Six months ago I refused to touch anything even flavored with coffee much less have a cup of jo.   That was until my life underwent a change of epic proportions.  I had my son.

Thanks to this my guy I started drinking coffee out of necessity and but still wasn’t crazy about it.   It gave me the extra kick I needed in the mornings after a somewhat sleepless night.

Now I take pleasure in a cup of coffee, so much so that I’ve made a Tiramisu this weekend.     Tiramisu literally translates to “pick me up” and pick me up it did.   This is a classic Italian Dessert which is made by layering ladyfingers dipped in an espresso and liquor mixture, then layered with sweetened mascarpone cheese and dusted with cocoa.  To call this decadent would be an understatement; it’s all that and more.    I decided to add extra rum in the mascarpone mixture…hey, why not?     It was the perfect ending to the perfect meal.


adapted from

6 egg yolks

3/4 cup white sugar

2/3 cup milk

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pound mascarpone cheese

1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons rum

3 (3 ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

In a medium saucepan, whisk together eggs yolks and sugar; add milk then place over a medium fire.   While stirring constantly, bring to a gentle boil.  Allow to bubble for 1 minute then remove from heat.  Cool slightly, then cover with cling wrap, pressing it again the surface of the custard.   Refrigerate for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove from fridge.   Add room temperature mascarpone cream and 2 tablespoon rum to egg mixture.   Stir to combine.   Set Aside.

Next, place 2 cups heavy whipping cream in a large bowl and whisk until stiff peaks are formed.

In a small bowl, place espresso and ¼ cup rum.  Next dip the lady fingers in espresso mixture.  Line the bottom of a 7×11 baking dish with ladyfingers forming 1 layer.   Add ½ mascarpone mixture on top of ladyfingers, spread to form an even layer.  Next add ½ of whipped cream on top of mascarpone mixture, spread to form an even layer.   Place another layer of espresso soaked ladyfingers on top of the cream, then the remaining mascarpone and then the remaining whipped topping.   Sprinkle with cocoa.  Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.


  • Do not over whip the cream or it will separate and turn to butter.   I made this mistake and had to dump the first set.
  • Do not allow the egg mixture to cook more than 1 minute and do not cook on too high heat or it will curdle.
  • You can place the tiramisu in any vessel you choose.  Place them in individual parfait glasses, or a large trifle bowl.   To create the look of my tiramisu, I lined the sides of a 9 inch spring form cake pan with ladyfingers, then I began layering the dessert.   Remove the side of the cake pan before serving.
  • I shaved a bar of milk chocolate on top for extra texture and flavor.   You can add any type of chocolate you prefer or none at all.