Classic Tiramisu

This classic Tiramisu or  “Pull me Up” torte  recipe will have you jumping for joy, probably from all the espresso in the torte.   This was the first Tiramisu recipe I ever attempted years ago.  A similar version was handed down to me by my husband’s Zia Dora in Rome, Italy.  One of the first things she said  (in Italian),  is if you are afraid of fresh eggs, get over it.  These days, it seems everyone is worried about something.  Given the  fact that this is the classic version, and oh so good when completed, I got over it quickly, you will too. 
Follow the recommendations of the American Egg Association when handling raw eggs.  Another important fact is to find incredibly fresh eggs, preferably from a local farmer. We use farm fresh eggs all the time.  Once you have had some, I am sure you will be hooked.  Be sure and make this a day ahead.
36 lady fingers/ either sponge or dry Savoiardi
2 cups good espresso / brewed and cool
3 extra large eggs. (separated)
two bowls chilled , one for your egg yolks, one for your egg whites.
1 – 8 oz container of Mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup good brandy
Coca powder to sprinkle across each layer while you assemble the torte
Dark, good quality chocolate
Into a chilled bowl, whip your egg whites with a quarter cup sugar, adding the sugar little at time.  It’s important that your bowl be chilled.  Follow recommendations from the American Egg Association. Set them back into the refrigerator.
If you are afraid of egg yolks then continue with the next step.  If you are not, skip.
Prepare a pan of simmering water  for your egg yolks.  Put your egg yolks/ sugar/ brandy into a bowl and set it above the simmering water and mix being careful not to scramble.  You want to raise your yolk temperature to 160 degrees on cooking thermometer.  Quite honestly, if you trust your farm fresh eggs like I do, I omit this step as there is a better chance at getting hit by a bus then there is contacting Salmonella.  Set aside to cool.
Combine your  room temperature egg yolks,  marcarpone cheese ,sugar, brandy and set aside.
You can omit the Brandy if you must.  The brandy intensifies the flavor of this torte, but it is not necessary.
In your baking dish, place a little espresso on the bottom.  Soak your lady fingers on both sides and line them up in the bottom of the baking dish, set aside.

Combine your egg whites now with your yolk mixture a little at a time until completely combined and has doubled in volume. 

Combine a layer of your mixture over your lady fingers.   In a separate baking dish, continue soaking your cookies and line your cookies on top of your mixture.  Sprinkle some cocoa over each layer until you get to the top.  Sprinkle with shaved chocolate/ cover and refrigerate. Let set 24 hours.  Serve in plates/ cut in squares.  Sprinkle with additional shaved chocolate.    Buon Appetito ~

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