An Italian dessert that’s perfect for when you don’t want to turn on the oven, tiramisu is the ideal dessert. Layers of creamy mascarpone piled on top of ladyfinger cookies drenched in espresso, all dusted with cocoa powder. I mean, what’s not to love?!
Although I’m a purist when it comes to recipes and traditional flavors, there’s one unique twist hidden in the layers of this version of tiramisu: Pan di Stelle cookies. These chocolate hazelnut cookies are one of my all-time favorites and they mesh so well with the velvety mascarpone and strong espresso. Pan di Stelle cookies also give the tiramisu a unique hint of hazelnut that is a perfect marriage! You can find Pan di Stelle cookies online or find them at most Italian grocery stores.
If you don’t want to use Pan di Stelle cookies, no worries! Simply omit them and use only ladyfingers or swap them for your favorite cookie.
The individual ramekins are the perfect vessels for a single-serve dessert like this one. These are ideal for dinner parties, special events or just a special treat for yourself! I used these clear mugs but you can really use any mugs, ramekins or bowls that you have. Bonus points is they're clear so you can see all of the creamy, dreamy layers!
This recipe also calls for pasteurized eggs – which are not difficult to make! I tried out the following pasteurization method and was pleasantly surprised. You can do this up to a week in advance to prep ahead of time.
How to pasteurize eggs
- Take the eggs out of the fridge and wait 15-20 minutes so the eggs come up to room temperature.
- Place the eggs in a pot and pour enough cold water so it covers the eggs completely.
- Set your stove to medium heat.
- Keep monitoring the water temperature with a thermometer – make sure it only touches the water and not the eggs or pan itself!
- Once the water reaches 138° Fahrenheit, reduce the heat to low.
- Once the water reaches 140° Fahrenheit, set a timer for 3 minutes (for large eggs) and maintain the temperature. Do this by alternating between keeping the pot on the heat and removing it from the heat in order to maintain the water at 140° Fahrenheit.
- For jumbo or extra-large eggs, do this for 4 minutes instead of 3 minutes.
- Carefully transfer the eggs to a bowl with ice water. Slowly and carefully swirl the eggs in the ice water for 1 minute. Let the eggs rest in the water for 10 minutes.
- You can store the pasteurized eggs for up to 1 week! Mark the eggs with a tiny bit of food coloring to know which eggs have been pasteurized.
As for the ladyfinger cookies, or Savoiardi as they’re also called, make sure these are fully drenched in the espresso as you build your tiramisu layers. You want the coffee to penetrate all the way through the cookies. Try drenching one cookie, on both sides, and try to break it apart. If it’s still crispy inside, you’ll want to make sure you keep the cookie submerged in the coffee for a bit longer on both sides. Don't forget to do the same with the Pan di Stelle cookies - you want them to soak up all the espresso for a deep, rich, coffee flavor.
Although this tiramisu recipe is easy to whip together, I highly recommend you leave it in the fridge for as long as you can – overnight is best – to ensure all of the layers blend together and produce the dreamiest dessert. The hardest part is the wait but I guarantee your patience will be rewarded!
Above all, have fun with this iconic dessert! Feel free to experiment with this recipe and let me know what you thought about it!
Rich + Creamy Tiramisu
- 4 large pasteurized eggs see instructions above
- 120 grams white sugar
- 500 grams mascarpone
- 2 cups espresso freshly brewed
- 12 ladyfinger cookies (aka Savoiardi)
- 18 Pan di Stelle cookies
- cocoa powder to sprinkle on top
- Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks – make sure no egg yolks sneak into the whites!
- Place egg whites in a large bowl.
- Add half of the sugar to the egg yolks and beat with the electric whisk until you achieve a pale, yellowish color.
- Whisk the mascarpone into the egg yolk mixture little by little until it’s all incorporated. Set aside and clean the whisk attachment (important for the next step!)
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg whites and add the remaining sugar little by little until you achieve stiff peaks.
- With a spatula, delicately fold in the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture bit by bit, making sure all of the egg whites are incorporated into the yolks before adding more.
- Cover the bottom of your ramekins with the egg and cream mixture.
- Dip the ladyfingers in the espresso and arrange them in your ramekins so you create one layer of cookies – see note above about the consistency you should aim for when dipping the ladyfinger cookies!
- Make another layer of egg and cream mixture, making sure you completely cover the ladyfingers from the previous layer.
- Dip the Pan di Stelle cookies in espresso and arrange them to create another layer above the egg and cream mixture.
- Alternate between the egg and cream mixture layers and the both cookie layers until you reach the top, making sure you finish off with an egg and cream mixture layer.
- Sprinkle cocoa powder on the last layer of egg and cream mixture.
- Chill the ramekins the fridge for 2-4 hours, or overnight if possible.
- Enjoy right out of the fridge and accompany with your favorite espresso!