I first had tiramisù in a small restaurant in Lucca, Italy.
I did not know what it was, but it looked fabulous on the pastry cart, served in a large ceramic bowl. Many variations use lady fingers and add liqueur, but we prefer this one made with sponge cake and espresso.
A 2½-quart bowl
Put the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip on high speed for about 3 minutes, until thick. Add the mascarpone and mix on medium speed until smooth and thick.
Put the egg whites in a separate bowl of an electric mixer. Using a clean, dry whisk attachment, whip them on medium speed until foamy. Increase to high speed, add the cream of tartar, and whip until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone cream.
Slice the sponge cake in half horizontally.
Brush the cake with some of the espresso and top with more mascarpone cream and chocolate shavings.
Repeat this layering process, beginning again with the cake pieces, until the bowl is full, ending with the chocolate shavings.
Cover and refrigerate the trifle for at least 8 hours before serving.
To serve, spoon from the bowl.
© 1993 Emily Luchetti. All rights reserved.