Tiramisu~ A deliciously light and creamy Italian dessert for a Valentine’s “pick me up”.



Yes, I suppose there is a double entendre there, since Tiramisu in Italian literally  translates to “pick me up”, so you can either interpret it as a romantic one or a literal one from the espresso. Since I’m married and a caffeine fanatic, I’ll go for the later.

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts but it’s also one of those that have a 50/50 love to hate ratio when I order it. I’m usually not too picky, but Tiramisu is my exception. So before ordering, I am that “pain in the ass” that plays 20 questions with the server about it texture, flavor, alcohol flavoring, cooked or pasteurized eggs. It’s so bad Matt dreads going to any place that serves it.

Luckily, I prefer to make it at home to get it just to my preference. I hope you like this version as much as I do.

A few notes:

  • This is an Epicurious recipe that I made several adaptations to. Most importantly, I wanted to avoid any issues with uncooked eggs, so I incorporated cooking the eggs with the sugar over a double boiler rather than using pasteurized eggs and then removed the egg white portion completely.
  • As for the texture I wanted a firmer but still creamy texture, so the heavy cream was beat to stiff peaks instead of soft. Mixing the stiff peaks into the soft mascarpone mixture gave it the right overall consistency to make it firm enough for slicing, but still soft enough for a creamy finish.
  • The last two adaptation I made was to use a mixture of Frangelico and Meyers’s Dark rum since I didn’t have any sweet Marsala on hand. As it turns out I like it better this way. Finally for the dusting on top, I skipped the unsweetened cocoa powder for some Dutch processed cocoa to add a little more sweetness.
  • The tiramisu can be made two days ahead and kept covered and refrigerated or it can be frozen up to a week and thawed overnight in the refrigerator.


Makes 6-8 servings


  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided use
  • 1 (8-oz) container mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 11/2 cups brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Frangelico
  • 2 tablespoons Meyers dark rum
  • 6 oz. Italian Lady Fingers, hard kind
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, Dutch processed


1.Place egg yolks and ½ cup of sugar in a double boiler or a heat proof bowl over (not directly on top) a pot of simmering water and whisk mixture until it becomes pale and is almost thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool to warm. Beat in mascarpone until just combined.
2. In a separate bowl with clean beaters, mix cream and remaining ¼ cup of sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold cream into mascarpone mixture gently but thoroughly.
3. In another bowl stir together coffee, Marsala and Myers’s dark rum in a shallow bowl. Dip (do not soak) 1 lady finger at a time in coffee mixture then transfer to bottom of 8×8 glass pan. Repeat and continue and until bottom of baking dish is covered. Trim lady fingers as needed to fit pan. Fill pastry bag with mascarpone mixture and pipe it over the lady fingers. Repeat a second layer with lady fingers and mascarpone mixture. Dust final top with cocoa powder. Cover and chill Tiramisu, overnight.

Adapted from Epicurious

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27 Responses to “Tiramisu”

  1. #
    Erin Blodgett — January 17, 2011 @ 5:31 am

    Yay! My mom and my favorite dessert! Don’t feel too bad, I’m also a tiramisu nazi at restaurants. Must be the odd duck thing! :)


  2. #
    Prerna@IndianSimmer — January 17, 2011 @ 5:51 am

    What a co-incidence! I made a huge batch of citrus tiramisu myself!
    LOVE tiramisu and thats a great recipe!


  3. #
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — January 17, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

    Tiramisu is hard to nail. I find that when I order one most of the time I get a soggy mess that is overly drenched in alcohol. Yours looks perfect with the firm cream and the distinct layers of lady fingers.


  4. #
    Xiaolu — January 17, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

    Wow Naomi, this is stunning! Tiramisu is my favorite dessert, but I’ve never attempted the authentic version at home (only cupcakes inspired by the flavors that would probably make you cringe hehe). Having read the care with which you order this treat, I definitely know this recipe is a taste and presentation knockout. I’m amazed by the neat slices!


