Top | Puddings, Custards, and Other Dairy Desserts


(recipe, Caroline Cummins)

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The name of this classic dessert means "pick me up" in Italian. It requires no cooking and easily feeds a crowd. Because it's essentially an Italian trifle — a cool summer pudding — try serving it at an outdoor party. But remember that the dish contains raw eggs, so keep it refrigerated until just before serving.


  1. 5 eggs, separated
  2. ½ cup sugar
  3. 2 cups mascarpone
  4. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. 1½ cups cold strong coffee
  6. ¼ cup sweet Marsala, dark rum, or brandy
  7. 24 small ladyfingers (sponge fingers)
  8. 2 oz. dark chocolate, finely grated


  1. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is light, fluffy, pale yellow, and leaves a ribbon trail when dropped from the whisk. Add the mascarpone, the vanilla, and a dash each of the coffee and alcohol, and beat until the mixture is smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into the mascarpone mixture.
  3. Pour the remaining coffee and alcohol into a shallow dish. Briefly dip half of the ladyfingers, turning quickly so each side briefly soaks up the liquid, in the coffee-alcohol mixture; layer the bottom of a 8-by-11 baking dish with the ladyfingers.
  4. Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the layer of ladyfingers. Add another layer of soaked ladyfingers and then another layer of mascarpone, smoothing the top layer neatly.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator, preferably overnight.
  6. When ready to serve, remove the dish from the fridge, discard the plastic wrap, and evenly dust the tiramisù with the grated chocolate. (The chocolate will gradually melt into the dish, so hold off on the dusting until just before serving.) Scoop large spoonfuls onto plates or into bowls to serve.