Tiramisu / by Anthony Michael Contrino

I’ve never come across someone who doesn’t like tiramisu. This “pick me up” is easier to make than you think and is the perfect make-ahead dessert!


TIRAMISU // Serves 12

2 cups espresso or strongly-brewed coffee, freshly brewed

¾ cup sugar, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided

6 large egg yolks

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons marsala

16 ounces mascarpone, room temperature

4 large egg whites

30 ladyfingers

Cocoa powder, for garnish


  1. Pour the espresso into a 4-cup liquid measuring cup.

  2. Add ¼ cup of the sugar and ½ teaspoon of the vanilla extract and stir until the sugar is dissolved; cool.

  3. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized saucepan, bring an inch of water to a gentle simmer.

  4. Add the egg yolks, salt and ¼ cup of sugar to a large metal bowl and whisk to combine.

  5. Place the bowl over the simmering water and whisk until the mixture is warm to the touch; remove from the heat. At this point, the sugar should be dissolved and the mixture should lighten in color and increase in volume. Do not overheat or the eggs will curdle.

  6. Stir the mascarpone until it is smooth.

  7. Add the mascarpone and marsala to the egg yolk mixture and whisk to combine; set aside.

  8. In a large, clean bowl, combine the egg whites and remaining ¼ cup of sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.

  9. Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.

  10. To assemble, quickly dunk the ladyfingers into the coffee mixture.

  11. Lay the ladyfingers side, by side, trimming as necessary, in a 9”x13” casserole dish or cake pan, until the bottom of the dish is covered.

  12. Pour half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers and smooth with an offset spatula. Repeat with the remaining ladyfingers and cream.

  13. Wrap the casserole dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

  14. When ready to serve, dust the top with a fine layer of cocoa powder.