Yes, I know. You've had tiramisu before. You have probably made it before too, and really, how could it be bad? Tiramisu is a little bit like that friend who says they are having a bad hair day, when really her hair is to-die-for even on her worst day. Besides there's just one sole wispy hair, not an entire head of frizz. It is impossible for tiramisu to be really bad, well, at least in the sense that if there are good ingredients, and they are all mixed together, then it just has to be good. Even on those really frustrating days when you can't even get a nice-looking piece out of the dish, it still tastes so dizzingly good. Now I've made my share of tiramisu's before, including one for my friend Allison's wedding shower. It was good, but the funny thing is that this recipe comes from a gift I received. I received a stellar gift - a cookbook, Antonietta's Osteria de Medici cookbook, and I always gush over cookbooks. I just can't help it. This obsession with cookbooks has pretty much always been the case. It started when I used to become giddily excited when the local designer home magazine would arrive at our doorstep, and I would secure myself away to devour the contents. In one issue, a lady had a gorgeous shelf in her kitchen just for her cookbooks. Her cookbooks were the favourite thing about her kitchen, and an over-the-top kitchen it was. I was instantly jealous. Of course, the book has a recipe for tiramisu, and it wouldn't have caught my attention, except that this particular recipe for to-die-for tiramisu does have a few intriguing secrets. I became hooked when I began thumbing my way through Antonietta's recipes. Osteria de Medici is a local restaurant which is popular with celebrities, and I thought the recipe sounded, well a little bizarre. Now, I haven't actually eaten at Osteria de Medici, nor have I been to one of Antonietta's cooking classes, but I was already too far into this recipe to think about turning back, I had to try it. What is so intriguing you ask? Well the recipe asks for the egg yolks and the sugar to be whipped on high for a half-an-hour! I told you it was a little strange. Oh, and it gets better, it calls for over one-liter of espresso! A litre!!? I'm all for trying new things, but I did have to draw the line somewhere. Whoa. Needless to say, I immediately set out to change the recipe. Not just because I felt like it, but if I don't have the ingredients, I'm not going to run out and buy every little thing. Besides, when I imagine nonna making this recipe, chances are good that the stores are closed most of the time; nonna lives in a little hilltop village perched on the edge of a cliff. Is nonna really going to drive to the store, or walk up that cobblestone hill to get a little more of this or that? I doubt it. She just works with what she's got, and tells everyone to eat more regardless. Take it or leave it! I did take some pointer's from Antonietta's recipe. I did risk overheating the poor mixer to the point of exhaustion, by whipping the yolks and sugar for a half an hour. I thought it would be overkill, but, the final silky, creamy texture is completely worth the effort. Just don't plan any phone conversations to take place in the same room, or at least any important ones. I did also add espresso to the mascarpone mixture, which I had never done before. Although, I did nix the litre of espresso; I got it down to one and a half cups. Besides, I would have just eaten the rest of the package of savoiardi cookies with the remaining espresso and booze... just trust me this will work. There's a few other tweaks here and there. I hopelessly agree with Antonietta's serving suggestion, that the pan serves 6. Nice, heaping, generous servings they are! If you can eat just a little bit, then I am thoroughly impressed. Over-the-top Tiramisu Adapted from Antonietta's Classic Recipes 9x13 baking dish, or similar 8 egg yolks 2 cups sugar 500g mascarpone 48 savoiardi cookies (I prefer the ones with a little sugar sprinkled on one side) 1 1/2 cups espresso (short shots, yes!) 1/2 cup sweet marsala 1. Using a large glass measuring cup, prepare the espresso. Allow to cool, so as to avoid scrambled eggs. 2. Carefully separate the eggs, and place the yolks in the mixer with a whip attachment. Add the sugar. Whip on high speed for a half hour, scraping the sides down occasionally with a wooden spoon. The consistency will change slightly as the time progresses. 3. Add the mascarpone and 1/2 cup espresso to the mix. Slowly increase the speed to high, and whip another 5 minutes. 4. Mix the remaining espresso with the marsala. 5. Take one third of the the mascarpone and egg mixture and line the bottom of the pan. 6. Dip the savoiardi cookies in the espresso and marsala mixture, and line them up on top of the egg mixture. Be careful not to oversoak the biscuits, or the resulting mixture can be too strong. 7. Layer the remaining egg mixture and cookies, resulting in 2 layers of cookies, and 3 layers of egg mixture. 8. Cover with tinfoil (less likely to droop), and refrigerate overnight. Be patient. I guarantee you this is the hardest part.