Traditional tiramisu contains a shortlist of ingredients: finger biscuits, egg yolks, sugar, coffee, mascarpone cheese, cocoa powder and sometimes liquor. The recipe has been adapted into many varieties of cakes and other desserts. Its origins were often disputed among Italian regions of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
Most accounts of the origin of tiramisu date its invention to the 1960s in the region of Veneto, Italy, at the restaurant "Le Beccherie" in Treviso. Specifically, the dish is claimed to have first been created by a confectioner named Roberto Linguanotto, owner of "Le Beccherie". Some debate remained, however. Other historical records state that Tiramisu has aphrodisiac effects and was served in brothels in Treviso. Accounts by Carminantonio Iannaccone claim the tiramisu sold at Le Beccherie was made by him in his bakery, created by him on 24 December 1969
Now, thanks to a request by Friuli-Venezia Giulia province, tiramisù has been officially designated and recognized on the list of traditional, gastronomic products in the region.
Tiramisu, which in Italian literally means 'lift me up', is said to date from the mid 19th century, where it was allegedly first served at a restaurant in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in northern Italy.
The governor of the neighboring Veneto region was unimpressed however by the dessert's new official home, arguing it should instead be his province that is recognized as the eponymous sweet's home.
Historical records state that Tiramisu has aphrodisiac effects and was served in brothels in Treviso. Accounts by Carminantonio Iannaccone (as first reported by David Rosengarten in The Rosengarten Report and followed by The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Post) claim the tiramisu sold at Le Beccherie was made by him in his bakery, created by him on 24 December 1969. Other sources report the creation of the cake as originating towards the end of the 17th century in Siena in honor of Grand Duke Cosimo III. Regardless, recipes named "tiramisu" are unknown in cookbooks before the 1960s.
Interest in tiramisu in the United States increased in 1993 when Tom Hanks' protagonist in the comedy Sleepless in Seattle heard of it only as a mysterious thing that modern women loved.
The original shape of the cake is round, although the shape of the biscuits allows the use of a rectangular or square pan. However, it is also often assembled in round glasses, which show the various layers, or pyramid. Modern versions have as a rule the addition of whipped cream or whipped egg, or both, combined with mascarpone cream. This makes the dish lighter, thick and foamy. Among the most common alcoholic changes includes the addition of Marsala. The cake is usually eaten cold.
Another variation involves the preparation of the cream with eggs heated to sterilize it, but not so much that the eggs scramble. Over time, replacing some of the ingredients, mainly coffee, there arose numerous variants such as tiramisu with chocolate, amaretto, berry, lemon, strawberry, pineapple, yogurt, banana, raspberry, coconut, and even beer.