This Italian classic has coffee and liqueur flavored sponge cake, surrounded with a sweet whipped cream and mascarpone filling.
Use a double boiler to get your mascarpone filling ready. I like to make the filling before the lady fingers, so the mixture has time to cool. Once you’ve cooked the yolks and sugar, added the mascarpone and whipped cream, place it in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the cake.
If you can find gluten free Lady Fingers at the store, by all means use them. But it really doesn’t take that much more time to whip these up, and of course you can be assured what goes into them and that they don’t contain any preservatives.
Once you combine all ingredients, gently fold in the whipped egg whites. The mixture will be a bit loose, but that’s ok. Spoon it into a pastry bag, or a Ziploc bag with the tip snipped of (about 1/2″).
You can form the Lady Fingers in two ways:
1) Pipe into 3″ long shapes onto a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet – They will spread a bit, so space them out.
2) Pour entire mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and spread out evenly – this way you can cut the lady fingers out after they are cooked to exactly fit the pan you are using to prepare the tiramisu (after trying both methods, I find this one is the best – next time I’ll remember to take a picture of it!).
These light cookies don’t take much time at all to cook, so once their edges just start to turn golden, they are ready. Make sure they cool completely before you assemble the cake.
Stir together the espresso and liqueur pour into a shallow dish, and set aside. This is what you’ll use to soak the Lady Fingers in.
To assemble tiramisu, dip the lady fingers quickly into the coffee mixture on each side – do not let them sit and soak or they will fall apart, but make sure that they are entirely covered in the mixture (use a flipper to dip/handle then if that’s easier). Arrange the lady fingers into the bottom of a 9″ square baking dish. Since the lady fingers are quite thin, add another layer of soaked lady fingers so they are doubled. Spoon half of the cream filling over, and gently spread out.
Repeat process with another layer of lady fingers (doubled if necessary) and cream. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight – be patient! I wasn’t and took out a piece after only 2 hours. It was so delicious!! But the cream hadn’t set, so it started to ooze out, instead of being firm. So after at least 4 hours (make it 6 to be safe), serve it with a dusting of cocoa powder and/or shaved bittersweet chocolate.
*Note: The white cookies that are stacked in the picture below are the ladyfingers from this recipe. They tasted the best and soaked up the coffee the best (the other golden colored cookie was an amaretti-style almond cookie that was too dry and mealy in texture when it was soaked).
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1¼ cup mascarpone cheese
- 1¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¾ cup espresso, cold
- ½ cup Kahlua, optional
- 1 Tbsp cocoa, for dusting
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ½ cup potato starch
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 3 eggs, separated
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp water
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- To make the filling, Into a double boiler, combine egg yolks and sugar. Stirring constantly, cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Using a mixer, whip for two minutes until mixture is thick and has cooled slightly, then mix in mascarpone
- In another bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into egg yolk mixture and set aside.
- Stir together the espresso and liquor pour into a shallow dish, and set aside.
- To make Lady Fingers, in a small bowl combine the cornstarch, potato starch, baking powder, and xanathan.
- In a large bowl beat together egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and water until smooth. Then beat in starch mixture until smooth.
- In another bowl, whip egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Pour whipped egg whites into other mixture and gently fold until smooth. Batter will be loose.
- You can bake them two ways: 1) Spoon into a piping (or ziploc) bag and pipe into 3" long shapes onto a parchment lined baking sheet. They will spread a bit, so space them out. 2) pour entire mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and spread out evenly (this way you can cut the lady fingers out after they are cooked to exactly fit the pan you are using to prepare the tiramisu).
- Bake at 375°F for about 10 minutes, or until edges just start to turn golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before transferring to a rack. Cool completely before using in the tiramisu.
- To assemble tiramisu, dip the lady fingers quickly into the coffee mixture on each side - do not let them sit and soak or they will fall apart. Arrange the lady fingers into the bottom of a 9" square baking dish. If your lady fingers are thin, add another layer of soaked lady fingers.
- Spoon half of the cream filling over, and gently spread out.
- Repeat process with another layer of lady fingers (double in necessary) and cream.
- Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Before serving, dust with cocoa powder and or shaved bittersweet chocolate.
FAQ: Is Cognac Gluten Free?