It's time to get a big silly grin on your face, because not only have we got a devilishly indulgent Italian dessert for you, but its name actually promises to make you happy.
That's right, tiramisu is more than just a slice of coffee and cream heaven. The word literally translates to 'cheer me up' or 'pick me up' in Italian. A delicious dessert that will also lift our spirits? That's one more reason to hit the dessert menu at Mama Lina or order in from Medri Tiramisu. Hey, you can't argue with linguistics.
There's a bit of debate over who invented this decadent dish and when. Romantics might like the quaint tale of tiramisu's creation by 1960s confectioner Roberto Linguanotto. Supposedly he made it for his apprentice, Francesca, whose maiden name had been Tiramisu.
If you're a fan of regal history, you may choose to believe that the tiramisu was first made much earlier in 17th century Siena, in honour of Grand Duke Cosimo III. It's definitely fit for royalty.
Whenever it was created, tiramisu gives you the after-dinner holy trinity – coffee, cream and booze. Making it is a layering game. Small, soft biscuits called savoiardi are soaked in strong espresso. Alcohol is usually added to the espresso – traditionally it's fortified Marsala wine, but coffee liqueur or dark rum are also favourites in many modern recipes.
And tiramisu's cream is more than just that. It's traditionally made by whisking together mascarpone cheese with egg yolks, making it impossibly rich. Then the bottom of a dish is covered with the soaked biscuits, followed by a layer of cream, and this two-step process is repeated until you have a beautiful quivering tower of temptation – usually with a final dusting of cocoa powder on top.
Of course, with all classics come the spinoffs, and this extravagant dessert is no different. At Mama Lina, the original tiramisu has pride of place on the menu – full of whipped cream, coffee-soaked biscuits and a sprinkle of chocolate – but dessert mavericks have other options.
Medri Tiramisu serve up a whole world of different tiramisus. Try their forest fruit version, which has a distinct air of sophistication – blackberries, blueberries and cherries top the pudding. Lemon tiramisu has a strong citrusy twist. But the most contemporary creation here uses coconut flakes, and a generous amount of Nutella. The choice is yours…