Layer the creamiest, dreamiest, perfectly sweet, rich-yet-light mascarpone cream among espresso + Kahlúa + rum soaked ladyfingers. Douse in cocoa powder. I can’t even. This classic Italian Tiramsu is to. die. for. It’s literally perfect. I want to eat it everyday.
My mom’s friends are the most thoughtful, creative people ever. They threw the most perfect and personalized bridal shower for me almost three years ago. (Time flies!! Was it really that long ago??!) The whole thing was cooking and Italian themed. Um, hellooo, perfect. I clearly LOVE to cook and I’m 100% Italian. It was so fitting. We had a cooking class at the hostess’s house! Every detail was covered: guests got aprons with their names embroidered on them, all the guests brought their favorite recipes on cards to share with me, it was amazing from start to finish. I’ll never forget it.
My Nana forgot it. I was so excited that she was there, she was 93. Her health had been slowly declining and I wasn’t sure if I’d get to share my wedding and the surrounding festivities with her. Not only did she make it, she was right by my side the whole day of the shower. We even sat arm in arm during most of the cooking class. Later that day my uncle went over to her apartment. He asked, “so did you have a good time today?” She responded, “A good time?!! It was a funeral for God’s sake!” He replied, “Who died??” She named an old friend who’d died years before. Dementia is a crazy disease, I tell you. Well, until I start to lose my mind, this recipe will always jog my memory of that day. And I’m forever grateful she was a part of it.
This tiramisu is seriously one of the best I’ve ever had. Every guest I’ve served it to agrees. Also, it’s a fantastic dish for hosting a crowd too because it feeds a ton! Well, that depends too on how big your servings are… I’m telling you, this one’s hard to resist…
Start by making the mascarpone cream mixture. Whisk egg yolks and sugar over a double boiler. After about 10 minutes it becomes thick and fluffy. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla and mascarpone cheese. Set aside to cool. In a liquid measuring cup, combine Kahlúa, espresso (regular or decaf), and a touch of rum. Set aside. In a mixer, whip cream then fold the whipped cream into the egg mixture. Now you’re ready to assemble!
Arrange half the ladyfingers evenly among a 13×9 dish.
Paint half the espresso mixture onto the bottom layer of lady fingers.
Pour half the cream mixture over the ladyfingers.
Spread cream evenly. (Look at those ribbons. Seriously.)
Arrange the other half the ladyfingers evenly.
Paint ladyfingers with the remaining half of the espresso mixture.
Spread the remaining cream mixture evenly over the ladyfingers.
Sift cocoa powder evenly over the top.
Try not to eat the whole thing at once.
No but really.
Some Last Notes About the Recipe
- For the espresso, you can buy instant espresso powder, grab a couple espresso shots from your local coffee shop, or brew some stroooong coffee.
- The recipe starts by whipping egg yolks with sugar in a double boiler. If you don’t own one like me, just set a metal mixing bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
- I’ve found the lady fingers in all areas of the grocery store. Once I found them in produce area displayed by the sponge cakes, angel food cakes, berries and strawberries. In another store I found them in the bakery department. In Whole Foods they’re in the cookie aisle. If you can’t find them, just ask!
- This dish can be made several days in advance. Store covered in the fridge.
Now go make some memories with this dish as you share with your family and friends!
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- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 12 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 ounce package of lady fingers
- ½ cup Kahlúa
- 2 ounces espresso (regular or decaf)
- 2 tablespoons rum
- cocoa powder
- Over a double boiler, with a whisk beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy about 10 minutes.
- Take off the heat and stir in mascarpone and vanilla. Set aside to cool.
- In a liquid measuring cup, combine Kahlúa, espresso, and rum. Set aside.
- In a standing mixer, whip cream. Fold whipped cream into cooled yolk mixture.
- Arrange half the lady fingers evenly in the bottom of a 13x9 dish. Paint with half the espresso mixture. Spoon half the cream mixture over the lady fingers and spread into an even layer.
- Repeat for a second layer of lady fingers, espresso mixture and cream.
- Add a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder to a fine sieve and lightly tap it the sieve until the entire dish is dusted with cocoa powder. Cover and refrigerate at least six hours, preferably overnight. (Can be made a couple days ahead.) Serve!