Updated: Sep 7, 2020
Tiramisu (from the Italian language, spelled tiramisù, [ˌtiramiˈsu], meaning "pick me up" or "cheer me up") is a coffee-flavoured Italian dessert. It is made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa. Can you say deliziosa??
I am really missing getting together for big Italian family dinners. Especially with my fun loving family in West Virginia. This dessert is an ode to my nanny who loves being in the kitchen and serving others. Whenever I need cooking inspiration I call her and chat about endless culinary creations and my mood is instantly lifted. Aren't grandmother's the best?
This was the first time I attempted to make a custard and I was pleasantly surprised at how basic and easy it was to replicate. Cooking is first and foremost having fun and when it comes to baking, precision is key. I promise if you follow these measurements and directions exactly, your custard will come out a show stopper too.
I'm excited to share the pictures of each step with you this time and walk you through the process. Let's get cooking!
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
Four 8-ounce containers mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups espresso or strong coffee, at room temperature
1/2 cup brandy or cognac
30-32 Italian ladyfingers
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
Bittersweet chocolate, for topping if desired
Line an 8-inch-square baking dish with plastic wrap, leaving about 3 inches of overhang on all sides.
Fill a large bowl with ice water.
Make your custard by whisking the 6 egg yolks and 3/4 cups of sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water until the sugar dissolves.
TIP: DO NOT LET THE BOWL TOUCH THE WATER.
Action pic of me looking cute for once.
Slowly whisk in the 3/4 cups of milk and continue whisking until foam forms which will take about 10 minutes.
TIP: It's important to whisk constantly so that the eggs don't cook and become scrambled!
If you aren't sure when to take the custard off of the heat you can use a thermometer and it should register 170 degrees.
Remove the custard bowl from the heat and set the bowl in the ice water.
Whisk until the custard cools down. This should only take about 1 more minute.
Put the marscapone cheese into a seperate bowl using a rubber spatula and then fold the custard into the cheese.
Whisk until just smooth.
TIP: You don't want to overmix the mixture or else it will turn grainy.
Combine the espresso and brandy into a shallow baking dish.
One by one, dip the ladyfingers in the espresso mixture QUICKLY as to not soak them but let them absorb some of the mixture.
Arrange the ladyfingers in two rows each in the baking dish.
Spread about 1/3 of the mascarpone custard over the ladyfingers.
Repeat the process two more times!
Once you've spread the remaining custard on top of the ladyfingers, go ahead and dust the top of your creation with cocoa powder.
Cover with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or you can do this overnight!)
When you're ready to serve, invert a plate on top of the tiramisu.
Then quickly flip the tiramisu on the plate.
(Remove the baking dish and plastic wrap)
Then invert another plate on the tiramisu and flip it quickly so the cocoa side is up.
Remove any remaining plastic wrap.
Shave curls of chocolate on top with a vegetable peeler if desired!