Tiramisu slightly on the runnier side

I made tiramisu with the following ingredients:
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
8 oz mascarpone
ladyfingers, the wrong kind bc this was my first try, gotta get the italian crispy kind next time

I did a generic tiramisu:

whip egg yolks and sugar until turn pale (didnt use a double boiler? maybe this was the problem? doubt it though)

mix in mascarpone until homogeneous, did not over mix at all.

whip egg white, but didnt get soft peaks before i stopped, it was just foamy, I do think this was the main problem,

fold egg whites into the custard ish mixture.

everything else is irrelevant to my issue. i ate it right after i made it, so the espresso hadn't affected the viscosity yet.

Derek Xiao


Jan W. August 20, 2016
The recipe I use for tiramisù is based on the one provided by Academia Barilla. For the amount of eggs you are using, 8 oz of mascarpone is likely not enough. Although the recipe as written calls for 500g by weight of mascarpone, I typically use 550g (~19.5 oz) and just look for the cream to reach a good thickness. This recipe uses 150g (~5 oz.) of superfine sugar, 4 egg yolks, and 2 egg whites. As others have mentioned, you should beat the egg whites to soft peaks, and some recipes say to add 1/8 tsp. of cream of tartar and salt to the egg whites as it prevents the foam from being collapsed by the heavier cream.

Probably the most harrowing part of making tiramisù for me is soaking the savoiardi. They need to be totally soaked but not so much that they fall apart when you layer them in (if you aren't doing single-serve in glasses). I usually count to 3 while rolling each one across a pyrex pan filled with 1 cup of espresso powder dissolved in hot water that was allowed to cool, then letting any excess liquid drain off before laying in the pan. Some recipes call for an exact number of savoiardi to use, but it depends on the size of your pan because you will want at least 2 complete layers of them. The cookies will try to absorb any extra espresso and other moisture in your cream before becoming saturated, so I let mine sit for at least 4-5 hours before serving.
BakerRB August 16, 2016
I think you're absolutely right and the primary problem was not whipping the egg whites to soft peaks (heading toward stiff rather than being too loose). Nothing else was going to thicken the final mixture. Most likely a portion of the sugar was to be whipped with the whites. That would make it less likely to overwhip and more stable to fold into the yolk/mascarpone mixture. The egg yolk mixture might have been more stable if cooked, but not a big deal in the short term, especially compared to the whites issue. Keep having fun trying new things!
Derek X. August 16, 2016
You're right, a few hours ago I made some of the (what do you call it, custard?) creamy stuff again with a single egg, and whipped both the egg yolks and whites harder, and also let it set. The setting made it notably less liquidy, but even without the refrigerator, it was already less liquidy.

Resolved, thanks all.
Susan W. August 15, 2016
I think the best thing to do the first time you make something is follow one recipe. After that, you can play around and make it your own.
Derek X. August 15, 2016
Oh yea, all I was following a recipe, I just took out the chocolate because I didn't have any on hand (all they did with it was grate some on top of the finished dish), so I'm just going to keep modifying until the texture feels right. Thanks for the replies on all of the questions I've asked so far, Susan.
Susan W. August 15, 2016
Oh sorry Derek. Somehow I got the idea you combined two different recipes.
Derek X. August 15, 2016
Haha no problem, it was probably just that I listed a bunch of random recipes somewhere in the comments.
HalfPint August 15, 2016
I've looked at a few recipes and I've not seen egg whites as an ingredient. Egg yolks, yes. Egg whites, no. And there's cream that is whipped into soft peaks and folded into the egg/mascarpone mixture.

I've made tiramisu with the egg yolks cooked (it's a basic zabaglione) and raw. I kind of prefer the raw version but that's just me. I don't think it's the reason your tiramisu was runny. I think it's because you used egg whites and no cream. You didn't whip up the whites to soft peaks, though I think that would not have made a difference in the long run since whipped egg whites aren't that stable.

Just my thoughts based on what you describe. BTW, what recipe did you use?

Susan W. August 15, 2016
HP, I've made it quite often with egg whites. I actually didn't notice his comment about not whipping the whites to peaks.

I've never had it with raw you know s, but I'd probably like it because I like their flavor and texture.

Derek X. August 15, 2016
You can replace the cream with egg whites, this was addressed in one of the recipes I found online, i think it is the way it's made in essentials of classic Italian cooking, and is the way Gennaro contaldo decided to teach it on YouTube. I think i ended up using a different recipe from Jamie Oliver's channel, it was by a different Italian chef, if you YouTube Jamie Oliver tiramisu, it should be one of the first to show up.
Derek X. August 15, 2016
Ah and note that both Gennaro and the other Italian guy's definitely looked less runny than mine. Like when I got a spoonful, it would slowly mold into the shape of the spoon and some of it would spill off, but for theirs, it would stay in the shape they scooped it out as.
Derek X. August 15, 2016
Ah more issues, I oopsied and mixed all the sugar into the egg yolks, when half was to be saved for something else I didn't catch, and also, I didn't set the cream whatsoever (but neither did Gennaro and his was less runny, im guessing it would probably make a small difference)
Susan W. August 15, 2016
Cooking the egg yolks makes a big difference. Here is the recipe I believe I used to use. Also, many worry about eating raw egg yolks, so be careful who you serve that to. If it's just for family and they are okay with raw eggs, then no worries.

Derek X. August 15, 2016
sorry for double post...
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