Simple Tiramisu

  • about 20 lady's fingers
  • 2 shots (2 ounces; 60 mL) prepared espresso
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) prepared coffee
  • 1 cup (240 mL) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 lb. (455 g) mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (44 mL) rum (or brandy)
  • cocoa powder
  • shavings of unsweetened dark chocolate
  1. First, start by assembling the ingredients. We'll need one pound of mascarpone cheese, a cup of heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons rum (brandy also works well), ~20 lady's fingers (a light, oblong italian cookie with powdered sugar on one side), cocoa powder, a double shot (about 2 to 3 ounces) of espresso, 1/2 cup of prepared coffee, and shavings of unsweetened dark chocolate to top (1 oz. should do).
  2. Chill whipping cream and bowl. Mix coffee and espresso and chill. 
  3. Whisk the whipping cream until it reaches stiff peaks. This can be accomplished in a few minutes with an electric mixer or by hand (times will vary depending on arm strength and stamina).
  4. Put the cheese, sugar, and brandy into a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Add more sugar or alcohol as desired.
  5. Fold in the whipped cream to create the cheese mixture.
  6. Soak lady fingers in espresso for a couple seconds, rotating to coat all sides. Place lady fingers side by side on bottom of a 8x8-in. pan. 
  7. Put half the cheese mixture on lady fingers in pan. Smooth with a spatula or spoon.
  8. Sift cocoa powder liberally on surface of layer.
  9. Apply second layer of lady fingers and remaining cheese.
  10. Sift cocoa powder and half of chocolate shavings. Use the remaining shavings for decorating the plates to serve.

My Notes

This is a favourite of mine to make during exam season. I take 15 minutes out to sit with my tiramisu every afternoon, music playing in the background, to get me through the rest of the day. Fantastic! I often make my own sponge instead of using lady's fingers. I'll make it in a cake tin and then just cut it into finger-like blocks. The trick with this recipe is to get an even spread of coffee throughout all of the cake. Make sure you let the pieces of cake drip before putting them in the dish, else the first bits of cake will have lots of coffee and there will be none left at the end.