This is probably one of the most classic Italian desserts. As a classic, there isn’t much modification that you can or need to do to it. Pretty much every recipe is the same. That said; I, of course, modified it. But barely. I added a little Kahlua in addition to the traditional rum, it really enhances the coffee flavor, and I like mine with a thin layer of whip cream on top.

Now when I make this I try to also have at least one other recipe in mind that calls for mascarpone cheese. And maybe some mashed potatoes too. Why? Because rather than going to a regular grocery store and paying around $7.00 (or more) for 8 oz (and the recipes calls for 32 oz!) I go to Smart Foodservices Warehouse (used to be called Cash & Carry). It’s sort of like Costco but smaller and definitely aimed at restaurants. There I can pick up a 5 lbs bucket for between $20-$25. Do the math, $7×4 for just 2 lbs or get the 5er. Pretty easy choice. Unfortunately they’re just on the west coast but try Costco, they sometimes have it as well. Enjoy


  • 6 extra large egg yolks, at room temp
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum, divided in half
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua or other coffee flavored liquor
  • 1 1/2 cups brewed espresso, divided 1 1/4 and 1/4
  • 2 lbs mascarpone cheese, at room temp
  • 30 Italian ladyfingers, an Italian cookie
  • bittersweet chocolate, shaved or grated
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


In a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar until they’re very thick and light yellow (about 5 minutes). Lower the speed and add in 1/4 cup rum, Kahlua, 1/4 cup espresso and all of the mascarpone cheese. Beat until smooth and creamy.

Combine the remaining rum and espresso in a shallow bowl or pan. Dip the ladyfingers in the mixture and line the bottom of a 9″x12″ pan that’s at least 3″ to 4″ deep. You’ll want to do this quickly as these little cookie soak up moisture quickly and will turn soggy. You don’t want that. Pour half of the espresso/mascarpone mixture on top and smooth it out. Do a second layer of espresso dipped ladyfingers and add them to the top of the espresso/mascarpone layer. Pour the rest of the espresso/mascarpone mixture and smooth it out. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Take the bowl of your stand mixer and the whisk attachment and put them in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Starting on low, beat the heavy cream until  frothy. Slowly raise the speed until it’s on high and the whip cream start to form soft peaks. Lower the speed, add in the sugar and raise the speed to med-high. Beat until firm peaks form. Smooth it out on the top of your tiramisu and dust with the grated or shaved chocolate. Chill for another 30 minutes or so and then serve.


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