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By Dianne Bunis

Luscious and sweet, tiramisu is a classic Italian dessert made of coffee-flavored custard and ladyfingers, perfect to serve during the holiday season. Buon appetito!

INGREDIENTS

5 large egg yolks

3 egg whites

3 tablespoons sugar

12 to 14 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened

3/4 to 1 cup espresso or strong coffee, cooled

2 teaspoons dark rum or brandy

24 packaged ladyfingers

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl, beat the egg whites until fluffy, set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes; then add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth.

Gently add the egg whites to the egg yolk mascarpone mixture to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of espresso and mix until thoroughly combined, set aside.

In a small, shallow dish, add remaining espresso and rum. Dip each lady finger into espresso for only 5 seconds, place on the bottom of a trifle bowl or 13-by-9-inch baking dish, leaving a little space between each. Spread evenly half of the mascarpone filling over the ladyfingers. Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers and top with remaining mascarpone mixture.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or up to hours hours before serving.

Just before serving, sprinkle with chocolate shavings and sift cocoa over the top.

Note: This dessert can also be made in a trifle bowl.

Recipe from Raffaella Tomaselli.