How to make Italian Tiramisu Recipe from scratch
The February 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen and Deeba of Passionate About Baking. They chose Tiramisu as the challenge for the month. Their challenge recipe is based on recipes from The Washington Post, Cordon Bleu at Home and Baking Obsession. Having heard so much about Tiramisu, you would think I would have had it like ages ago wouldn't you? Thought wrong! The very first time I had it was exactly 3 months ago! While I was amazed at the mind blowing texture and creaminess of the dessert (for not being a dessert lover, I liked it a lot!) but one thing that put me off completely was the liquor! Too much alcohol that my husband made fun of me when at the end of it, it seemed I looked a little drunk! The kidder in the house - everyone! I decided then and there that I would try to recreate this famous Italian dessert at home but without alcohol. The beginning of the month saw me finalize on a recipe (which looked close enough to the taste I enjoyed) and the next day I bought home some Mascarpone cheese. I needed to go to a different store to get me ladyfingers when just minutes before leaving, I remembered that I did not check this months Daring Baker's challenge. I was sure I would need to buy something from the store for the challenge and Whoa!! What was the title I see? Tiramisu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was like shocked for few seconds!  With goosepimples, I informed Aparna and Deeps what a coincidence it was! And what more - we had to make everything from scratch!!
How to make Italian Tiramisu Recipe from scratch
The best part I liked about making it all on our own was the Mascarpone cheese! I was like - what? Really? Me? I never knew getting pasteurized anything would be so hard to get! All I found was Ultra pasteurized stuff but whole foods saved me! At the end of making the cheese, the most amazing thing was the taste test which I put my better half through. I first gave him a small spoonful of the store bought Mascarpone cheese (remember the one I bought before I knew about the challenge?). Then I went and fed him another spoon of the home made Mascarpone Cheese. His quip, "Hey! What's the idea of feeding me the same thing again and again? I thought you wanted me to do some taste test? What is the other thing?" - was the best thing I ever heard!!!!! Home made cheese which tastes like the shop bought ones - I mean what could be better than this?:) :) As for the Tiramisu - we loved it! Me, especially since this did not have the overpowering alcohol taste. This time I was drunk - but on the creamy delicoousness of the Tiramisu and not on Alcohol. Just the way I prefer it :) We were free to interpret it in our way than the traditional square pieces (which I did too). I used a trifle glass and did the layers. Cocoa dust on the top with some yummy dark chocolate covered coffee beans finished my Tiramisu presentation! :) mangiate bene How to make Italian Tiramisu Recipe from scratch Making tiramisu from scratch requires about 2 to 3 days (including refrigeration) from when you start making the mascarpone to the time the tiramisu is served.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 4 people
  • Yields: makes approximately 24 big ladyfingers or 45 small (2 1/2" to 3" long) ladyfingers. The Recipe makes 6 servings
  • For the zabaglione:
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar/50gms
  • 1/4 cup/60ml Marsala wine (or port or coffee)
  • 1/4 teaspoon/ 1.25ml vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • For the vanilla pastry cream:
  • 1/4 cup/55gms sugar
  • 1 tablespoon/8gms all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup/175ml whole milk
  • For the whipped cream:
  • 1 cup/235ml chilled heavy cream (we used 25%)
  • 1/4 cup/55gms sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon/ 2.5ml vanilla extract
  • To assemble the tiramisu:
  • 2 cups/470ml brewed espresso, warmed
  • 1 teaspoon/5ml rum extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup/110gms sugar
  • 1/3 cup/75gms mascarpone cheese
  • 36 savoiardi/ ladyfinger biscuits (you may use less)
  • 2 tablespoons/30gms unsweetened cocoa powder
  • For the Mascarpone Cheese - makes 12oz/ 340gm of mascarpone cheese
  • 474ml (approx. 500ml)/ 2 cups whipping (36 %) pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized), preferably organic cream (between 25% to 36% cream will do)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • For the Ladyfingers/ Savoiardi Biscuits
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 6 tablespoons /75gms granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup/95gms cake flour, sifted (or 3/4 cup all purpose flour + 2 tbsp corn starch)
  • 6 tablespoons /50gms confectioner's sugar,

I am posting the Methods in the Order I made them.

