Your fork gliding through a cloud of featherlight zabaglione mixed with mascarpone and whipped cream, a bit of cocoa settling on the tines, and then through Italian ladyfingers softened by their dip in liqueur-spiked espresso. This tiramisu is a dream of a dessert—not least because it’s so easy to put together.
Prep time: 30 minutes prep and at least 6 hours in the refrigerator for it to set.
- 2 cups boiling-hot water
- 3 tablespoons instant-espresso powder
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons Tia Maria or Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup dry Marsala or a sherry if you don’t have Marsala
- 1 pound mascarpone (2 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- 36 crisp Italian ladyfingers
- Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
1. Stir together water, espresso powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, and Tia Maria in a shallow bowl until sugar has dissolved, then cool.
2. Beat egg yolks, Marsala, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water using a whisk or handheld electric mixer until tripled in volume, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove bowl from heat. Beat in mascarpone until just combined.
3. Beat cream in a large bowl until it holds stiff peaks.
4. Fold mascarpone mixture into whipped cream gently but thoroughly.
5. Dipping both sides of each ladyfinger into coffee mixture, line bottom of a 13- by 9- by 3-inch baking pan with 18 ladyfingers in 3 rows, trimming edges to fit if necessary. (I used a smaller dish-so used less lady fingers)Spread half of mascarpone filling on top. Dip remaining 18 ladyfingers in coffee and arrange over filling in pan.
6. Spread remaining mascarpone filling on top and dust with cocoa. Chill, covered, at least 6 hours.
7. Let tiramisu stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving, then dust with more cocoa.
•You can substitute 2 cups freshly brewed espresso for the water and instant-espresso powder.
•Tiramisu can be chilled up to 2 days.