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TIRAMISU AND MASCARPONE: 'A DELICIOUS PICK ME UP'

 LAKEWOOD, N.J., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- No wonder Tom Hanks is "Sleepless in Seattle." He's been missing out on the sinfully rich Italian dessert Tiramisu.
 Translated from Italian to English, it means "Pick Me Up," and that's exactly what it does. Combining the energetic effects of espresso, sugar and chocolate with the rich taste of the creamy Italian dessert cheese Mascarpone, Tiramisu is exciting the senses of all who discover its uplifting taste.
 But for Valerie Dominioni, Tiramisu is more than just a "Pick Me Up." She helped introduce Tiramisu to Americans nationwide in her cookbook "Great Italian Cooking" (Doubleday 1986). Dominioni is an executive officer for Cucina Classica Italiana Inc., Lakewood, the largest importer of Mascarpone, the ingredient that makes Tiramisu and a number of other Italian desserts taste so rich. The company carries the imported Galbani brand directly from Italy and recently started manufacturing Mascarpone in the United States.
 Mascarpone (pronounced: mah-scar-po-nay) is an Italian soft dessert cheese with the consistency and texture of thick whipped cream. Its rich taste blends well with a number of chocolates, liqueurs and flavorings. According to Dominioni, it is perfect for topping on fruits like strawberries, apples, nectarines, or peaches and makes a great match with biscotti or chocolate covered wafers for snacks, desserts or entertaining.
 The dessert made with ladyfingers, delicately soaked in espresso and layered with Mascarpone and chocolate with a touch of brandy, has since then found its way all over New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. It's made fresh and served in the finest restaurants, cafes and coffee shops. And it can even be found on the dessert menu of a local pizzeria, as Americans everywhere are discovering the uplifting dessert-pick-me-up, Tiramisu.
 TIRAMISU
 Tiramisu, a popular Italian dessert, means "pick me up!"
 24 ladyfingers, split lengthwise
 3/4 cup espresso coffee, cooled
 6 eggs, separated
 6 tablespoons sugar
 4 cartons (100 grams each) Mascarpone
 2 tablespoons brandy
 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or coarsely grated
 Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange ladyfingers on baking sheet. Bake until toasted, 5 to 10 minutes. Arrange half the ladyfingers in 2 or 2-1/2-quart oval or rectangular serving dish. Brush lightly with espresso.
 In large mixing bowl, beat egg whites at high speed of electric mixer or with whisk until stiff. Set aside.
 In small mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar at medium speed of electric mixer until thick and lemon colored. Add Mascarpone and brandy. Stir gently. Gently fold egg whites into Mascarpone mixture. Spread half the mixture on ladyfingers in serving dish. Sprinkle with half the chocolate. Repeat layers of ladyfingers, espresso, Mascarpone mixture and chocolate. Cover with foil. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.
 Serves 12.
 Tiramisu recipe is reproduced with permission from author from "Great Italian Cooking" (Doubleday, N.Y. 1986) by Valerie A. Dominioni.
 -0- 7/21/93
 /CONTACT: Valerie Dominioni, executive officer, Cucina Classica Italiana, 908-262-0426, or Patricia Ricci of Creative Images, 609-983-9102, for Cucina Classica/


CO: Cucina Classica Italiana Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: FOD SU:

CC-MK -- PH024 -- 3988 07/21/93 13:23 EDT
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Date:Jul 21, 1993
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