Tiramisu means “pick me up” for the espresso it contains. It’s what I make when I’m craving a rich dessert. It looks very elegant made in individual wine glasses, but if you prefer to make one large dessert, a medium glass bowl works nicely, so you can still see the layers.
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup Marsala
1 to 1 1/2 cups strong coffee or espresso
1/4 cup brandy or Frangelico
18 store-bought ladyfingers
2 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped or shaved
Good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting the tiramisu
1. Place 6 large wine glasses in the freezer or refrigerator to chill.
2. Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks in a large bowl. Add the sugar and whip 10 to 15 seconds longer, just until the sugar is thoroughly integrated.
3. In a separate large bowl, whisk the mascarpone and Marsala together until smooth and creamy. Gently fold a third of the whipped cream into the mascarpone to lighten. Fold in the remaining whipped cream to combine.
4. Remove the wine glasses from the freezer or refrigerator. Stir the coffee and brandy together in a small bowl. One at a time, dip the ladyfingers into the coffee-brandy twice, taking care not to leave them in more than 5 seconds or they may fall apart. Place one ladyfinger into each wine glass, pressing down so it fits snugly into the bottom of the glass. You may need to break them in half to make them fit. Spoon a third of the mascarpone-cream over the ladyfinger and sprinkle with a third of the chocolate. Top with another layer of soaked ladyfinger, and repeat two more times, ending with a layer of cream. Dust lightly with cocoa powder passed through a fine sieve. Cover each glass with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.