Runner Recipe: Tiramisu

Frankie Nadal, Features Editor

Slice of tiramisu (cake variant)                                                       Frankie Nadal

With yet another heat wave passing us by, it is imperative we keep cool. Sometimes, however, you want a tasty treat that can only be satisfied with a baked dessert. Fortunately, there are a myriad of such delectable delights that can be made without ever turning the oven on, and one of my personal favorites is tiramisu.

A casually caffeinated combination of cocoa, creamy cheese, chilled coffee, and crisp cookies (sort of), tiramisu is a layered dessert of Italian origin that highlights the flavor profiles of coffee and cocoa. Here is a list of ingredients and equipment needed to make such a delicious dessert.


  • 6 egg yolks
  • 16 oz of Mascarpone Cheese
  • 1 ½ cups of cooled Espresso
  • 2 dozen Lady Fingers
  • 3 tbsps. of Sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 Chocolate Bar
  • Cocoa Powder


  • Electric Whisk/Stand Mixer
    • Whisk Attachment
  • Offset Spatula
  • Wide Bowl
  • 13 x 9 Baking Pan
  • Sieve
  • Peeler/Knife/Grater
  • Cling Film

Once you have everything you need, it is time to get to work! First, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale, thick, and almost double in volume. If using a stand mixer, this will take 3-5 minutes. Electric whisks will take 5-7 minutes, whereas doing so by hand with a whisk will be closer to 10, but you’ll get quite the workout!

After doing so, gradually whisk in the mascarpone, a few tablespoons at a time, until you get a fluffy, almost buttercream-like frosting. Lastly, you’ll whisk in a couple tablespoons of espresso, just until combined. Set aside this mix or refrigerate if you will not be using it immediately.

Next, soaking the ladyfingers. The espresso should be in a wide bowl or shallow dish. Soak these in the espresso for a few seconds each, no more than 5 seconds as they may dissolve, and line them up snugly in the baking pan. Do note that you may need to break some into pieces to cover the bottom of the pan, and it is best to do so before soaking the biscuit. Once you’ve lined the pan, spread half of the mascarpone mix on top with the offset spatula. Repeat this process once more with the rest of the lady fingers and mascarpone mix.

With that done, the final step is all that remains. Dust some cocoa powder on top with the sieve, covering the dessert to your liking. Then, shave some chocolate over the top of the dessert to your heart’s content. Cover in cling film and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Slice and serve chilled with some coffee or tea or your drink of preference. Enjoy a cooling treat with that little kick and refrigerate any leftovers. Assuming any remain!

Variations and Substitutions:

If you desire something with a bit more kick, add one tablespoon of coffee liqueur or spiced rum to the espresso. While such an amount confers nothing but flavor and does not make the dessert alcoholic, it is generally best to not serve this variation to children. Alternatively, you can add a few drops (1/8 tbsp) of rum extract for that flavor without any of the alcohol.

As this dessert uses raw eggs, you can use pasteurized eggs if you are concerned about the possible health risks. In either case, refrigeration is necessary. Though, if you want an alternative to eggs altogether, folding in some whipped cream after mixing the mascarpone will also suffice.

If ladyfingers are in short supply or are not your cup of tea, sponge cake or plain sheet cake will more than suffice. You can bake it yourself or buy it, and the steps remain the same with the following exceptions: Cut the cake in half for your two layers and brush the cakes with the espresso instead of soaking.