the best tiramisu recipe | designlovefest

my mom is the queen of desserts, we used to have a dessert corner growing up at our house and she always had something on hand whether we had guests or just our family. she has some classics that i can picture her making, mini chocolate tarts with fresh raspberries in the summer, bread pudding, creme brûlée with the perfect burnt sugar crust, molten chocolate cakes with warm liquid centers, toffee in the winter and tiramisu. the story that goes with the tiramisu recipe is that it was my mom’s favorite from an Italian restaurant in telluride and she really wanted the recipe. so my dad offered to leave a $500 tip after one of their meals in exchange for the recipe and they agreed. the restaurant has since closed which makes the recipe even more special. i’ve never attempted to make it because truthfully i’m always been intimidated. it feels so involved, the layers, the soaking, the egg whites, the dusting. but it was so simple (and i’m not just saying that) and it really is a high impact dessert, you make this for a dinner party and people are going to be impressed! – joanie

the best tiramisu recipe | designlovefest

serves 12
recipe by meg cusack, adapted from Excelsior Cafe in Telluride, CO

• 1 400 g package of lady fingers (not all stores carry these, we found ours at sprouts but an italian market would have them too)
• 4 cups boiling water
• 3 teaspoons instant coffee (can be decafe or regular!)
• 6 tablespoons Kahlua
• 2 tablespoons + 1/3 cup sugar
• 3 egg yolks
• 1 1/2 pounds mascarpone cheese
• 10 egg whites beaten to stiff peaks
• unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 -3 ounces bittersweet chocolate

the best tiramisu recipe | designlovefest
the best tiramisu recipe | designlovefest

how to make:

• bring water to a boil in a saucepan. turn off heat and add instant coffee, kailua, and  2 tablespoons sugar. stir mixture and set aside.

• with a hand mixer, beat 10 egg whites to stiff peaks form, stopping from time to time to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. you know the peaks have formed when you pull the blender up and the egg whites hold their shape. in a separate bowl, blend egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar together with a whisk, stir in mascarpone cheese and then fold in stiff egg whites with a spatula; set aside.

• use a 9 x 13 ” glass pan and then dip 1/2 of each lady finger in coffee mix and layer in bottom of pan, generally lady fingers have one side that is crunchy with sugar, soak the other side and put the soaked side up (about 20 ladyfingers).

the best tiramisu recipe | designlovefest
the best tiramisu recipe | designlovefest

• next spread 1/2 of mascarpone mix on top. sift a solid layer of cocoa powder over top. sprinkle 1/2 of grated bittersweet chocolate on top of this.

the best tiramisu recipe | designlovefest

• Repeat everything exactly as you did on the first layer. Top with cocoa powder, and shaved chocolate. chill in refrigerator at least 1 hour, but ideally 2-3 hours if you have the time.

• Cut into pieces and serve! this will last 2 days, but after that it starts to get a bit soggy so eat up!

the best tiramisu recipe | designlovefest
the best tiramisu recipe | designlovefest
the best tiramisu recipe | designlovefest

one note from my mom: the ladyfingers you should use are found near the cookies at an import store- not the ones found in the dairy section of the grocery store.

the best tiramisu recipe | designlovefest

images by: 
styling by: joanie cusack + ivan solis



Add your own

    Annie Slocum says:

    Thank you for this fabulous recipe and to your Dad for buying it! I can’t wait to make it!!

    Stephanie says:

    omg everything from the tiramisu to the coffee looks amazing!


    rina says:

    the row egg ?

    Holly says:

    The story behind this is so sweet and magical! I love it when dishes have a special place in someone’s heart and a tale to tell. I can’t wait to give this a go and serve it with the story!

    Holly from xo

    Lauren says:

    This looks so wonderful! I can’t wait to try it, thank you for sharing.

    Well, no. No raw eggs in my Tiramisu. I do the cream with 4 egg yolks stirred with sugar over boiling water, to which I add whipped cream [actually whipped, not from spray cans] and Mascarpone. The egg whites I use for other recipes.

    bri says:

    well, yes actually! you can make tiramisu many ways, one of them being with raw eggs like the recipe we posted.

    Kirsten says:

    Do you have a printable version of this?

    My favorite is the tiramisu from the desserts. Thank you

    Lynne says:

    I made this recipe for Christmas Eve and it is AMAZING! My husband said it was the best Tiramisu he ever had. If you like stronger coffee flavor just use espresso instead of coffee. Oh it is so good! Thanks for this stand out!

    bri says:

    yay! love that feedback. thakns, lynne!

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