Tiramisu is the original afternoon pick-me-up with notes of espresso and chocolate. This recipe has all the flavor and creamy texture of classic tiramisu, but with less steps and prep work.
This is the tiramisu recipe I make most often for family dinners, potlucks and holidays. It’s easy to assemble because there’s no cooking involved – just lots of whipping ingredients with a mixer. It has all the flavor of classic tiramisu with its espresso-soaked savoiardi and creamy whipped mascarpone filling.
I took a page from Ina Garten’s book concerning the treatment of eggs in mascarpone cream. Like her recipe, the yolks are simply beaten with sugar in a standing mixer until pale yellow and thick (upper LH image). Then the mascarpone is folded in. There’s no cooking here, so you must use pasteurized eggs. I was once dubious of using uncooked eggs in creamy desserts, but after much research and many repeats of Julia Child’s Mousse au Chocolat recipe (which also uses uncooked eggs), I have no hesitation. However, if you’re vigilant about such things, place the eggs and sugar in a double boiler, whisking constantly over heat until a cooking thermometer reads 160°F.
I often make espresso in a moka pot for this recipe, but I also keep a jar of instant espresso powder for a quick fix. The crisp lady finger are dipped in the espresso on one side and then layered in a dish. It’s so tempting to fully immerse the cookies in the espresso, but doing so will make the finished dessert soggy instead of cakey.
I usually add a layer of whipped cream on top of my tiramisu. Most of the time I swirl it on with the back of a spoon, but this time I piped it using a 1/2-inch round decorator tip. It almost makes the finished tiramisu look like it’s wearing a quilt!
A generous dusting of unsweet cocoa is never optional!
Good tiramisu relies heavily on high quality ingredients, and I’ve made all kinds of tiramisu recipes over the years – including this one with scratch-made mascarpone cheese and homemade lady fingers. That is the recipe I judge all others by, and with the right ready-made ingredients, this one is every bit as delicious!
- 6 tablespoons espresso powder
- 1 1/2 cups 360ml boiling water
- 7 large egg yolks at room temperature
- 1/2 cup 100g granulated sugar
- 16 oz. mascarpone cheese softened
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 30-34 crisp lady fingers about 1 1/4 packages
- 1 cup 240ml heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup 30g powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup 33g unsweet cocoa powder
- Combine the espresso powder and water together and mix well. Place in a shallow dish to let cool. (Alternatively brew 1 1/2 cups espresso.)
- Place the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip on high speed for 6 minutes with a timer set. The mixture should turn pale yellow and become thick. Beat in the mascarpone cheese a little at a time. Dribble in 2 tablespoons of the espresso with the mixer running. Gradually add in the rum. Scrape down the bowl and beat again briefly. Mixture should be thick yet loose, like unset pudding.
- Quickly dip one side of each lady finger in the cooled espresso and line the bottom of a 9×12-inch dish with a single layer of cookies. Pour half of the mascarpone filling on top and spread evenly. Repeat the dipping and layering process with the remaining lady fingers and espresso. Top with the remaining mascarpone cream. Refrigerate.
- Place the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat until slightly thickened then add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat again until stiff peaks form. Remove tiramisu from the refrigerator and top with the whipped cream (swirl on with a spoon, or use a piping bag to decorate). Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours, or overnight (recommended). Sift the cocoa powder over the whipped cream just before serving.