Method for making Mascarpone  (Made them 2 days prior to final assembly)

Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a wide skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering. Pour the cream into a medium heat-resistant bowl,

2. then place the bowl into the skillet.
3. Heat the cream, stirring often, to 190 F. If you do not have a thermometer, wait until small bubbles keep trying to push up to the surface.
4. It will take about 15 minutes of delicate heating. Add the lemon juice and continue heating the mixture, stirring gently, until the cream curdles.
5. Do not expect the same action as you see during ricotta cheese making. All that the whipping cream will do is become thicker, like a well-done crème anglaise. It will cover a back of your wooden spoon thickly.
6. You will see just a few clear whey streaks when you stir. Remove the bowl from the water and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a sieve with four layers of dampened cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Transfer the mixture into the lined sieve.
7. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface (be patient, it will firm up after refrigeration time).
8. Once cooled completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (in the sieve) overnight or up to 24 hours. I placed it on a strainer which in turn I positioned on top of a bowl!
9. Vera’s notes: The first time I made mascarpone I had all doubts if it’d been cooked enough, because of its custard-like texture. Have no fear, it will firm up beautifully in the fridge, and will yet remain lusciously creamy.

Keep refrigerated and use within 3 to 4 days.

Method for making Ladyfingers (Made them 2 days prior to final assembly)

Preheat your oven to 350 F (175 C) degrees, then lightly brush 2 baking sheets with oil or softened butter and line with parchment paper. Beat the egg whites using a hand held electric mixer

11. until stiff peaks form.
12. Gradually add granulate sugar and continue beating until the egg whites become stiff again, glossy and smooth.
13. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with a fork and fold them into the meringue, using a wooden spoon.
14. Sift the flour over this mixture and fold gently until just mixed.
15. It is important to fold very gently and not overdo the folding. Otherwise the batter would deflate and lose volume resulting in ladyfingers which are flat and not spongy.
16. Fit a pastry bag with a plain tip (or just snip the end off; you could also use a Zip loc bag) and fill with the batter.
17. Pipe the batter into 5" long and 3/4" wide strips leaving about 1" space in between the strips.
18. Sprinkle half the confectioner's sugar over the ladyfingers and wait for 5 minutes.
19. The sugar will pearl or look wet and glisten. Now sprinkle the remaining sugar. This helps to give the ladyfingers their characteristic crispness.
20. Hold the parchment paper in place with your thumb and lift one side of the baking sheet and gently tap it on the work surface to remove excess sprinkled sugar.

Bake the ladyfingers for 10 minutes, then rotate the sheets and bake for another 5 minutes or so until the puff up, turn lightly golden brown and are still soft.

Inspite of the precaution that I took to reduce the heat of my oven to 330F (since my oven gets v hot v fast), my first batch burned.

I can imagine what would have happened at 350F ;)

22. But my next batch at 320F for 6 minutes worked just fine. So check on your Oven settings and adjust accordingly.
23. Allow them to cool slightly on the sheets for about 5 minutes and then remove the ladyfingers from the baking sheet with a metal spatula while still hot, and cool on a rack.

Store them in an airtight container till required. They should keep for 2 to 3 weeks.

Method for the zabaglione: (Made them 1 day prior to final assembly)

Heat water in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place a pot with about aninch of water in it on the stove. Place a heat-proof bowl in the pot making sure the bottom does not touch the water. In a large mixing bowl (or stainless steel mixing bowl), mix together the egg yolks, sugar, the Marsala (or espresso/ coffee), vanilla extract and lemon zest. Whisk together until the yolks are fully blended and the mixture looks smooth. Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler or place your bowl over the pan/ pot with simmering water.

25. Cook the egg mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 8 minutes or until it resembles thick custard. It may bubble a bit as it reaches that consistency.

Let cool to room temperature and transfer the zabaglione to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

Method for the pastry cream (Made them 1 day prior to final assembly)

Mix together the sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.

