A Tribute to Bar Pompi in Rome--The Best Tiramisu in the World! (and a tribute recipe too)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Finally made it to Bar Pompi after a short dinner trek. Cars with people waiting to pick up some takeaway tiramisu.

Bar Pompi
Via Albalonga, 7
00183 Roma, Italy
Tel: 06 7000418
Metro: Re di Roma (linea A
Disclaimer: I don't care for Tiramisu in general because I get disappointed. Like many deceptively-simple foods, it is so difficult to get right. In my lacking experience, sometimes it's too sweet, too creamy (by that I mean a disproportionately high cream to sponge cookie ratio), too bitter, not bitter enough/too little coffee flavor and the list goes on. Someone once told me that it is a poor man's dessert because it involves assembling left over cream, eggs, mascapone, coffee and stale cookies from one's pantry. Fellow amateur cook friends have in their own ways, tried making it and bringing it to potluck parties many times over the years but I don't have the honesty to tell them that their renditions are all kinda bleah and forgettable for me. Visually, it looks nondescript and sometimes sloppy + I tend to order the more complicated desserts in restaurants anyways. 
Until, I visited Rome and found the perfect Tiramisu of my dreams. The place: Bar Pompi (BP). The Tiramisu: Out of this world!!!! I am now a good tiramisu convert. I am still mostly bleah about it (because I haven't found any good tiramisu in Boston that lives up to my expectations), but mention Bar Pompi's, and you have me back. FYI BP serves more than just Tiramisu, but it's pretty clear that everyone comes here just for that.
Rich desserts involving lots of cream saturate my taste buds easily and I quit eating soon enough. But there is something "Umami"-like about the tiramisu here--Every mouthful invites another mouthful. I am not being over-dramatic here because I started out with one and did not stop. The classic version whetted my appetite so much, I ordered the berry version and the nutella version despite proclaiming "I'm never eating again" after dinner. Not only that, the tiramisu then made me crave for their coffee martini and later their friendly server even made me a meloncello-like alcoholic smoothie that was off the menu. How crazy was my binge?

Fridges chilling with takeout tiramisu's. Love to have some right about NOW.
I only post menu's of the places I love. Prices are cheap too!
This is the Classic. BP's tiramisu's are made using Illy coffee. Based on the pictures, I shall assume the perfect tiramisu should be cream, sponge, cream in equal parts and the thickness of each layer to approximate 1 inch each.
Berry version. Not sure I am a fan of tart and bitter but this is very good too.
I am biased towards anything noisettes or hazelnut. This is my favorite!
The very Delizioso coffee martini.
My crema di melone smoothie with juicy honeydew.
With all that caffeine surging in my system + I am only 5 ft tall, needless to say I was ricocheting off the walls that night. It was the best caffeine-high I have ever had.
If I ever go back to Rome, Bar Pompi is definitely the top of my list. I have not eaten any Tiramisu since I returned from Europe and I blame BP because I'm not sure I can revert to average, non-"umami" tiramisu from now on. Unless .....Yes! My search pulled up this tribute recipe from Roman Recipes. I hope to be able to try it one day. Will keep you updated if my attempted version is Bleah or not.



4 eggs, separated
1/4 c. sugar
1 c. coffee
100 g. nutella
8 oz. (225 g.) mascarpone
1 c. whipping cream
1 pack Pavesini cookies or other ladyfingers


1. Beat the egg yolks with 1 T. of the sugar with electric mixer until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Add mascarpone and beat until creamy, 2-3 minutes.
2. Divide mixture in half.
3. To one half of the mixture add 1/2 cup nutella. Blend until incorporated.
4. Beat 2 T. sugar into the non-nutella egg yolk mixture.
5. In a separate bowl beat the whipping cream with 1 T. of sugar until it forms stiff peaks. Divide in half and fold into the two yolk mixtures.
6. In a separate, clean bowl beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Again divide in half and gently fold into the two mixtures. You should now have two creams, one a pale brown and the other a light yellow.
7. Dip the ladyfingers into the strong espresso and line the bottom of a glass casserole or serving dish. Spoon over half the nutella mixture, than half the cream mixture. Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers on top of this. Spread the rest of the nutella cream and then the rest of the plain cream. Dust with unsweetened cocoa and garnish with chopped hazelnuts.


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