Now that series 10 of the Great British Bake Off has come to an end, cooks could be forgiven for thinking that the season for carefully crafting cakes and doing your utmost to avoid a soggy bottom is over. These cooks would be mistaken. As it turns out, away from the infamous tent and the piercing glare of Paul Hollywood, there is another equally intense baking competition about to kick-off in southern Europe. Only this time, it’s got tiramisu.
In the northern Italian city of Treviso, contestants from across the globe are gathering to take part in the annual Tiramisu World Cup - a celebration of all things coffee and cake. First started in 2017, the contest allows amateur bakers to pit themselves against one another in a bid to find the best recipe on the planet. Much like Bake Off, the competition is “in tents”.
Given that the World Cup is so subject-specific, the rules are strictly monitored. The competition is judged in two categories: “Original Recipe”, and “Creative Recipe”. The Original calls for contestants to create a tiramisu using only the traditional ingredients of “ladyfingers, mascarpone, eggs (yolk and, optionally, egg white), coffee, cocoa, sugar” and crucially does not allow for any variant.
The Creative category, on the other hand, allows entrants to replace two of the original six components, as well as add up to three additional ingredients of their choosing. All contestants are given their own Vicenzovo lady fingers by Matilde Vicenzi, Hausbrandt coffee, Lattebusche mascarpone, Amadori eggs, cocoa and sugar by judges before the competition begins to ensure a level playing field. And crucially, no alcohol is allowed in any recipe. Other than that, it’s fair game.
Check out our epic Frozen Tiramisu Dome recipe:
On the World Cup website, founder Francesco Redi describes how he came up with the idea, revealing:
“Traveling frequently for work abroad, I often found myself eating out and, greedy for tiramisu as I am, I noticed that it was always present in restaurant and bar papers. I asked my colleagues where the tiramisu was from. Someone said 'Argentine', confusing it with the Tres Leches, or 'Japanese ... Tiramisu'.”
“The best ones said 'Italian' but I who grew up in Treviso knew that tiramisu is the traditional sweet of that part of Italy, so full of tourist attractions, businesses and good food and wine products but not really popular as a tourist destination.”
“The tiramisu is very popular: on all the social media I noticed thousands and thousands of posts and photos commented in all languages, with recipes of all kinds.”
If you don't like your tiramisu to be traditional, try our Tiramisu French Toast:
"'Only my mom has the original recipe and does it better than all' is what I collected from friends and acquaintances…. but I wanted to taste the best ... so ... why not put them all in competition?”
After this weekend, Francesco will have his answer, at least for the next 12 months.