Kickshaw / Tiramisu from Carmelo’s
A perfectly executed classic dessert
This iconic dessert requires two days of prep.
Photos by Stephen Gabris
425 Center St., Lewiston
Espresso, cookies, liqueur, chocolate, and cheese….ah, that’s tiramisu. This timeless dessert is essentially simple, a virtue chef Carmelo Raimondi aims for at his Lewiston restaurant, Carmelo’s, which offers seasonally appropriate food in a setting with rustic vibes. “Food is like life,” Raimondi says, quoting one of his favorite sayings. “The less you complicate it, the better it tastes.”
This version of tiramisu has been on the menu since about 1998. Why? “It’s delicious, decadent, and satisfying,” the chef explains. Carmelo’s tiramisu includes the usual ingredients—lady finger cookies, Tia Maria coffee liqueur, mascarpone cheese, and cocoa powder—plus a couple extra touches for finesse. Other than coffee in the mascarpone, however, this is similar to the recipe Raimondi’s mom used to make.
Creating tiramisu takes two days. On day one, the cookies fully absorb the espresso and liqueur. Day two, it’s portioned, cut into with a hot knife to ensure straight lines, and finished with cocoa powder before it goes into the dining room.
“It’s something that slows you down from the day-to-day pace and just kind of is like a ‘wow,’” says Raimondi. “It’s that moment you close your eyes and think of your childhood, in a way. It’s that safe ground, you know?”