1. Make the coffee syrup: mix hot coffee with the liqueur, pour into a large dish and set aside to cool.
2. Make the filling: place egg yolks and sugar in a large heatproof bowl and set over pot with simmering water (bain marie). Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. start whisking constantly, until the sugar is dissolved, and the custard thickens. The temperate of egg yolk should reach 154-158ºF (68-70ºC). This step is optional (read notes). remove the bowl from heat and let cool.
3. Add the mascarpone, vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
4. In a separate bowl whip cold heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Then the remaining whipped cream. Set aside.
5. Assemble: dip each ladyfinger into the coffee mixture for 1-2 seconds. Place in the bottom of a 9x13 inch (22X33cm) dish. If needed, break a few ladyfingers to fit them in the dish. Spread half of the cream over the soaked ladyfingers. Repeat with another layer of ladyfingers and spread the remaining cream on top. Cover and refrigerate the tiramisu for at least 6 hours.
6. Just before serving, dust with cocoa powder.
Tiramisu is a coffee flavored traditional Italian dessert. This dessert is made of savoiardi cookies (also known as ladyfingers) dipped in coffee, mascarpone and cream custard, eggs and cocoa powder. The meaning of the word tiramisu is "pick me up" or "cheer me up”.
In most traditional Italian tiramisu recipes, you will find raw eggs, and basically it’s totally fine if the eggs are fresh. There are versions of tiramisu that are made without raw egg yolks, some recipes don’t use eggs at all, some using just egg whites or using heavy whipping cream instead of eggs.
If you don’t want to use raw eggs do this: whisk the egg yolks and sugar over a bain marie (double boiler). Whisk constantly, until the sugar is dissolved, and the custard thickens. The temperate of egg yolk should reach 154-158ºF (68-70ºC). Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. This process called pasteurizing and it’s killing bacteria’s such as Salmonella. You can see how I make this process in the video above. This step is totally optional and if you are using fresh eggs there is no real danger. But, many people intimidate eating raw eggs so it’s up to you.
Instead of heavy cream you can use 4 egg whites. Beat them to stiff peaks, then fold to the mascarpone mixture. This is the Italian traditional way. But, I find that the version with the heavy cream is richer, more stable and tastes better. But, again, it’s up to you.
Mascarpone is a kind of high fat cream cheese with a slightly sweet taste. There is no other cheese that tastes exactly like mascarpone cheese. Although regular full fat cream cheese has a sour taste, this is the closest replacement. If you are sing cream cheese instead of mascarpone don’t expect to have the same taste, but it will be good enough for some people.
Tiramisu can be made 1 to 2 days ahead and stored (covered) in refrigerator. It will keep for up to 4 days in total. You can leave tiramisu out of the refrigerator for up to two-three hours during serving before it will begin to spoil.
If you don’t like the flavor of alcohol in your dessert you can just omit it from the recipe.