisticated desserts.
Special tiramisu, croquembouche, Montebianco, chocolate pudding, Sicilian cassata, Zuppa Inglese, and Paris-Brest are some of the best desserts she prepared at Christmas lunches, which were always different every year. Except for the pudding, which was always there, with whipped cream aside.
Nonna’s special tiramisù
This year, I am supposed to cook desserts for our Christmas Day and Christmas Eve feasts. In addition to the special tiramisu, I will cook Paris-Brest, semifreddo with marron glacés and chocolate pudding.
Home food creates memories. For me, it is the best we have ever had.
Thinking back to the Christmas table, to the muted joy of us children and the delighted looks of adults at seeing a dancing sequence of exceptional desserts, I decided to cook while letting the magic of Christmases past resurface.
As I jot down thoughts and weigh ingredients, I am transported back to Nonna’s kitchen. That room was the center of my world. It was a place where I observed and tasted, a space open to the outside world.
I remember the perpetual comings and goings of people who sought out some for food, some for comfort. Some were asking for advice. Others had a story to tell. Nonna was always there for everyone, authoritative, and never bossy. She was a person of a few but good words.
In that kitchen, Christmas meal took shape. It was a kaleidoscope of flavors where she poured out knowledge and endless love. And, without my noticing, my life also took shape there.
While standing in the middle of a kitchen, everything starts over, and something returns (Imma Fiorino)
Buona cucina, Monica
On the blog you will find a modern pastry recipe, Tiramisu tart.
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The special tiramisù of Nonna Sara
- rectangular mold, 22x16cm
- 400 g fresh mascarpone cheese
- 1 egg
- 100 g powdered sugar
- 30 g dry Marsala wine
- 200 ml cold coffee
- about 42 thin ladyfingers
- bitter cocoa, to taste
- Some hours before starting to make the cake, take the mascarpone and egg out of the refrigerator.
- Separate the yolk from the egg white and whisk the egg white. Then set aside.
- In a bowl, combine mascarpone, yolk, sugar, and Marsala. Stir with a spoon, then whisk the mixture to make it puffy and airy.
- Add egg white and incorporate it with a spatula to the cream.
- Pour the cold coffee into a deep dish.
- Wet the cookies lightly, and cover the bottom of the baking dish with a layer of biscuits.
- Pour almost half of the cream over the cookies, spreading it.
- Soak other cookies in coffee and cover the previous layer. Spread almost all the cream on the biscuits, keeping a few tablespoons aside.
- Make a final layer of cookies soaked in coffee. Use what is left of the cream to spread a thin layer.
- Dust with cocoa, cover with foil and store in the refrigerator until ready to consume. The cocoa is not added just before serving. It is an ingredient.