Tiramisu How-To

You’ve probably seen a few incarnations of this classic Italian dessert but believe us, you’ve never had Tiramisu until you’ve had authentic homemade Tiramisu.

As with any dish the key to success is layering with quality products.  Don’t bother with bland store-bought Ladyfingers, try making your own or picking them up from your local bakery.  When you go to dip them in coffee make sure it is a high quality coffee – we like Denver’s own Method Roasters.

You can skip the booze but it’s also fun to experiment!  We like Kahlua but Dark Rum is also great, or get creative and try your favorite Leopold Brothers liqueur.

Ditch the cream cheese that some standard recipes call for and make sure to pick up some Marscarpone, cream cheese’s sexy younger sister.  This thick and decadent Italian cream is the cornerstone for making the perfect whipped mousse.

Remember, great food can never be rushed.  Take your time with each step and you’ll thank yourself later.


Yield: one 10-inch pan

  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 6 oz. sugar
  • 1 lb. mascarpone, stirred with a hand whisk to smooth
  • 2 ½ oz. kahlua
  • ½ c. heavy cream
  • 1 ¼ oz. dark rum
  • ½ c. espresso
  • Ladyfingers

In a metal bowl, whisk the yolks with a third of the sugar over hot water, whisking constantly until the eggs become pale yellow (be careful to not scramble the eggs, keep the mixture moving.)  Transfer to a mixer bowl and whisk the hot yolk mixture on high speed until it forms a ribbon.  Fold in the mascarpone cheese and the kahlua.  Combine the whites and the remaining sugar in a mixing bowl, stir constantly over a pot of simmering water and heat to 140°F.  Remove from heat and whip to stiff peaks to form a meringue.  Fold the meringue into the mascarpone cream.  Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks and fold into the mascarpone cream.

Combine the rum and the espresso and set aside.

In a 10″ springform pan or a container of similar volume, alternate layers of the mascarpone cream and ladyfingers, dipping or brushing each ladyfinger briefly in the coffee mixture before placing it in the dish.  (Start with the ladyfingers and end with the cream, making three layers of each.)  Chill, sprinkle with chocolate shavings or cocoa powder and serve.


Wait until just before serving to dust with cocoa powder – otherwise the cream will absorb the powder and you won’t have a clean presentation.

When combining sugar with eggs make sure to feel the mixture before moving to the next step…feels gritty?  It’s not ready yet!