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A classic Italian dessert is simple to make beforehand

If you would like to serve the famous Italian Tiramisu after a Valentine's Day dinner, here is good news: you can make it anytime before you cook and just cover the serving dish with plastic cling film, and refrigerate.

This recipe brings up one of my personal pet peeves: the celebrity chefs who have not learned how to pronounce "mascarpone." In short, it is not "mars-capo-nay." If at any point in time you are not sure how to pronounce Italian kitchen terminology, you ought to be watching any of Giada de Laurentiis' cooking shows. She goes into everything, from soup to nuts as the saying goes, and until I heard her say it, I did not know that there is a "hard G" sound in the word, "Parmigiano." You live and learn, so I hope that the correct pronunciation of "mas-car-ponay" makes its way into the kitchens of America over the heads of celebrity chefs who don't bother with small stuff. They would get more criticism if they were mispronouncing French, that's for sure.

Mascarpone cheese is the Italian equivalent of cream cheese. It is smooth and creamy, frequently sweetened and used in desserts. It can also be used to make dips as you would use cream cheese for savory items.

If you like, you can also use it in a quiche recipe much as you would sour cream.


By Fabio Viviani


6 egg yolks
½ cup superfine granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups mascarpone cheese at room temperature
24 ladyfingers
2 cups brewed coffee
1 Tablespoons cocoa powder

In a medium bowl, beat yolks with sugar and vanilla until smooth, light yellow and very fluffy. Fold mascarpone into yolk mixture. Set aside.

Dip ladyfingers briefly in coffee and arrange 12 of them in the bottom of a 10×10 inch dish.

Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Repeat with remaining cookies and mascarpone.

Cover and chill 1 hour. Sprinkle with cocoa just before serving.

Use pasteurized eggs with this recipe for safety. Pasteurized eggs are processed whole, so you can separate them and use the yolks in this recipe. You can also use the boxed eggs, although you may not find egg yolks in your grocer's dairy area.

By the way, it was delightful to find Chef Viviani preparing his own recipe! Enjoy the video.

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