by Michelle Lohraff
(Butler, PA)

This Tiramisu recipe serves 10-12 people. Mascarpone cheese has a consistency similar to cream cheese beaten with a little heavy cream. However, don't use cream cheese in this recipe - the flavor is too tart and the texture too grainy.

1 1/2 cups strong coffee, brewed
6 Tablespoons rum
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
pinch table salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound mascarpone cheese
36 savoiardi ladyfingers (1 1/2 packages)
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated fine

1. Combine the coffee and 2 Tablespoons rum in a shallow dish.

2. Place the egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a stainless steel mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat the egg yolk mixture until it's thick, creamy, and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cream.

3. Using a double boiler, heat a pan of water to a slow simmer. Place egg yolk mixture in top of double boiler and heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture registers 160 degrees, about 5 minutes.

4. Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to a large bowl; cool to room temperature.

5. Using an electric mixer, add the mascarpone and remaining 1/4 cup rum to the egg mixture and beat at medium speed. The mixture will thin and look curdled. Raise the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until smooth and very thick, about 3 minutes.

6. One at a time, dip the savoiardi cookies into the coffee mixture, turning just once to lightly moisten. Cover the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with moistened cookies. With a rubber spatula, spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the cookies. Sprinkle with half of the grated chocolate. Repeat the layers with the remaining cookies, cream, and chocolate. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled and cookies are tender and soft, at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. To serve, scoop the tiramisu into individual bowls.

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