  5. #
    Paula — January 17, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

    looks absolutely delicious!


  6. #
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction — January 17, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

    Gorgeous, Naomi! This looks like the perfect Valentine’s Day treat indeed.


  7. #
    Cookbook Queen — January 17, 2011 @ 5:30 pm


    I have to agree with you, few places get it just right. Too soggy, too coffee-ish, too alcohol tasting and it is just ruined.

    Yours looks great!!


  8. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — January 17, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

    Tiramisu has to be one of my all time favorite desserts… I don’t make it nearly enough! Yours looks absolutely perfect… I will definitely save this recipe and give it a try!


  9. #
    ingrid — January 17, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

    Oh, my! This was a winner to come back to. We love tiramisu.


  10. #
    Dana — January 17, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

    Tiramisu is a perfect Valentines dessert! I may have to give this recipe a try, I’ve never dared to make it myself…


  11. #
    Amanda — January 17, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

    I have a feeling that if you love it, I would love it!! Beautiful photos, amazing attention to detail… just lovely all around!!!


  12. #
    briarrose — January 17, 2011 @ 7:39 pm

    Beautiful job! This looks perfect.


  13. #
    Shaina — January 17, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

    Tiramisu is my favorite dessert. There’s something that’s just incredibly perfect about it. The best tiramisu I’ve had was in Las Vegas, go figure. I went back and ordered it to go later in our stay because I had to have it again.

    Yours looks gorgeous.


  14. #
    marla {family fresh cooking} — January 17, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

    I am with you – this is one of my all time favorite desserts & it is tricky to find the perfect one. Looking at your photo & recipes I can tell you have something great with this recipe! beautiful!


  15. #
    Nancy@acommunaltable — January 18, 2011 @ 12:29 am

    Finally, a tiramisu recipe that works!! Can’t wait to try this since tiramisu is one of my all time favorite desserts!


  16. #
    Joyti — January 18, 2011 @ 12:49 am

    Wow, your tiramisu is SO beautiful. And you are right, there’s is something very romantic about it, hence its great for Valentine’s day…


  17. #
    Tracy — January 18, 2011 @ 1:32 am

    Homemade tiramisu is one of the best things ever. Yours looks gorgeous!!


  18. #
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — January 18, 2011 @ 3:06 am

    I’m not sure I’ve had really good tiramisu… it’s always either been the frozen kind (which I did not purchase) or from a crappy Italian restaurant (probably frozen originally).

    But this… this just looks wonderful and just the kind of dessert I could fall in love with.


  19. #
    Quyen - Kitchen Runway — January 18, 2011 @ 6:27 am

    Naomi, We must be on the same wave length because I also made tiramisu this weekend for a dinner party =) Looks delish!


  20. #
    Aimee @ Simple Bites — January 18, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

    This would make my top ten desserts, easily. LOVE coffee. And mascarpone? Who could say no?


  21. #
    Michelle — January 18, 2011 @ 7:52 pm

    This is, hands-down, my favorite dessert, but I’ve never even tried to make it. You’re awesome. Can I come over? :)


  22. #
    Wenderly — January 18, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

    Breathtaking simply breathtaking.


  23. #
    Urvashee — January 21, 2011 @ 2:39 am

    I love your presentation here. Tiramisu is one of my favorites as well. My husband just assumes that is what I will order anytime we go out for Italian. I hear you on the 50/50 though. I’ve had some disappointing ones as well and prefer my homemade which is very similar to your recipe! I use the soft ladyfingers and have not ever tried Frangelico in it but it sounds yummy!


  24. #
    Michelle — January 21, 2011 @ 4:03 am

    Yummy!! I love tiramisu!


  25. #
    Lisa — January 21, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    I love your version of tiramisu! And I likes the fact that you cooked the eggs. Beautiful photos and presentation Naomi!


  26. #
    Kristen — January 24, 2011 @ 4:23 am

    I love your photos, Naomi. These are beautiful and this Tiramisu? Stunning!


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