Tiramisu - Cook's Illustrated

"From November 2007. Kahlua, Tia Maria, brandy or even whiskey can stand in for the rum. Be sure to use hard Italian-style ladyfingers (savoiardi), not the soft French type."
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Ready In:




  • Combine coffee, espresso powder and 5 tbsp rum in a wide bowl. Stir until espresso dissolves. Set aside.
  • Using a whisk, hand mixer, or stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg yolks on low just until smooth. Add sugar and salt and beat at medium speed until pale yellow and thick, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add remaining 4 tbsp rum and beat until combined, 20-30 seconds. Add mascarpone and beat on medium speed until no lumps remain, 45-60 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • In same work bowl (no need to clean), whisk cream on medium until frothy, about 1 minutes. Turn up to high and whip to stiff peaks, 1-2 minutes more. Fold 1/3 of whipped cream into eggs to lighten, then fold in remaining whipped cream gently to preserve the air.
  • Drop ladyfingers one at a time into coffee mixture. Quickly roll over, then transfer to a 13x9x2 pan. (Do not submerge the ladyfingers in the coffee; they should remain in the liquid no more than about 2 seconds total.) Continue until the pan is filled with a single layer of dipped cookies, breaking or trimming cookies to make them fit.
  • Spread half the cream mixture over the cookies, filling the pan out to the corners. Put 2 tbsp cocoa in a fine-mesh sieve and sift over the entire surface.
  • Repeat dipping and arranging ladyfingers to create a second full layer. Spread remaining cream over the ladyfingers, then sift remaining cocoa over the top. Clean edges of dish with dry paper towel, then cover with plastic. Refrigerate 6-24 hours before serving. Sprinkle with grated chocolate before serving, if using.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Laura R.
    This turned out perfectly for us. It's our favorite tirimisu recipe and tastes very similar to the tirimisu in Italy. I prefer replacing the rum with kahlua, but follow it closely for the rest of the recipe. I highly recommend it.
  2. td.foster
    I tried making this and it tastes GREAT. However, I had a terrible time with texture. The egg marscapone concoction was fine until I added the rum. Then it turned to a milk-like consistency. There was far too little whipped cream to help thicken, and as I folded it in all it did was break up into little wads of whipped cream floating in the rum/egg/cheese milk. I got the lady fingers perfect. But when I poured the cream mix in over the first and second layers the cookies floated on top of the cream. It was a nightmare. It ended up being wonderful tasting lady fingers at the top, a layer of cream beneath and milky liquid layer on the bottom. Very edible, but not too presentable. Next time I think I will put all the rum in the coffee mixture, after cutting that down to 1 cup. I threw more than 1/2 the coffee mixture away unused. Perhaps I will cut back a bit on the rum too as more than half the coffee rum went down the drain, yet the taste of rum was perfect. I will review more Tiramisu recipes before trying this again!


  1. Laura R.
    Replacing the rum with Kahlua is great! I can't find the hard lady fingers at our store, but the soft ones also work well.


I'm a 48 y/o gay Jewish man in the suburbs immediately north of New York City. I'm a general internist, practicing and teaching at a medical college north of NYC. I also earned a Masters in Public Health degree in 2013. After a Walt Disney World trip in Dec 2006 where I had to rent an electric scooter because I couldn't manage the walking, I decided to have gastric bypass surgery, which was done Feb 28, 2007. I lost 160 lbs (though I've gained back about 60 of that since). I can't eat as much as I used to, so I want every bite to be extra good!
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