By Jennifer Segal

Make a restaurant-quality tiramisu at home with layers of espresso-soaked ladyfingers and a rich mascarpone filling — the ultimate pick-me-up dessert!

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 12 – 14 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons instant espresso powder/granules
  • ½ cup dark rum, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks, at room temperature (see note)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1½ pounds mascarpone cheese (three 8-oz containers), cold (see note)
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 14 oz (or two 7-ounce packs) Savoiardi biscuits or crisp ladyfingers (see note)

In a shallow bowl, mix the boiling water, instant espresso, and ¼ cup of the rum. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or beaters, beat the egg yolks with the salt and ⅔ cup of the sugar on medium speed until the mixture is thick, pale yellow, and forms a ribbon when the whisk is lifted out of the bowl, about 2 minutes. Add the mascarpone, vanilla, and remaining ¼ cup of rum and beat until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.

Using another bowl for your electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or beaters, beat the heavy whipping cream and remaining ⅓ cup sugar on medium speed until medium-stiff peaks form, 1½ to 2 minutes. Be sure not to over whip the cream; otherwise it will curdle.

Using a rubber spatula, fold about ½ cup of the egg-mascarpone mixture into the whipped cream just until combined. Add the remaining egg-mascarpone mixture into the whipped cream and fold about 20 times, or until the mixture is uniform (no streaks should remain). Set aside.

Set up a workstation with the ladyfingers, the cooled coffee mixture, and a 9x13-inch ceramic or glass baking dish.

One at a time, dip the ladyfingers into the coffee mixture for 2 to 3 seconds each (do not oversaturate the cookies or they will fall apart), and place into the prepared pan. Arrange the dipped cookies in a single layer in the baking dish (about 20 cookies), breaking or trimming them as needed to fit neatly into the dish. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over top of the ladyfingers and, using a spatula, smooth into an even layer. Using a small sieve, dust the top of the cream layer with 1 tablespoon of the cocoa powder. Repeat with another layer of soaked ladyfingers, then top with the remaining mascarpone mixture and dust with the remaining 1 tablespoon cocoa powder.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 8 hours but preferably 24 hours. Cut into squares and serve cold.

Note: This recipe uses raw eggs. Be sure to use only fresh, properly refrigerated and clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks/whites and the shell. If you’re nervous about using raw eggs, try to find pasteurized eggs. Pasteurized eggs have been briefly exposed to heat to destroy any potential bacteria. Whole Foods usually carries them but call your local store to be sure before making a special trip. (Note: eating raw eggs is not advisable for pregnant women, babies, the elderly, or anyone with a compromised immune system.)

Note: It’s important to use a thicker brand of mascarpone cheese, otherwise you may end up with a runny filling. The best brand is BelGioioso, which is widely available at most large supermarkets. Do not use the Whole Foods brand; it is too soft.

Note: Be sure to use crisp ladyfingers, aka Savoiardi biscuits — not the soft cake-like ladyfingers sold in the bakery section of the supermarket.

Make-Ahead/Freezing Instructions: The tiramisu can be made up to two days ahead of time. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

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