Grandma’s Tiramisu

Ask any Italian Grandmother for her best Tiramisu recipe and you’ll get a different version from each one! It’s a bit of a contest in the Gambino family to produce the best Tiramisu recipe, second only to the best ravioli cook off!

The boozy versions can call for wine, amaretto, kahlua, rum, brandy or Grand Marnier…shelves upon shelves of options! Tiramisu can also be alcohol free. 

Tiramisu is often layered in a baking pan but can also be featured as a trifle or a dip. You may prefer a brownie tiramisu or a Nutella tiramisu. How about a chocolate mousse tiramisu? 

Here is a traditional recipe combined from the baking archives of multiple family members. It’s the perfect balance of delicate layers of lusciousness!

6 eggs separated

3/4 cup sugar, divided into 1/2 and 1/4

One cup milk

1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces

1/8 cup of rum + 2 tablespoons(optional)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

2 cups mascarpone cheese

1.5 cups heavy cream

2 cups espresso or strong coffee

30-35 ladyfinger

In a stand mixer or hand-held mixer, beat 6 egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar until light yellow in color. Add one cup milk, whisk together until well blended. Move the mixture to a saucepan and cook over medium heat, until mixture boils. Remove from heat, stir in 1/4 cup butter and one teaspoon vanilla extract. Boozy version, add 1/8 cup rum. Cover and chill for at least one hour.

Whisk mascarpone into cool yolk mixture until smooth. 

In mixer, whip 1.5 cups heavy cream and one teaspoon vanilla extract until stiff peaks form, fold into mascarpone cream mixture.

Whip 6 egg whites and 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold into mascarpone cream mixture. 

Pour espresso/coffee into shallow bowl with or without 2 tablespoons rum. Quickly dip each side of the ladyfingers into the espresso. Arrange ladyfingers in a 9”x13” baking pan, spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers, repeat layers and sprinkle with cocoa. 

Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. I make this one day ahead of serving time for all flavors to blend.