I went back to the Vancouver Pastry Training Center to take the ‘Tiramisu and Italian Pastries’ course. As usual, it was excellent. Truthfully, I’d never enjoyed tiramisu until going to Thierry and trying theirs. One of my favourite parts of taking these courses is getting to taste what things should taste like. Apparently most places use whipped cream in tiramisu, but a traditional tiramisu uses only mascarpone, and not whipped cream.

In unrelated news, this class may or may not have motivated me to impulse buy a copper bowl and balloon whisk for an embarrassing number of dollars. Oops.

“Pick me up”

There are three primary components to making tiramisu: sponge fingers, mascarpone filling, and coffee/amaretto soak.



  • 6 egg yolks
  • 45 g granulated sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 60 g cake flour
  • 30 g cornstarch


  1. In a mixer at high speed, whip the egg yolks and sugar to form a sabayon
  2. At the same time, separately mix the egg whites and sugar into a meringue
  3. Fold 1/3 of the meringue into the sabayon, then fold the rest in.
  4. Sift the cake flour and the cornstarch into the egg mixture, and fold together.
  5. Pipe the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 F until they are nicely browned


  • Sponge fingers are one of the lightest sponges you can make. They dry very easily, meaning they can be soaked and saturated with flavour easily.
  • Don’t double this recipe. You can’t pipe quickly enough if you have large quantities. You can go as low as 2/3 of this recipe.
  • Timing is very important. Ideally, the sabayon and meringue should finish at the same time. If the sabayon is done and the meringue is not, lower the speed on the mixer and keep mixing the sabayon.
  • The sabayon has one stage: ribbon stage. When the whisk move through, the lines should be visible like little ribbons.
  • Once sugar has been added to eggs, it should get mixed immediately
  • 1/3 of meringue gets folded in first to even out the temperatures and consistencies.



  • 3 g gelatin sheet
  • 3 eggs
  • 45 g granulated sugar
  • 1 g vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch lemon zest
  • 225 g mascarpone cheese
  • 3 egg whites
  • 40 g granulated sugar


  1. Bloom gelatin in cold water.
  2. Mix 3 eggs, lemon, sugar, and vanilla
  3. Mix the egg mixture over a bain marie until just under the coagulation point (65 C)
  4. Once the egge mixture has reached an appropriate temperature, switch to a stand mixer and mix at high speed until ribbon stage.
  5. Over the bain marie, warm the mascarpone and add the bloomed gelatin.
  6. Make a medium peak meringue with the egg whites and granulated sugar
  7. Mix sabayon and mascarpone. Fold 1/3 of meringue into sabayon, and then fold the rest in.


  • The eggs get heated for stability and density


  1. Layer the sponge fingers and mascarpone filing.
  2. After each layer of sponge fingers is added, soak with a coffee amaretto mixture. The key to making a soak is a 2:1 ratio of liquid to sugar when you reduce it.
  3. Coat the top in chocolate shavings, and then dust with cocoa

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