Steve’s Tiramisu








I learned to love this in Italy so I came home and learned to make it. It is a combination of a lot of other recipes with my own twists. I think it is quite good. You decide. I make it when I need cooking

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This recipe will make one 9 x 13 pan of tiramisu. Best consumed within 3 days of construction but it will be good for almost a week refrigerated.


  • 7 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup dry marsala (Wine section—usually near the port. You may use other flavored “spirits” like brandy. I have used Benedictine and it was good but a little too sweet. I suggest you keep it authentic.)
  • 8 ounces softened (room temperature) mascarpone (plain—no flavored stuff)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups brewed espresso
  • 2 ounces good, semisweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup rum (light rum, not too expensive but not crap either—bacardi works fine)
  • 2 teaspoons real (natural) vanilla extract
  • 50 or so ladyfingers
  • Cocoa powder for dusting
  • A 9 x 13 square glass baking dish

Making the pieces

  1. Chill a glass bowl in the freezer. You will whip the cream in this bowl.
  2. Put the glass baking dish in the refrigerator to chill.
  3. Leave the mascarpone on the counter to bring it too room temperature.
  4. Make the espresso. If you are making it yourself, use Italian roast or French roast. Something dark and strong.
  5. Drop the chocolate in pieces into the hot espresso. Stir it to incorporate the melted chocolate into the espresso. Add the rum and vanilla and mix. If you need to heat the espresso slightly to melt the chocolate that is fine but don’t boil it. Set it aside to cool.
  6. In a large double boiler, with a wire whisk, cream together egg yolks, sugar and salt. Add the marsala slowly while whisking over gently simmering water. Be sure the water is not too hot. You don’t want scrambled eggs. Continue to whisk. The mixture will double in volume and become very smooth and thick. Take off of the double boiler and set aside to cool to about room temperature. This mixture is called zabaglione. This process usually takes me about 10 minutes.
  7. While the zabaglione is cooling down, whip the cream in the chilled bowl to soft peaks.
  8. Stir the mascarpone into the zabaglione until completely incorporated. Fold in the whipped cream—gently.


  1. Spread a thin layer of the zabaglione mixture in the chilled glass dish.
  2. Give the espresso mixture a good stir to be sure the chocolate is not all at the bottom of the dish.
  3. Quickly dip the ladyfingers into the espresso mixture being careful to not over soak them. They will soak up the espresso very quickly. I usually give each side a 3 second dip. You might consider dipping one then breaking it in half to see if it is soaked through. You don’t want mush but you also don’t want a crunch in the middle.
  4. Place the lady fingers in a layer in the glass dish. Cover with a good amount of zabaglione mixture.
  5. Repeat. I recommend layering in the opposite direction. You should have two layers of lady fingers covered with zabaglione mixture.
  6. Refrigerate the tiramisu for at least 4 hours. Lightly dust with cocoa right before serving. If you want, you may  sprinkle with semisweet chocolate shavings instead but . . . I think that is just too much.
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