Ah, one of my very favorite desserts. This is one of the more sensual here in the series      (at least I think so) mainly because of its silky smooth texture.

This recipe, though somewhat exotic sounding, is really rather simple to make. Pre-packaged lady fingers are key, but if you have time and want to be adventurous, there are several recipes online for the homemade kind.

I’ve never added the brandy, simply because we’ve not had it on hand, and it still tastes wonderful. As for the Marsala, be sure to get the sweeter kind – you won’t regret it.


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 c. Marsala
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups strong coffee or espresso
  • 1/4 cup brandy OR Frangelico liquer
  • 18 store bought Ladyfingers
  • 2 oz good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped OR shaved
  • Good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

1. Place 6 large wineglasses in the refrigerator to chill.

2. In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Add the sugar and whip 10 to 15 seconds longer, just until sugar is thoroughly incorporated.

3. In a separate large bowl, whisk the mascarpone and Marsala together until smooth and creamy. Gently fold a third of the whipped cream into the mascarpone, to lighten. Fold in the remaining whipped cream to combine.

4. Remove the wineglasses from the refrigerator. Stir the coffee and brandy together in a small bowl. One at a time, dip the ladyfingers into the coffee-brandy mixture twice, taking care not to leave them in more than 5 seconds or they may fall apart. Place two or three halves into the bottom of the glass, pressing down so they fit snugly.

5. Spoon a portion of the mascarpone mixture onto the ladyfingers, then sprinkle with the grated chocolate. Top with another layer of ladyfingers, and repeat layering two more times, ending with a layer of cream. Dust lightly with remaining chocolate and a fine dusting of cocoa powder if so desired.

6. Assemble your dessert cups in the afternoon so that the y dessert has plenty of time to chill.

Tip: Halve the recipe to make two generous servings, and, use wine glasses for the presentation

A  little Ray LaMontagne, candlelight, and tiramisu… sounds like romance waiting to happen.


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