How to Make Tiramisù

Tiramisù means “pull me up” in Italian and aptly describes this dessert traditionally made from savoiardi or ladyfingers, espresso coffee, mascarpone cheese, egg whites, sugar, and often marsala wine. The biscuits are sprinkled with strong coffee and the marsala, and then embedded in a thick rich custard. Sometimes chocolate is also used, but that is not traditional.


Ingredients for 6-8 people

4 egg whites
2 egg yolks
100 g (1/2 cup) of sugar or 5 tablespoons of fruit sugar (alter to your own preference)
500 g (2 1/2 cups) of mascarpone cheese
4 small coffee cups of espresso coffee
marsala wine (or brandy or cognac)
400 g of savoiardi or lady fingers (sponge cake fingers)
dark chocolate powder


1. Make espresso coffee, sweeten, and add the marsala wine (or cognac) to it. Let it cool a bit.
2. Separate the egg yolks and the whites of two eggs in two bowls.
3. Beat sugar into the egg yolks.
4. Beat the mascarpone into the sweetened yolks.
5. Add two more egg whites to the other two and whisk until they form stiff peaks.
6. Fold gently egg whites into mascarpone mixture.
7. Quickly dip both sides of the ladyfingers in the espresso mixture.
8. Layer soaked ladyfingers and mascarpone in a large bowl or pan (start with fingers, finish with mascarpone).
9. Sprinkle dark chocolate powder on top.
10.Refrigerate for one hour.

Notes, tips, and variations

– Savoiardi are the traditional biscuits used with this recipe, rather than ladyfingers. Sponge cake can also be used.
– Cream can be used as an alternative to thicken the tiramisu. Whisk 3/4 pint to 1 pint of double cream until stiff peaks form, then add the sugar and continue from step 2.
– Full-fat spread cheese can be used as an alternative to mascarpone; add some cream to taste.


In this recipe the term “ladyfingers” refers to a kind of biscuit or cake, NOT to okra, which would be an interesting variation.

Whether thickening with egg whites or cream, ensure it is stiff before adding to the other ingredients; if it is not stiff, the tiramisu will not set properly.

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