A classic tiramisu is one of my absolute favorite desserts. Tiramisu is essentially espresso soaked ladyfingers layered with a light and airy filling made from mascarpone cheese. Espresso, marscarpone and liqueur go so perfectly together, and the texture is to die for. It is a no-bake recipe and so easy to make too, great for dinner parties/potlucks as you can make the dessert in advance.
Tiramisu is made with either heavy whipping cream or beaten egg whites. Those are the two main types of recipes you may find. With whipped cream, it is generally more stable with an indulgent decadent flavor. With egg whites, it is more traditional, and lighter texture. I chose to make it with beaten egg whites because it more traditional, and makes a lighter filling without compromising taste. Make sure to use the freshest eggs possible if you are concerned about adding raw egg whites.
Dry Masala wine is a sweet red wine that is traditionally used for tiramisu. However, if you are looking for a substitution, go for dark rum, Kahlua or brandy. I used dark rum. Since Marsala is less potent than something like rum, start by adding half the amount, then adjust for taste. For a non-alcoholic version, leave the liqueur out or use rum extract.
Last, but probably the most important tip, let everything sit for at least 6 hours before serving! This allows the layers to soak into each other and for the flavors to develop. In fact, tiramisu tastes the best 1 to 2 days later. Enjoy!
makes 1 9-inch square dish

Tiramisu recipe adapted from Inspired Taste

1/2 cup (120 ml) brewed espresso or very strong coffee, at room temperature
1/4 cup (60 ml) dry Marsala wine, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (50 g/4 tablespoons) granulated sugar, divided
8 ounces (225 g) mascarpone cheese
3 egg whites
18 to 20 Savoiardi Italian ladyfingers (from 7-ounce package)
1 ounce (30 g) bittersweet chocolate or cocoa powder for dusting (optional)

To prepare coffee:

Combine espresso, 2 tablespoons Marsala wine, vanilla extract and a tablespoon of sugar in a wide, small bowl.

To make tiramisu filling: 

Beat egg yolks, 2 tablespoons of Marsala, and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water until tripled in volume, 5 to 8 minutes. Use a whisk or, to make things easier, a handheld electric mixer at medium speed. (Do not stop beating until removed from the heat).

Remove bowl from heat then beat in mascarpone cheese until just combined. Cool slightly.

Beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks then gently fold in half of the beaten egg whites into the yolk-mascarpone mixture, then the remaining half just until fully incorporated.

To assemble:

Dip half of the ladyfingers very quickly into the coffee, and line the bottom of a 9-inch (23 cm) square dish. (You might find that you need to break a few into pieces to fit them in the dish).

Spoon half of the mascarpone filling over the lady fingers and spread into an even layer. Grate half of the bittersweet chocolate over filling (optional). Then dip the remaining ladyfingers very quickly into the coffee and arrange a second layer over filling.

Spoon remaining mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers. Grate more chocolate on top or dust with cocoa powder. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours.

When ready to serve, dust with extra grated chocolate or cocoa powder. Leave out at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving. (Tiramisu can be chilled up to 2-3 days).

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