Friday, July 20, 2012


It took me a while to come up with a good recipe for this rich Italian dessert. It was clear to me as I tried recipe after recipe that some cooks/chefs don't test before they share. I've had tirami-soup, as my toddler affectionally calls it. I've run out of coffee to dip lady fingers in only one layer into dessert assembly. All of my mistakes have been delicious, but I haven't been proud of them. Thankfully, I now have a recipe to share with you that I am proud of. But first, a couple lessons I've learned along the way:

  1. The first couple times you make tiramisu, prepare a little extra of the coffee and rum mixture. Better to have leftovers than to run out in this case.
  2. First I will say that I have not been paid/compensated in any way to recommend this product, but: Use Bellino Savoiardi when you're looking for a great lady finger for your tiramisu. After using these lady fingers when making my own, I won't use any other.
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup whole milk or heavy cream (for making custard)
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream (for whipped cream)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 2 7-ounce packages of lady fingers  
  • 1 cup espresso or strongly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
  • 8 TBSP rum
  • 1-2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
To Make
  1. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a medium pot until well blended. Whisk in your 2/3 cup milk/cream and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture simmers. Let the mixture simmer for about one minute, and remove from the heat. DO NOT OVERCOOK OR YOU WILL HAVE SUGARY SCRAMBLED EGGS. YUCK.  Cover and put into your refrigerator to cool for an hour. 
  2. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer (or a whisk if you have boundless energy and time), beat the heavy cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form... about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Remove egg mixture from 'fridge and strain using a fine mesh strainer or berry strainer. 
  4. Stir the strained egg mixture into the mascarpone.
  5. In a small bowl, combine rum and espresso/coffee.
  6. Take out a 13x9 baking dish. 
  7. Dip each lady finger in the coffee/rum mixture for 3-5 seconds, then form your first layer at the bottom of the pan. If necessary, break some of the lady fingers in half so that they fit properly.
  8. Once you have a layer of soaked lady fingers, spread half of the mascarpone mixture as the next layer.
  9. Make a third layer of whipped cream.
  10. Repeat steps 7-9 once more.
  11. Dust the top of your tiramisu with cocoa powder.
  12. Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, so that the dessert has time to set and the flavors have time to meld.

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