3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
3 cups whipping cream
2 (8 oz.) containers mascarpone cheese (16 oz. total)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 1/2 pkg. ladyfingers
1/3 cup cold strong coffee or espresso
1/3 cup marsala wine, brandy, amaretto or white rum
Cocoa powder, or grated chocolate
In a large bowl, lightly beat the mascarpone to smooth it out. Add the confectioners' sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt and using an electric beater, beat this mixture until it is smooth and thickened like fluffy cream.
Using a 9 x 13-inch pan, or a medium size glass oval baking dish, line the bottom with ladyfingers, flat side down.
Combine the cold, strong coffee (use 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder to 1/3 cup of cold water) and the liquor in a cup. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush half of the coffee/liquor mixture over the ladyfingers. Cover with half of the mascarpone mixture. Sprinkle liberally with powdered cocoa. Add another layer of ladyfingers, and repeat as above. Sprinkle top liberally with the cocoa.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 24 hours. This is important, as it blends the flavors and the ladyfingers soak up the liquid. A perfect tiramisu should slice easily, but can be a little soft and perhaps even a little runny when served, rather than holding its shape perfectly.
Makes 10-12 slices.
Date: January 17, 2002