Nonna's Tiramisu

READY IN: 7hrs 45mins
SERVES: 12-16




  • Brew 2-3 cups of espresso or very strong coffee (I use my Bialetti stove top moka pot). Allow coffee to cool completely and stir in liqueur.
  • Pull a 13x9 pan, a large bowl, and a small bowl out of your cupboard.
  • Separate eggs, placing egg whites in the smaller bowl and egg yolks in the larger bowl.
  • Beat egg white with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat (or underbeat for that matter) the egg whites as this will ruin the consistency of the cream.
  • Leaving the egg whites separate for the time being, add sugar to the egg yolks and beat until well blended. Then, add the mascarpone or ricotta and beat until creamy and well blended.
  • Fold egg whites into the cheese mixture.
  • Pour coffee mix into a bowl/container with a flat bottom large enough to accomodate one lady finger. I start with a pool of coffee about 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch deep.
  • One by one, roll the lady fingers in the coffee. If you oversoak them the cake will be soggy and under soaking could lead to it being crunchy. If in doubt, do a test cookie. Soak the cookie, then cut it in half. If it has been soaked the correct amount, the outside will be brown and soft but the very center (where you have cut it) will still be white and firm.
  • As you roll each lady finger in the coffee, line them up in the 13x9 inch pan. When the cookies don't fit comfortably, cut them (after soaking) to make them fit.
  • When you have one layer of "cake", spread half of the cheese mixture evenly over it and place a second layer of soaked cookies over the cheese mixture. Top with remaining cheese mix.
  • My grandmother garnishes her tiramisu by sprinkling cocoa powder over it but I use grated 60% dark chocolate and sometimes I throw some grated white chocolate on top of that.
  • Place tiramisu in fridge and wait at least 6 hours before serving.
  • Note: This recipe freezes well so you can save leftovers for later if need be.