Friday, November 15, 2013


Photo Updated November 2014

The very first time I ever had tiramisu was back in 1995.  My husband (fiance at the time) took me on a trip to Italy to meet his family. Here's the kicker . . . I didn't speak a word of Italian (except "Ciao"), and their English wasn't much better either! YIKES!

Those of you that know me, know that I'm a social person. I love to chat, and can sit down and have a conversation with just about anyone. It was killing me inside that I wasn't able to communicate with my soon to be in-laws! I was in my own little world as we sat around long tables surrounded not only by his immediate family, but aunts, uncles and cousins as well. These dinners usually started around 7:30 p.m. and continued until midnight - EVERY night! By the third day of our trip, I had had it. I was in tears and wanted to go home!

The next day, my husband could tell that I needed a break from his family for a bit, so we went to Rome for the day, just the two of us. When we returned that night, we found his Mom and sister, Maria, preparing dinner. Maria was making tiramisu. She quickly put me to work, beating the egg yolks and whites, and assembling the dessert. Although we couldn't speak to each other, she was able to teach me how to make this incredible dessert that I am sharing with you today.
You'll need some espresso or strong coffee, eggs, mascarpone cheese, sugar, brandy, lady fingers, cocoa and a 13 x 9 pan. Separate the egg yolks from the whites.

To the yolks, you add the sugar, 1 Tbls of espresso and the brandy, and beat well with an electric mixer.

Next you want to add the mascarpone cheese to the yolk mixture and mix well.

Wash your beaters, and then beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.

Place your cooled espresso into a bowl or shallow dish, and dip the bottom half of the lady fingers into the espresso, letting any excess espresso drip back into the bowl.

Continue layering the espresso dipped lady fingers, forming two rows of 6, and then breaking them in half to form the last row (to fit the pan).

Spread 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture on top of the lady finger layer, sprinkle with cocoa powder, and repeat with a second layer of lady fingers.

Top with remaining mascarpone mixture, sprinkle with cocoa powder, cover and refrigerate.

Photo Updated November 2014

I like to refrigerate it for a minimum of 2-3 hours (or overnight) before serving. This gives it a chance to soak up all of the espresso, and the mascarpone layer will moisten the top half of the lady fingers.

The consumption of raw or undercooked eggs may increase your risk of food borne illness.  According to the USDA, infants, young children, older adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to these infections.  Please check out this LINK for more information.

For information on how to pasteurize eggs at home for use in recipes that call for raw eggs, check out this blog post at

<<Printable Recipe>>

3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbls brandy
2 cups espresso or strong brewed coffee (cooled)
16 oz mascarpone cheese
30 ladyfingers (such as Savoiardi®)
3 Tbls cocoa

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combined 3 egg yolks, sugar, 1 Tbls espresso, and the brandy. Beat with a mixer for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Add mascarpone cheese and beat another 3-5 minutes until well blended.
  2. In a smaller bowl, beat egg whites and a pinch of sugar until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into mascarpone mixture until well blended.
  3. Pour espresso into a flat dish. Dip one side of ladyfingers into espresso and layer on serving platter (2 horizontal rows of 6 with 2-1/2 ladyfingers vertically on the end to form a rectangle. This would be for a 13 x 9 pan, as in the directions, but you can come up with your own form, as I did in the trifle bowl pictures).
  4. Top with 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture. Dust with half of the cocoa. Repeat with another layer; ladyfingers, mascarpone and finish with a dusting of the remaining cocoa.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before serving. This will give time for the ladyfingers to soak up the espresso and soften from the moisture in the mascarpone layer.

<<Published on Allrecipes in October 2014>>

Buon Appetito!


  1. WOW! I KNEW I was going to like following your work, Kim!! Very impressive :-) (BTW, we have the same countertop!) Great post, thank you for sharing this one!

    1. Thanks Dan! I've been meaning to post this one for awhile now, and finally got around to doing it! (P.S. - great choice in countertops!)

  2. Your recipe looks very yummy, Kim. I love your tutorial!

    1. Thank you Marianne! I think people don't know how easy it really is to make. Hopefully this will encourage some to give it a try.

  3. I love that it is a recipe you learned from your MIL in Italy! That is a true treasure. Pinning this to share.

    1. Thanks Michele! Food is the language of love, right? :)

  4. I'm Italian, but I don't speak the language, so I know what you felt like sitting there, not being able to talk to anyone! It can be very frustrating...not to mention very boring! But at least you got this great recipe from your Italy experience! It looks heavenly! Great post! =D

    1. I remember it like it was yesterday! At least now, after 17 years of marriage, I can at least understand what they're talking about and make myself understood - not fluent, but they get what I mean! LOL! Thanks for stopping by Lillian!

  5. Kim, I am loving this post. I have had tiramisu in my plans to make so this post comes to my attention with perfect timing. I also truly appreciate the link to how to pasteurize eggs. I'm so queasy when it comes to them that I will feel a lot better knowing that I know how to pasteurize my own!

    1. Thanks Shelby! Let me know how it turns out. I hope that you enjoy it as much as we do!