Classic Tiramisu

November 24, 2013
1 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

This is the recipe that I've been using since I was sixteen years old. It’s a very simple dish that requires very little effort and only the patience of allowing some time between assembling it and eating it for that perfect moment that allows the mingling of flavours and the softening of biscuits. Perfect, really, for a busy cook preparing for a celebration as this can be made the night before. The original versions did not include alcohol as this was also a favourite children’s dessert (obviously nobody thought twice about the caffeine hit but it is the lesser of two evils in this case) and, despite the stick-form of the biscuits (and how they annoyingly never snap where you want them to), tiramisu was round rather than rectangular. —Emiko

What You'll Need
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup fine sugar
  • 20 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 packet ladyfinger cookies (10-14 oz worth; exactly will depend on the shape of the container)
  • 1/2 cup strong black coffee
  • Splash marsala or rum (optional)
  • powdered bittersweet cocoa or grated chocolate
  1. To make the mascarpone cream, separate the yolks and the whites into two medium to large sized bowls. Whip the yolks with the sugar until you have a dense, creamy and pale mixture. Add the mascarpone until combined. Whisk the egg whites (make sure you use a very clean bowl, glass or metal is best, and very clean beaters to quickly get beautifully stiff whites) until you have stiff peaks that hold their shape even when you turn the bowl upside down. Fold the whites into the mascarpone mixture. Set aside, and if not using straight away, store covered in the fridge.
  2. Make a fresh pot of strong, black coffee and pour into a wide bowl. If using rum or marsala, you can add it here. Dip one side quickly and one side only of a lady finger biscuit into the coffee and layer, coffee side up in your prepared tin. Repeat with more biscuits until you have a nice, tight layer that covers the base of the tin. Cover the lady fingers with a thick layer of mascarpone cream. Repeat layering with lady fingers then cream again, finishing with a thick layer of cream.
  3. Leave in the fridge overnight, covered. Dust with plenty of bitter cocoa powder or grated chocolate before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Windischgirl
  • kzmccaff
  • Kris
  • Emiko

14 Reviews

Windischgirl April 25, 2017
Our Admin Assistant at work lives for Tiramisu, so in honor of Admin Assistant Week I made this for her and we enjoyed it today. I used a splash of vanilla extract in place of the Vin Santo (which would have been NSFW) and used only 16 oz of mascarpone as that was the size available. It was FABULOUS!! Even the coffee-averse in the office enjoyed it. A definite keeper...will do this again. Thanks for this recipe, Emiko!
Renie December 30, 2016
Great Recipe. Egg substitute works very well if one is concerned about using raw eggs
kzmccaff December 28, 2014
It was a huge success! A non family woman who is Italian accused me of buying it. I told her I made it and that it was the first time I'd made Tiramisu and she was shocked and awed. Great recipe!!
kzmccaff December 27, 2014
Just made this and it was so simple! I'm letting it sit until dinner with the fam and will report back as to the deliciousness! I did use more than 1/2 cup of strong coffee, just FYI for others. I went to the coffee shop and got a small size of their strongest and could have gone for a medium just to be on the safe side. Also, I broke some of the cookies to get a good layer--round pan + straight cookies = a little creativity. :)
Scott December 4, 2014
What size spring form pan is that?
Emiko December 4, 2014
It's a 9 inch pan.
Ileea34 November 19, 2014
Hi i would like to know if using the marsala in both places how much of it should go in each?
Or is 20oz. Each too much. Or use all in cream base. And if u want more in coffee how much? Thk u
Emiko November 21, 2014
This is a recipe I usually do by eye (in fact it was written especially for the "How to make without a recipe" column!) but a shot in each would be good - this is about 30 ml or 1 oz! I would use it in one or the other personally but this is also all about adapting this recipe to how you like it yourself! :)
Kris October 21, 2014
Love the step-wise illustration. I am concerned about the raw eggs however. Is there a particular type of eggs you buy for this?
Emiko November 21, 2014
Hi Kris, I am lucky enough to have my own chickens so I get very fresh eggs! Before I had them though, I would always go for fresh farmers' market eggs - organic, free range, etc. Hope that helps.
Cecile June 18, 2014
Emiko, can I substitute marsala with vin santo?
Emiko June 18, 2014
Absolutely! You can pretty much substitute the marsala with any alcohol that you like - vin santo is perfect ;)
peanut B. December 11, 2013
if using marsala or rum, when does that happen?
Emiko December 11, 2013
It can go in two places (either or both or neither, depending on your preference!). One - and this is especially when using marsala, personally - is in the mascarpone cream. The other is together with the coffee. Thanks for pointing this out!