A New Twist on Tiramisu

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Photo by Suzanne Heller

Just when I thought I never wanted to eat another tiramisu, my friend Enzo d'Alessandro, who makes the world's best nucillo walnut liqueur, brought me a present, a dessert made by his mother, Angela Ceriello, and his aunt, Zia Assunta, two of my favorite cooks in Italy. They serve it at the family restaurant E Curti, but I'd never bothered to order it, preferring other, far more interesting conclusions to the meal. So I was surprised at how light and delicious their version of this Italian classic was.

Enzo calls it tiramisuper, and I agree. I simply had to get the recipe. It's easy and quick to make, egg-less and without mascarpone, not a local ingredient in Campania. Angela and Zia Assunta use ricotta instead of mascarpone, flavor it with espresso coffee and sugar, dip simple cookies (they use Oro Saiwa) in unsweetened espresso, and layer them with the ricotta cream. Any simple cookie like arrowroot or digestive biscuits will do.

Recipe: Tiramisuper


    • 2 cups whole milk ricotta
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 4-5 shots of espresso coffee
    • 4-5 oz. simple cookies
    • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa

Mix the ricotta, sugar and 1 shot of espresso. If ricotta is very liquid, this should be enough to make a custard-like cream. If ricotta is drier, you may need another espresso.

Put 3 shots of espresso in a shallow dish and cool.

Spoon one third of the ricotta cream into a one-and-a-half quart mold. Dip cookies in the espresso and layer them on the ricotta. Spoon another third of the ricotta cream and top with espresso-soaked cookies. Top with remaining ricotta. Crush a few cookies and mix with 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the tiramisuper.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

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Faith Willinger is a chef, author, and born-again Italian. She moved to Italy in 1973 and has spent over 30 years searching for the best food from the Alps to Sicily. More

Faith Heller Willinger is a born-again Italian. She moved to Italy in 1973 and was seduced by Italian regional cooking. Faith has spent more than 30 years searching for the best food and wine, as well as the world beyond the table from the Alps to Sicily. She has no regrets about mileage or calories. Faith was awarded the prestigious San Pellegrino award for outstanding work as an ambassador of Italian cooking. She lives full-time in Florence with her Tuscan husband, Massimo. Her son Max lives in Milan. She's the author of the bestselling (9th printing) guidebook Eating in Italy, the cookbook Red, White & Greens, and the narrative recipe book Adventures of an Italian Food Lover. Faith teaches in her kitchen in Florence on Wednesdays, supplied with freshly picked produce from her favorite farmers. Check out her web site at www.faithwillinger.com.
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