This classic Tiramisu is layer after layer of coffee soaked ladyfingers, smooth mascarpone cream and cocoa powder. It’s the ultimate pick me up!
Let’s take a poll. Raise your hand if you love chocolate. Now raise your hand if you also love coffee. If you currently look like a lunatic with two hands in the air, then this tiramisu recipe is just for you crazies.
Tiramisu literally means “pick me up” in Italian, due to its two main flavors: coffee and chocolate. Although most people are addicted to at least one of these foods, I was never a big tiramisu fan—until this recipe came along.
Each layer of ladyfingers is soaked in a sweet but strong coffee syrup. The mascarpone cream is supremely light and pairs perfectly with a generous dusting of cocoa powder. This recipe makes a beautiful tiramisu, but I need to warn you—it’s a bit challenging. Fear not! With a little guidance, you’ll be able to make all the tiramisus your little heart desires!
We’ll be making our own ladyfingers, which sounds much more daunting than it actually is. Baking ladies is quite fast, will wildly impresses everyone, and yields extra scraps that you can snack on.
Of course, no one will judge if you buy them pre-made. Work is crazy, you haven’t finished the final season of Mad Men, and you’ve been meaning to hit the gym for the past 500 weeks. I get it. However, if you’re up for the challenge…
To make ladyfingers, sift your flour, whip up your egg yolks, and then separately whip your egg whites. (Pastry nerd alert! This is called the separated egg foam method.) After all the whipping and sifting, you carefully fold in the flour and whites to the yolks. If you need a reminder on how to fold gently, head over to my Blackberry Genoise recipe for a quick refresher. Remember, think dainty ballerina thoughts!
The last tricky bit is making the mascarpone filling, which involves cooking sugar. Again another scary-seeming pastry practice that’s actually quite simple. With your water and sugar in a medium pot over medium heat, stir the sugar until it’s dissolved. Stop stirring once it starts to boil, and let the sugar cooks until it reaches soft ball stage (235°F). As the egg yolk whips, drizzle the cooked sugar down the side of the bowl, and beat until it looks lemony-yellow and is room temperature. (Pastry nerd alert! This is called a pâte à bombe.)
I know, that was a lot, and there is even more info in the recipe below! If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments!
- 5 eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar, for dusting
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 Tbs. water
- 2 Tbs. corn syrup
- 1 cup/8 oz. mascarpone cheese
- 1 1/2 cups/ 12 oz. heavy cream
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder, for dusting
- 3 cups strong brewed coffee
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tbs. dark rum (optional)
- Set oven to 400°F. Line a half sheet pan with a Silpat or coat it with non-stick spray and cover with parchment.
- Sift flour. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, beat egg yolks and the first amount of sugar on high speed until it's lemony yellow in color. Transfer into a large mixing bowl.
- Wash your mixing bowl well and dry completely. In your super clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites until bubbly like a jacuzzi. Add second amount of sugar and beat to medium peaks.
- Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the egg yolks. Fold until just combined. Add 1/3 of the sifted flour to egg yolks. Fold until just combined. Alternate between the flour and yolks until the batter is homogenous. Remember to fold gently and do not over mix!
- Pour out the batter onto the middle of the prepared pan, starting at one short side and ending at the other. This will allow you to level out the batter without over working it. Use a metal spatula to spread the batter evenly over the entire sheet pan.
- Dust batter with powdered sugar. Allow some of the sugar to be absorbed and then dust it again.
- Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Rotate pan and bake for another 5-6 minutes or until slightly golden.
- Pour water, sugar, and corn syrup into a medium sized pot over medium heat. Stir to help the sugar dissolve. Once the mixture starts to boil, stop stirring.
- Cook the sugar to soft ball stage (235°F).
- While the sugar is cooking but before it reaches soft ball stage, beat the egg yolk on medium-high speed in a stand mixer.
- When the sugar is ready, drizzle the mixture down the side of the mixing bowl. Whip until it's lemony yellow and room temperature.
- Slowly add mascarpone cheese, and beat at medium-high speed until smooth. Transfer into a large bowl and clean mixing bowl.
- In your spotless bowl, whip heavy cream to medium peaks. Fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture, and refrigerate until assembly.
- In a small pot over medium heat dissolve sugar into the coffee. Remove from heat and stir in rum.
- Allow the syrup to cool completely before assembling.
- I chose to assemble my tiramisu in a trifle dish. You can use whatever vessel you'd like, but I recommend to have at least three layers of ladyfingers and three layers of mascarpone filling.
- Cut down ladyfingers to cover the surface of your chosen dish. I freehanded a wonky circle. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
- Place one layer of ladyfingers down. Using a basting brush, pat the coffee syrup into your ladyfingers. Repeat until saturated.
- Spread one third of the mascarpone filling over the soaked lady. Dust generously with cocoa powder.
- Repeat steps 2 through 4, making sure that the final layer is the mascarpone cream dusted with cocoa powder.
- Serve immediately or if the mascarpone cream is still soft, place in the refrigerator for an hour until firm.
- Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.