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. Olivia makes this dessert in LUSCIOUS!
Make one day ahead in a 13X9 pan.
3 Egg Yolks
¼ Cup Whole Milk
¼ cup Marsala wine (optional)
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 pounds Mascarpone Cheese*
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 and WHIP COOL. It will get thicker and lighter. (And thank you, Sarah B., a former student of mine who tested this recipe and pointed out two steps I forgot to write into the recipe! Sorry about that, Sarah, and I’m so glad you figured out how to make it work anyway!)
- Fold the vanilla into the mascarpone cheese and vanilla until no chunks remain.
- 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 and with a combo of cream cheese and mascarpone. However, cream cheese is firmer and saltier. Use more whipped cream at the end if you use cream cheese only. If you use a combo, use room temperature cream cheese, cream it until it is lump-free, and fold in the mascarpone by hand. Then proceed with the recipe.