I worked at an Italian restaurant in Nashville, TN that served Tiramisu with two sauces, one hot and one cold. I fell in love. This recipe is close, very, very close to my first love. For a truly luscious experience, serve it with vanilla crème anglaise and warm espresso fudge sauce.
Make one day ahead in a 13X9 pan.
3 Egg Yolks
¼ Cup Whole Milk
¼ cup Marsala wine (optional)
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 ½ pounds Mascarpone Cheese*
8 Ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
½ teaspoon Vanilla
2 Cups Heavy Cream WHIPPED TO SOFT PEAKS ahead of time and sweetened with ¼ cup Powdered Sugar. Keep in fridge until needed.
Ladyfingers – soft, crunchy or homemade
1 Cup Cold Espresso or strong coffee (or 1 cup strong coffee kicked up with ¼ cup instant espresso powder)
Cocoa Powder, for garnish
Make a double boiler: Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of hot water, and bring the water to a simmer.
- Order of operations is important for this step: In a medium-size metal bowl, whisk the egg yolks, milk and marsala together, then add the sugar. Place the bowl on top of the simmering water in the saucepan and whisk until the sugar dissolves, the mixture begins to thicken and turn light yellow, and the temperature reaches 165 degrees. (This Pasteurizes the egg yolks.) Remove from the heat to cool.
- Use an electric mixer to combine mascarpone, cream cheese and vanilla until no chunks remain. Be a good creamer, and remove the paddle to really get under there to find the lumps!
- Combine cooled egg yolk mixture with the cheeses. Do this slowly, a little liquid at a time to prevent lumping.
- Fold in whipped cream.
- Pour espresso mixture onto a dinner plate. One by one, dip the bottom of each ladyfinger in the espresso mixture. The top half should remain dry. Arrange the soaked ladyfingers side by side in a 13 X 9 pan.
- Spoon a third of the cheese mixture over the ladyfingers and spread it evenly.
- Make another layer of espresso-soaked ladyfingers, and cover them with the remaining cheese mixture. Smooth the top.
- Dust with a generous layer of cocoa powder.
- Cover and chill overnight. Mmmmmm…
*Yes, mascarpone cheese is expensive. I have made this dish with cream cheese only. However, cream cheese is firmer and saltier. Use 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese total and 2 1/2 cups heavy cream. There’s not much you can do about the salt!