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Using a double boiler or two nearly equal-sized pots (or you can use a stovetop pot and a heat-proof bowl), bring one inch of water to a boil in one of the pots. Bring the water to a simmer and place the second pot on top of the first pot. Ensure that the top pot is not touching the water.
Place the egg yolks and the superfine sugar into the top pot (or bowl if using) of the double boiler, and whip the ingredients together with a whisk for 10 minutes. The mixture will start to thicken, and this will be your sabayon. Remove the top pot from heat and turn off the stove. Continue to whisk the egg mixture to help it cool down. At this stage, the sabayon should be which and have a light yellow color. Let it cool some (10 minutes) before moving to the next step.
Add the room temperature mascarpone to the whipped eggs mixture, and mix until combined. Be careful to not over mix. Set aside and proceed to the whipped cream layer.
In a medium bowl, add the heavy whipping cream and the 1/2 cup of sugar. Using a stand mixer, whisk until soft-medium peaks form. Taste and add more sugar if desired.
Slowly, fold the whipped cream into the sabayon just until combined.
Combine the espresso, rum, and the coffee liqueur (optional) in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
Prepare a 8 x 8 inch baking pan by dusting the bottom with 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder. Use a sifter or a mesh strainer to get an even dusting.
Dip one (only one!) ladyfinger into the espresso mixture just so it's fully coated in the liquid and quickly pull it out and place on the bottom of the prepared baking pan (rounded side up). Repeat this step working with only one ladyfinger at a time until there is an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
Note: Ladyfingers are quite porous and will easily break apart if left in the liquid mixture for too long, so that's why I stress working with one at a time.
When you have an entire layer of ladyfingers, spread 1/3 of the sabayon mixture over the ladyfingers. On top of this layer, add another layer of dipped ladyfingers followed by another layer of sabayon. Repeat this once more. You should have three layers of ladyfingers and 3 layers of sabayon. The 3rd layer of sabayon will be the top layer. Lastly, dust the top layer with the remaining cocoa powder using a sifter.
Cover the pan entirely with plastic wrap. It's okay if the plastic touched the top layer, as the cocoa powder acts as a protective layer here. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. For best results, let it chill in the fridge for 24 hours.
After the tiramisu has chilled, gently remove the plastic wrap, slice, and serve with a cup of light roast coffee - bon appetit !
Serving Size 1 square