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Serves 8.
By Dennis W. Viau; created from several recipes.

I wanted to make a classic tiramisu with only the best ingredients. I therefore made my own mascarpone cheese and lady fingers cookies from scratch. Because some mixtures need to chill in the refrigerator for several hours, or overnight, I started two days in advance. Using store-bought items can reduce the time, but it might compromise the finished dessert.


6 egg yolks (reserve the whites for a later step)
Optional: 2 to 3 tablespoons cream
1¼ to 2 cups (250 to 400g) sugar, depending on how sweet you want your dessert
1¼ cups (9½ ounces/270g) mascarpone cheese; chilled—There is a recipe-procedure for making mascarpone on this web site. Look under Basics in the Recipe Archive.
1¾ cups (414ml) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 12-ounce (340g each) packages of lady fingers
½ cup (118ml) coffee-flavored liqueur, or strong brewed coffee
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1-ounce (28g) square semisweet chocolate; at room temperature


Combine the egg yolks, optional 2 to 3 tablespoons cream, and 1¼ to 2 cups sugar in a medium saucepan. Whisk to mix well. Heat about 1 cup (237ml) water to boiling in a larger saucepan. Rest the smaller pan over the boiling water and reduce the heat to low. Stirring constantly, cook the yolk mixture until thick and creamy. This can take as long as 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and allow to cool. Chill several hours, preferably overnight, in the refrigerator.

Add the mascarpone to the chilled yolk mixture and blend well.

In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Add the sugar and continue whisking the cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold the cream, in three batches, into the yolk-mascarpone mixture. Work gently so as to maintain the loft of the whipped cream.

Line the sides and bottom of a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with lady fingers cookies, cut to fit snugly. Dipping the bottom end of a cookie in the cream will help them to remain in place around the circumference of the pan. Brush the cookies with coffee liqueur. Spoon half the mascarpone-cream filling over the cookies and cover the top with another layer of cookies. Brush with coffee liqueur.

Spoon the remaining filling over the cookies to fill the pan. Smooth the top with a spatula. Place the cocoa powder in a small sifter and lightly dust the top surface of the tiramisu with cocoa. Using a vegetable peeler, carve curls of chocolate from the chocolate bar and garnish the top.

Refrigerate the tiramisu several hours, or overnight, before serving. Serve cold.