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Tiramisu is unique for a few reasons:  for one, its delicious mixture of lady fingers, soaked in “alkermes” liquor, espresso, chocolate, and egg custard proves to be a delightful but unconventional dessert, but even more mysterious about this dish is its history. There are a few stories about the origins of tiramisu but interestingly there is no written documentation of it until the 1980’s. One story claims tiramisu was created in Siena, Italy to celebrate the Grand Duke Cosimo de’ Medici’s visit and they called it zuppa del duca, meaning “the duke’s soup.” Some say after this it gained popularity in Florence, then England, and last to Treviso, Italy, which is famous for its tiramisu.  Another source dates this tasty treat all the way back to the Renaissance in Venice, where prostitutes supposedly used it for late night energy. Despite all the controversy, whenever tiramisu came to be doesn’t seem to matter to anyone who tastes this innovative and ingenious combination of ingredients.

Tiramisu (light version)
(copyright 2005-2007, The Basic Art of Italian Cooking by Maria Liberati)

*16 ounce package of savoiardi or ladyfingers
*1 cup espresso coffee with 1 tablespoon sugar or 2 packets of artificial
*powdered cocoa
*1 tsp amaretto or anisette liqueur
 *16 ounces of fat free coffee flavored yogurt
*small piece of dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa)

Place espresso coffee with 1 tbsp. of sugar or 2 packets of artificial sweetener in shallow bowl. Wet each ladyfinger in the coffee mixture for about 2 seconds. Then arrange biscotti side by side on a plate. Place yogurt in bowl, place in liqueur (if desired) and blend with spoon. Spread about 3/4 of yogurt mixture on top of ladyfingers. Repeat again and top with ladyfingers and then top with remaining yogurt mixture. Place in refrigerator for at least one hour. Right before serving, dust with powdered cocoa and shave some dark chocolate on top.

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