16ozmascarpone cheese³(453g) softened about 20 minutes before use, see note
40Ladyfingers⁴click the link to make my homemade ladyfingers. You may also substitute Pavesini.
2Tablespoonscocoa powderdivided (Dutch-process or natural will work)
Stir together coffee and 4 Tablespoons rum and pour into a shallow dish (you’ll be dipping your ladyfingers in this). Set aside for coffee to cool, you won’t return to this until after you have prepared your filling.
Fill a medium-sized saucepan with 1-2" of water and find a medium-sized heatproof bowl that rests on the saucepan without the bottom touching the water. This will be your double boiler (alternatively, use a double boiler if you have one). Remove the bowl and bring the water to a simmer over medium/low heat.
Meanwhile, combine egg yolks, sugar, and salt in the bowl you fitted to your saucepan and whisk to combine. Once water is simmering, return bowl to saucepan.
Whisk constantly until mixture is pale yellow, sugar has dissolved (rub a small bit between your fingers, it should be smooth), and your whisk leaves tracks through the mixture. This can take about 10 minutes, perhaps longer. Frequently scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as you cook this to prevent the yolks from cooking (or you'll end up with scrambled eggs!).
Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of rum and the vanilla extract. Whisk well then set aside to cool (you may place in fridge to speed up the process). This is your zabaglione. Prepare whipped cream/mascarpone layer while this cools.
Mascarpone Cream Layer
Pour cold heavy cream into a large bowl and use an electric mixer (or stand mixer) to stir, gradually increasing mixer speed to high and beating until you have soft peaks⁵.
Place mascarpone cheese in a separate large bowl and stir (with spoon, spatula, or electric mixer on low-speed) just until smooth (don’t overmix mascarpone or it can become grainy/curdled).
Gradually add cooled zabaglione to mascarpone and stir until completely combined (again, don't overdo it).
Gently whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely combined.
Grip ladyfingers by holding the two end points. Very briefly dip half of the ladyfinger (lengthwise) into the coffee mixture, then turn upside down and very briefly dip the other half. Place into 13x9” (33x23cm) baking dish. Repeat with ladyfingers until you have lined the entire bottom of the dish with dipped ladyfingers. You may need to break some of the cookies so that they fit and the entire bottom is covered.
Top ladyfinger layer with half of the mascarpone mixture and spread this evenly over the cookies.
Sift 1 Tablespoon of cocoa powder evenly over the mascarpone.
Top with another even layer of coffee-dipped ladyfingers and then evenly spread the mascarpone over the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 hours or preferably overnight.
Before serving, sift another Tablespoon of cocoa powder over the surface. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
You may leave out the alcohol or substitute with marsala wine, coffee flavored liqueur, or brandy.
Save your egg whites in a clean, grease-free container and use them to make meringues, lemon cake, or strawberry cake (see post for more recipe suggestions for egg whites)!
Mascarpone that is too cold or too warm is liable to curdle. Pull it out of the fridge just 10-20 minutes before using. Always take care to not over-mix the mascarpone as this can also make it curdle and make your tiramisu runny. Make sure you are using a full-fat mascarpone.
You may use store-bought or the best homemade ladyfingers. If using homemade, make them a day or two in advance and allow them to sit out uncovered overnight before using (you want them a little stale!). If purchasing you can find them on Amazon.
This means that the peak that forms when you pull the beater out of the mixture folds over on top of itself. Soft peaks are creamier and less fluffy than stiff peaks that are typical of store-bought whipped cream.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Tiramisu may be frozen for several months; let thaw overnight in the fridge or set out at room temperature for 20-30 minutes to thaw before serving.