Ingredients and doses: • 12 egg yolks • 500 g of sugar • 1 kg of mascarpone • 60 ladyfingers • sweetened coffee • bitter cocoa.
Take the yolks and whip them with the sugar, adding the mascarpone, until you get a soft and creamy mixture. In a serving dish or tray, preferably rectangular, prepare a layer with half of the ladyfingers soaked in coffee and spread half of the creamy mixture. Put a second layer with the remaining ladyfingers, soak them well with the coffee and cover with the remaining creamy mixture. Sprinkle bitter cocoa on top and put it in the fridge, removing it only at the moment of serving, as they do in the restaurants of Treviso, province, and all over Italy.
There have been many rumors about this extraordinary dessert from Treviso: that it was invented at the end of the nineteenth century by a tavern keeper with a place just outside the walls of Treviso to satisfy the sprightly Count Bolasco; that it was created by a historic pastry chef operating in the heart of the city, but also by a pastry chef from Treviso who had emigrated (fled following financial misadventures) to the USA; and so on. It's easy to understand how claiming the credit for the dessert that is currently the most widespread in the world is no small boast. And it is therefore right to clear away all these vainglorious claims and false attributions to restore the truth of the facts.
And we should add right away that for several years now, Tiramisù is not only found practically all over the world, but under this name, a thousand other things are served that have nothing to do with real Tiramisù. So let's get to the story. This dessert belongs to a typical thread of Habsburg gastronomy, that of "coffee desserts" which are a historical heritage, at least for some centuries, of the Middle European cuisine that had (and has) its strong points in Vienna (but also Budapest and Ljubljana) and, as far as Italy is concerned, in Trieste. But Venice also adopted, during the first half of the nineteenth century, many contributions from Habsburg cuisine due to the presence - between 1816 and 1866 - of high imperial authorities, among which also Franz Joseph and his wife, Empress Sissi and the Archduke Maximilian, who ended up badly in Mexico.
The climate, because there was also in Treviso, always very connected to Venice also for the kitchen, the presence of a coffee dessert was therefore favorable and therefore such a dessert in Treviso is not absolutely something exotic and imported. Entering our story, it must first of all be remembered Mrs. Speranza Bon Garatti who in her restaurant "Al Fogher", well known in Treviso and currently managed by her children, served since the years immediately following the last world war a great spoon dessert, called "Imperial Cup Al Fogher". We remember this very good and very refined lady, because she made her dessert with almost the same ingredients as Tiramisù (bitter coffee, mascarpone, sugar and egg yolks), using Sponge cake instead of ladyfingers and grated chocolate instead of bitter cocoa. Probably this dessert is present in Treviso even before Tiramisù, it is more refined and it is the one that gave origin to the Tiramisù in cup that are enjoyed, for several years now, in some of the major international restaurants, both in Italy and abroad.
And so the Tiramisù?
Giuseppe Maffioli, the great connoisseur of Treviso cuisine, the one who knew how to give it gastronomic dignity by refining many of its preparations, then generous with advice to those who have since become the most celebrated restaurateurs in Treviso, he called this dessert Tiramesù, in dialect, as it was called in the restaurant where it was created. As a key contributor to "La Cucina Italiana" and author of important gastronomy volumes, including "Il Ghiottone Veneto", at the beginning of the 70s of the last century, he wrote: "A dessert was born recently, just over two decades ago, in the city of Treviso, which was proposed for the first time by a certain pastry chef named Loly Linguanotto". The dessert and its name tiramisù, as very nourishing and restorative food, became immediately very popular and copied, with absolute fidelity or with some variation.
The pastry chef Linguanotto worked in the kitchens of the Ristorante Beccherie in Treviso, already a secret meeting point, when it was still a butcher's shop - the restaurant will start its activity in 1875 - of the patriots of the Risorgimento who came from Venice and from Treviso to meet other patriots in Rovigo, Verona, Mantua, Brescia. Historic venue of Italy, the Beccherie therefore have the merit of having created the Tiramisù, this extraordinary dessert currently requested by gourmets from all over the world.