This classic tiramisù recipe is be sublime when done correctly. The quality of the ingredients in tiramisù, a creamy dessert of espresso-soaked ladyfingers surrounded by gently sweetened whipped cream and a thick mascarpone, is crucial. If you don’t have a barista setup at home, buy espresso from a local coffee shop or make a strong cup of coffee. Make your own or buy store-bought ladyfingers, but be aware that store-bought types can range from soft and spongy (like angel food cake) to hard and crunchy (like biscotti). Both sorts will work, but if you’re using the softer kind, use a little brushing of espresso rather than a deep dip.
For the Cream
4 large egg yolks
100 grams granulated sugar, divided
¾ cup heavy cream
225 grams mascarpone
1 ¾ cups espresso or strong coffee
2 tablespoons rum or cognac
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
About 24 ladyfingers
bittersweet chocolate, for shaving (optional)
Whip egg yolks and 50 grams sugar in a medium mixing basin with an electric mixer until extremely pale yellow and almost tripled in volume. When the beaters are lifted from the bowl, a tiny ribbon should fall from them. Set aside the mixture in a large mixing bowl, wiping off the medium dish used to beat the yolks.
Whip the cream and the remaining 50 grams sugar in a medium mixing bowl until soft-medium peaks form. Whip in the mascarpone cheese until it forms a soft, spreadable mixture with medium peaks. Fold the mascarpone mixture into the sweetened egg yolks gently until well mixed.
Set aside a shallow bowl containing espresso and rum. Dust the bottom of a baking dish with 1 tablespoon cocoa powder using a sifter.
Working one at a time, quickly dip each ladyfinger into the espresso mixture (careful, they’re porous and can come apart if left in the liquid for too long) and place them rounded side up in the baking dish. Repeat with half of the ladyfingers until an even layer is achieved, splitting the ladyfingers in half as needed to fill in any noticeable gaps. Half of the mascarpone mixture should be spread evenly over the ladyfingers. Repeat with the remaining mascarpone mixture and espresso-dipped ladyfingers.
Using the remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder, lightly dust the top layer. If desired, top with shaved or finely grated chocolate.
Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 6 hours before slicing or scooping to serve. (We know it’s tough, but the longer you can wait, the better, 24 hours is most ideal)