Signature Tiramisu


If you are looking for a wozzzzzzza — knock someone’s socks off — heaven-on-a-plate dessert, you’ve come to the right place.

This tiramisu will be worth the work. Trust me. It’s not hard, it just requires a few steps. You can do it! Even the most discerning Italians will be impressed.

I first started making this dessert when a fabulous chef in our area shared his recipe with me in a cooking class. My husband goes to his restaurant on my birthday every year to pick up this deliciousness for our family dinner (I know, so sweet).

I’ve adapted his recipe to my own tastes, adding some elements, but the credit goes to Angelo Brunson of Angelo’s Ristorante for the bulk of this recipe and for the technique. His restaurant is truly one of a kind.  If you happen to visit our little town, please go eat there!

With tiramisu you want to get all of your ingredients prepped, so when assembly time comes, it is all there and ready to go.

Step #1: Get the Lady Finger Cookies out of their bags and place in a bowl. Remember, only the hard Lady Fingers will do. You can find these at most markets, especially those like Trader Joes, Whole Foods, etc. The soft ones will NOT work. You’ll end up with a mushy mess.

Step #2: Make the Zabaglione mixture. You will separate the 15 egg yolks from the whites, add the 1 1/4 c.sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 3/4 c. Marsala, and wisk over a double boiler (which is simply a bowl over a boiling pot of water. DO NOT STOP MIXING, or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs. The mixture will get thick and have a banana yellow sheen to it. That is when you know it is ready. Put plastic wrap over the top and place in the fridge to cool. TIP ON SEPARATING EGG YOLKS: Place all of your eggs in a bowl of warm water. Let sit for a few minutes. Room temperature eggs will separate easily, whereas cold eggs will not.

Step #3: Make the coffee mixture that the Lady Fingers will be dipped into when it is time to assemble. Simply mix 2 cups coffee, 1 1/2 tbsp. instant espresso powder, 1/4 c. Brandy or Rum, and 1/4 c. sugar. I like to put this in a square or rectangular dish for easy dipping.

Step #3: Whip the Cream. Place 6 cups cold cream into a standing mixer. Start mixing with the wire whisk attachment on slow. If you beat the cream too quickly it will deflate easily. After a couple of minutes, turn it to medium, then to high. Mix until soft peaks form. Add 4 tbsp. vanilla.

Step #5: Add the mascarpone (my favorite part). Slowly add the 2 lb. mascarpone cheese to the whipped mixture. Mix well, but don’t over mix or it will deflate.

Step #6: When the zabaglione mixture is cooled, take out of the refrigerator, and add 3/4 c. at a time to the whipped cream. FOLD into the cream, don’t stir. This is the part you want to really be careful with, as the cream can deflate with this step also.

Step #7: Now you are ready to assemble. Put the cookies, the zabaglione mixture, and the coffee mix side by side. Using a 9×13 pan, dip the Lady Fingers quickly into the coffee mixture and line up in a pan. The trick here is to place the cookie in for a 1/2 second, then flip and do the same on the other side. DO NOT SUBMERGE, or they will be too soggy.

Step #8: Dollop two big piles of the zabaglione cream mixture onto the top of the Lady Fingers and spread evenly with a knife.

Step #9: On top of the zabaglione mixture, sprinkle a dusting a cocoa powder, and chopped chocolate. An easy way to chop chocolate is to put chocolate chips in the food processor and pulse several times.

Step #10: Repeat the layering process. Dip and line up the Lady Fingers (laying them the opposite way in the pan this time), top with the cream, then sprinkle with cocoa and chocolate. You’re done!!! Cover it with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, though 18-24 is ideal.


Signature Tiramisu



  • Zablione Mixture
  • 15 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup Marsala or Rum
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt

Coffee mixture

  • 2 cups Strong coffee
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup Brandy or Rum
  • ¼ cup sugar

Whipped Cream Mascarpone Mixture

  • 6 cups of whipping cream
  • 4 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/22 lb. mascarpone cheese

Final Ingredients

  • 2 Ladyfinger Packages
  • (buy the hard ones –do not buy the soft kind sometimes found in bakeries. I like the kind that are sugar coated on one side).
  • chocolate chips or chocolate, chopped finely in a processor
  • cocoa powder


  1. Beat eggs at low speed until just combined. Blend the sugar, Rum, and table salt with the eggs. Place the mixture over a pot of boiling water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water (you don’t want to scramble the eggs). Whip the mixture until thickened. Do not let the mixture “sit” in the bowl over the steam. The eggs will cook if not stirred continuously. Cover with plastic and set aside to cool down in the fridge.
  2. Stir coffee, espresso, and alcohol in a dish until espresso dissolves. Set aside.
  3. Pour the cold cream into a bowl. Start beating the cream slowly. If the cream is whipped too quickly, it will deflate. After 1-2 min., increase the speed to medium high until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla and mix until just combined. Turn down to low and add the mascarpone in increments. When zablione mixture is cool, place whipped cream mixture in a big bowl and carefully add ¾ cup of the zablione at a time. Fold in from the outside gently.

To Assemble:

  1. In a shallow dish, dip the flat edge of the ladyfinger into the coffee mixture for 1/2 second, flipping quickly to coat the other side, and immediately remove and place in the bottom of a 9×13 dish. DO NOT SUBMERGE THE LADYFINGER. They will fall apart if they are dipped completely into the liquid, even if you do it quickly. Repeat until the bottom of the dish is covered. Spread 1/2 of the zablione cream mixture over the top. Top this layer with ground chocolate and cocoa powder; repeat the process again with the lady fingers going the opposite direction as the bottom layer, followed by the zablione, and topped with the chocolate and cocoa powder. Refrigerate and let set until the next day.


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