Classic Tiramisu Recipe

Do you want to make a memorable dessert for your family and guests? We're delivering the recipe for an Italian delicacy right to your doorstep, and it doesn't get much better than this. Recipe developer Ting Dalton from Cook Simply hand-crafted this classic tiramisu recipe, which makes for a truly delicious dessert. "This is my husband's favorite dessert — we got married in Italy and since then shop-brought ones never taste the same as homemade," Dalton explains of the inspiration behind the dish.

Tiramisu is one of the most iconic Italian desserts, though the intricate prepping process requires time and patience. "This is a fantastic tiramisu — boozy from the rum with a creamy coffee goodness," Dalton raves about the flavor. "Perfect for entertaining, this can be made well ahead of time and served up to guests easily." Though it does take some time to whip up, the irresistible flavor is definitely worth the wait, and this decadent dessert will revitalize your taste buds any time of day. We're excited to show you how to make it, step by step — let's get into it!

Gather the ingredients to make classic tiramisu

The ingredients to make this classic tiramisu may look intimidating, but we know you're up for the challenge. And, according to Dalton, this recipe is definitely at a beginner level of difficulty. "Honestly, it's really simple," she explains. "There are just several stages to get through."

Start out by prepping the necessary ingreients. First, you'll need six egg yolks. You'll also need a cup of white sugar, divided, as well as six tablespoons of dark rum. Next, you'll need some cold mascarpone cheese, along with a cup of heavy whipping cream. Finally, be sure to have a cup of boiling water, 2 tablespoons of instant espresso powder, a packet of ladyfinger cookies, and cocoa powder.

Whisk egg yolks over a double boiler

Let's start out by putting a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water to create a double boiler. Make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Whisk together the egg yolks and ¾ cup of the sugar in the heated bowl, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has a light yellow color. Your ideal consistency here is smooth and silky. Also, since you're just using egg yolks and not the whites, you're ensuring that the filling will be incredibly rich — perfect for tiramisu!

Whip the zabaglione

Once your egg yolks and sugar are blended, whisk in 4 tablespoons of dark rum. Keep whisking rapidly for about 10 minutes until the mixture is thick and very pale yellow. "You can use an electric whisk or even good old fashioned hard work and manually whisk," Dalton explains. This motion creates a creamy mixture which Dalton refers to as zabaglione, or egg custard. "It's basically Italian custard — that's all it is," Dalton notes. Zabaglione makes up the fluffy, whipped layers in tiramisu. Once you've got a thick and creamy consistency, set the zabaglione aside to cool.

Beat the mascarpone

Okay, stay with us now. You're doing great so far. In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a hand mixer for 15 seconds, until it is softened. Gradually whisk in the heavy whipping cream. Beat these ingredients together for a few minutes until the mix stiffens up. "Mascarpone has a delicate and velvety finish, and just adds a rich creamy element," Dalton explains of the tiramisu staple. "You can use mascarpone on its own with fresh fruit, in cheesecakes or even in creamy pasta or savory dishes." Now, fold in ⅓ of the stiffened whipped cream and mascarpone into the zabaglione. Then, gradually incorporate the rest of the whipped cream.

Dunk the ladyfinger cookies in a rum and espresso mixture

In a wide, shallow dish, whisk the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the remaining 2 tablespoons of rum, boiling water, and the espresso powder. Stir until the sugar and espresso fully dissolves. Now, you'll carefully dip each ladyfinger cookie in the mix, which will serve as the base for the tiramisu. "You want to just dip the sponge fingers in the coffee and not let them soak too long as the fingers will disintergrate," Dalton instructs. Dunk one ladyfinger at a time in the espresso liquid. Turning it over on each side so that all of it is evenly moistened. Finally, arrange the dipped ladyfingers in rows along the bottom of a baking dish until it is filled.

Pour the mascarpone mix over the first layer of ladyfingers

Once you finish arranging the dipped ladyfinger cookies, pour ½ of the mascarpone mixture over the top. Now, dunk and place a second layer of ladyfingers on top of the mascarpone-covered first layer. Then spread the remaining mascarpone over top of the second layer of cookies, thus forming the bulk of your tiramisu and giving it those irresistible layers. Make sure that the mascarpone mix is spread evenly across the top layer of cookies, and then you're almost ready to refrigerate and serve!

Refrigerate the tiramisu, dust with cocoa powder, and serve

Now, it's time for one of the hardest parts of the recipe: the waiting period. Cover the tiramisu and then pop it in the fridge to allow all of the ingredients to chill and set. Dalton says that it should refrigerate for "at least 8 hours," but 24 hours is even better. "That way all the sponge fingers soften to a cake texture and the cream holds its shape," Dalton explains. Once the dessert has fully set, dust it with the cocoa powder and cut it into squares for serving.

While this classic tiramisu is great on its own, Dalton notes that it also pairs well with a glass of Italian wine or with a strong cup of coffee. With each bite, you'll notice the sweetness of the ladyfinger cookies, the decadence of the mascarpone and heavy cream, and the punch of the espresso and rum — we hope you enjoy!

Classic Tiramisu Recipe
4.9 from 20 ratings
Recipe developer Ting Dalton from Cook Simply hand-crafted this classic tiramisu recipe, which makes for a truly delicious dessert.
Prep Time
30
minutes
Cook Time
0
minutes
Servings
9
Servings
tiramisu slice on plate
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons dark rum, divided
  • 1 ½ cups mascarpone cheese, cold
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 packet ladyfinger cookies
Optional Ingredients
  • cocoa powder for dusting
Directions
  1. Put a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water to create a double boiler. Make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Whisk together the egg yolks and ¾ cup of the sugar in the bowl. Continue whisking until the sugar has dissolved, has a light yellow color, and is silky smooth.
  3. Then, whisk in 4 tablespoons of the rum and continue whisking rapidly for around 10 minutes, until the mixture is thick and very pale yellow, thus forming a zabaglione. Once done, set aside and let the zabaglione cool.
  4. In a large bowl, using a electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the mascarpone for 15 seconds until it is softened. Gradually whisk in the heavy whipping cream and beat for a few minutes until the mixture begins to stiffen.
  5. Fold in ⅓ of the whipped cream into the zabaglione, then gradually combine the rest of the cream.
  6. In a wide, shallow dish, whisk the remaining ¼ cup sugar with the remaining 2 tablespoons of rum, the boiling water, and the espresso powder. Stir to dissolve the sugar and espresso.
  7. Dunk one ladyfinger at a time in the espresso liquid, turning it so that all sides are evenly moistened. Arrange the dunked ladyfingers in rows on the bottom of the baking dish.
  8. Once you finish the layer, spread ½ of the mascarpone mixture over the top. Repeat dunking and arranging a second layer, and spread the remaining mascarpone over the top.
  9. Cover the tiramisu and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but ideally up to 24 hours.
  10. Dust with the cocoa powder, cut into squares, and serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 550
Total Fat 36.5 g
Saturated Fat 19.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 227.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 47.0 g
Dietary Fiber 0.0 g
Total Sugars 24.2 g
Sodium 284.8 mg
Protein 6.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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