A classic Italian favorite, Tiramisù is a creamy dessert of espresso-soaked ladyfingers surrounded by lightly sweetened whipped cream and a rich mascarpone. Albeit easy to put together, tiramisù relies heavily on the quality of its ingredients. For example, using strongly brewed coffee is necessary to create the perfect flavor that it is known for. As for the ladyfingers, you either make your own or buy them. Keep in mind that store-ready options can range from soft and spongy (reminiscent of angel food cake) to biscotti-hard kind. Both kinds will work, but if you’re using the “spongy” variety, stick to a light brushing of coffee, instead of a deep dip.
Some chefs prefer to use uncooked eggs instead of cream. This is why I rarely eat tiramisù outside. Homemade makes me feel safer, knowing that my dessert doesn’t have raw eggs in it. Quite frankly, the difference in flavor is negligible. The texture of tiramisù made with egg whites will be a little lighter than with whipped cream though.
Below is the recipe that I’ve been using for years. It’s kid-friendly too, since there is no alcohol content. If there’s one more thing that I want to share, that would be to always use the freshest products available. If the cream and mascarpone are close to their expiry dates, you might not enjoy this recipe to the fullest.
Classic Tiramisu Ingredients
- 1 8 oz. container mascarpone cheese*
- 24-36 savoiardi crisp Italian ladyfingers**
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 1/2 cups dark brewed coffee (Double French Roast Arabica) or 8 tbsps Kahlua
- Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting***
How To Make Classic Tiramisù
- Start brewing your coffee.
- In a medium bowl, beat cream and sugar until soft peaks form.
- Fold mascarpone into the cream mixture gently but thoroughly.
- In another bowl, pour the warm coffee and dip the ladyfingers. When dipping the ladyfingers in the coffee (or coffee + Kahlua mixture), make sure to do it quickly. Don’t let the ladyfingers get too soaked or they will become soggy.
- Set your pan up with a layer of the coffee-soaked ladyfingers, trimming the edges if necessary.
- Add your first layer of tiramisu cream and spread it evenly. Dust the first layer with cocoa powder.
- Create a second layer of ladyfingers.
- Add the remainder of the tiramisu cream and spread evenly. Dust the tiramisu with cocoa and you’re done!
- Refrigerate for 4-6 hours, overnight is best.
- Let Tiramisu stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Dust top layer with cocoa powder. Top with shaved or finely grated dark chocolate, if desired.
Tiramisu can be chilled up to two days.
*SUBSTITUTE: 8 oz cream cheese + 1/4 heavy cream + 2 1/2 tbsps sour cream
** OR sponge cake/pound cake, vanilla wafers, chocolate wafers or graham crackers.
*** Sprinkle the cocoa in between layers to give the dessert a decadent mocha taste.