Make Ahead

Nonna's Tiramisu

October 29, 2013
1 Ratings
  • Serves 15-20
Author Notes

Everyone needs a good pick me up* now and again. This user friendly tiramisu recipe will do just that, especially when paired with a good strong caffè latte! While we may no longer agree about all of the aspects of this recipe, I did originally get it from my Nonna. Mine always winds up with a bit more booze in it than hers does ;-)

*Quite literally actually, the term tiramisu actually means "pick-me-up" or "to lift up") —Jacqueline Russo

What You'll Need
  • For the Custard:
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound mascarpone cheese
  • Everything else:
  • 3 cups espresso, freshly brewed
  • 1 cup dark liquor (use as much as you're comfortable with, I usually use brandy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt (trust me)
  • 1 & 1/2 packs of lady fingers
  • cocoa powder, for dusting
  1. Set up your espresso to brew while preparing the custard.
  2. In a medium pot whisk the yolks with the 3/4 cup sugar, add the cream and bring to a low boil over medium heat while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Fold mascarpone into egg mixture in three or four parts, whisk until smooth and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whip egg whites with 2 tsp sugar until soft peaks form, then fold into custard so that there are no visible streaks.
  4. Add your liquor of choice, vanilla, and salt to your espresso in a shallow bowl (for dipping) and stir to combine.
  5. In a 10x10" deep pan alternate layers of lady fingers (quickly dipped in espresso mixture) and custard. You should be able to get three full layers, ending with custard. Refrigerate, and dust with cocoa powder just before serving.

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1 Review

Caroline S. December 27, 2020
This recipe didn’t work for me at all...the custard curdled, so I had to heat some cream and then use a hand blender to save it, and then got very solid in the fridge after assembly. It was like a semifreddo almost. Go elsewhere.