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Outrageously Decadent Tiramisu Recipe

This classic Italian dessert literally means 'pick me up' and although it’s rich, it does just that with its espresso soaked cookies. It’s the perfect make-ahead dessert because it really does need to be made ahead to let the cookies soften and to allow the flavors to blend deliciously.

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time8 hours
Yields9 servings


1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp rum
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups cold brewed espresso or strong coffee
2 tbsp coffee liqueur
24 Italian savoiardi cookies (crisp lady fingers)
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, grated



Combine 1 1/4 cups of the milk and the sugar in a medium saucepan and bring just to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.


Whisk remaining 1/4 cup milk, the egg yolks and cornstarch in medium bowl until smooth. Stir a little of the hot milk mixture into the yolk mixture, then stir in remaining milk mixture.


Pour into saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently. Boil, whisking until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in butter, rum and vanilla. Pour into a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap.


Chill until cold.


Whisk mascarpone into chilled custard until blended. Beat heavy cream in a bowl with electric mixer until stiff peaks form; fold into custard.


Combine espresso and coffee liqueur in a small bowl. Dip 12 cookies one by one, into espresso mixture and arrange in bottom of an 8x8 or 9x9-inch baking dish. (It’s fine to break a few of them into pieces so that they fit in an even layer.)


Spoon half of the mascarpone mixture over cookie layer and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with half of the grated chocolate.


Repeat layers using remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours.


Cut into 9 squares and place on serving plates. Garnish with a few raspberries if desired.


If you can’t find crisp lady fingers you can use more readily available soft lady fingers. Just leave them unwrapped for a day to let them dry out a bit before using.