Tiramisu, with its Italian term that means “cheer me up”, is a layered dessert made of coffee-soaked finger biscuits or savoirdi, mascarpone cheese, whipped egg yolks, cream, and cocoa infused with a few drops of liqueur that enhances its strong yet rich creamy flavor. This is one of the classic mood-boosting Italian desserts that started in Italy yet garnered its popularity in the United States.
How to make Tiramisu
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups cold espresso
3 Tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur, optional (Kahlua or DaVinci brands)
1 package Lady Fingers, Savoiardi brand can be found in the cookie aisle at your local grocery store, or online
Cocoa powder for dusting the top
- Whip cream into a soft peak and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the electric mixers (or use a stand mixer) on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla, and continue to beat until the peaks form again.
- Add mascarpone cheese and mix just until combined. Set aside.
- Put some coffee and liqueur in a shallow bowl.
- Dip the ladyfingers in the coffee (Don't soak them--just quickly dip them on both sides to get them wet) and lay them in a single layer on the bottom of an 8x8'' or similar size pan.
- Smooth the mascarpone mixture over the top.
- Add another layer of ladyfingers. Smooth the remaining mascarpone cream over the top.
- Dust cocoa powder generously over the top (I use a fine mesh strainer to do this).
- Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours or overnight before serving.
If you prefer, you can make this tiramisu recipe without alcohol. Just use coffee-flavored liqueur instead. I love that it enhances the coffee flavor, but other options are marsala wine or brandy.
If you want to add a little alcohol to your tiramisu, you can use either Marsala wine or brandy. Either way, it will give the dessert a nice flavor boost.