This recipe came from the Washington Post Magazine's Plate Lab column, and was obtained from the Praline Bakery. I love making it in half-pint canning jars, which are cute to serve in, and can freeze safely.
Whip cream to medium-firm peaks. Fold in vanilla extract, cover and refrigerate.
Break ladyfingers in half, so they will fit into the jars.
Whisk sugar and egg yolks in a double boiler over simmering water, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer and it appears ribbony and lighter in color. Transfer to a stand mixture with a whisk attachment, and beat for 5 minutes until thoroughly lightened and cooled.
Place mascarpone into large mixing bowl. Stir in 2 TB. marsala and 1 ½ teasp. rum. Add a spoonful of the whipped cream and stir in gently to lighten the mixture. Fold in HALF of the remaining whipped cream.
Prepare soaking liquid: Combine cooled coffee and next 3 ingredients in a wide shallow dish.
To build individual portions, prepare six half-pint canning jars, and have lids and rings ready. Place mascarpone cream into a gallon-size zip top bag and snip off corner to make it easy to pipe into jars. (You will make 3 layers of mascarpone cream, 2 layers of dipped ladyfingers, and a layer of whipped cream on top.).
Pipe 1/4" mascarpone cream into bottom of jars. Quickly dunk ladyfinger halves into coffee mixture, and place 2 pieces side-by-side on top of the mascarpone layer. Pipe another layer of mascarpone on top of ladyfingers. Repeat the dunked ladyfingers layer, and top with another layer of mascarpone. Top with whipped cream, and smooth top with a small spatula. You should have enough ingredients to completely fill 6 jars. Place lids and rings on jars, and at this point you may freeze for future use, up to one month, or serve within 24 hours.
This may be built in a glass loaf pan instead of individual servings if desired. Prepare the same way, using whole ladyfingers instead of pieces.
Remove from freezer to refrigerator 1-3 hours before serving. Just before serving, remove lids, and dust tops with unsweetened cocoa. Garnish with a whole coffee bean.