27. To this add the egg yolk and half the milk. Whisk until smooth.
28. Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling. Add the remaining milk a little at a time, still stirring constantly. After about 12 minutes the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble.
29. (If you have a few lumps, don’t worry. You can push the cream through a fine-mesh strainer.) Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

Method for the whipped cream (on the day of final assembly)

Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl

31. . Beat with an electric hand mixer or immersion blender until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside.

To assemble the tiramisu:

Have ready a rectangular serving dish (about 8" by 8" should do) or one of your choice. Mix together the warm espresso, rum extract and sugar in a shallow dish, whisking to mix well. Set aside to cool.

33. In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold.
34. Add the prepared and chilled zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined.
35. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Set this cream mixture aside.
36. Now to start assembling the tiramisu. Workings quickly, dip 12 of the ladyfingers in the sweetened espresso, about 1 second per side. They should be moist but not soggy.
37. Immediately transfer each ladyfinger to the platter, placing them side by side in a single row. You may break a lady finger into two, if necessary, to ensure the base of your dish is completely covered.
38. Spoon one-third of the cream mixture on top of the ladyfingers, then use a rubber spatula or spreading knife to cover the top evenly, all the way to the edges.
39. Repeat to create 2 more layers, using 12 ladyfingers and the cream mixture for each layer. Clean any spilled cream mixture; cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight.
40. To serve, carefully remove the plastic wrap
and sprinkle the tiramisu with cocoa powder using a fine-mesh strainer or decorate as you please. How to make Italian Tiramisu Recipe from scratch Cut into individual portions and serve. How to make Italian Tiramisu Recipe from scratch

Recipe Reference

mascarpone cheese – vera’s recipe (baking obsession) for homemade mascarpone cheese.

savoiardi/ ladyfinger biscuits – recipe from cordon bleu at home

tiramisu – carminantonio's tiramisu from the washington post, july 11 2007

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By Sana on Jun 20, 2011

I used to come to your site again and again to read the post thinking I will make it from scratch someday. But yesterday I had guests coming over and I couldn't resist the cravings anymore so I bought the lady fingers and mascarpone and used instant coffee granules for espresso\"blush\". I made it only three hours prior to serving so my servings weren't as  beautiful and perfect as yours, instead it fell into a sloppy pudding(mess). I'm sending you the picture with the same embarassment as I'd with my guests \"indecision\"But, my guests and husband licked every bit off the bowl and I couldn't stop myself after having one spoon. My efforts were paid off. Truly a "pick me up" \"laugh\". Thanks to you, I never thought I would be making it at home.

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By Aditi on Jul 14, 2010

Hii DK,

Long back I had left a comment on your Tiramisu post. I had said that I would
try it sometime later this year. Try I did....just last week to celebrate my wedding anniversary and it turned out really good. It does take a lot of work, but your detailed explanation and daywise step break up definitely made it extremely easier to plan and execute ;):). The only changes I made were for lack of having the original ingredients the recipe mentioned like Marsala wine and Espresso. So I just went ahead and used normal instant coffee and it worked just fine. Heaven on a plate it sure was!!




By Edak Ajufo on Sep 9, 2016

With the photograph, it looks so simple, will defintly try it. Thanks

By Edak Ajufo on Sep 9, 2016

Love it wil. Definely try it. With the photograph, it looked simple.

By Edak Ajufo on Sep 9, 2016

Very interesting, looks so simple, and detailed, though am yet to try it. But will do soon

By Carla on Mar 31, 2015

In the beginning of the recipe we have made 340 gms of mascarpone and after says that we need 75gms of mascarpone to assemble the tiramisu. Can you please clarify the quantity of mascarpone that I have use on the step 33? Many thanks

By Joy Barker on Nov 30, 2014

I haven't ever heard of a pasturized or un all I know about is just plain whipping cream so I guess I will start looking for the kind you used Thanks For Sharing 8) :wink:

By Maria on Mar 3, 2014

I'm m going to use this for my homework at school YUM! :-P :-P :evil: 8) 8)

By olga fanin on Feb 12, 2014

:) looks delicious! perfect dessert for valentines day!

By tiramisù | espresso&lace on Nov 30, 2013

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By My plans once June Happens | Pesky Apron Strings on May 28, 2013

[...] Using a step by step [...]

By AJ on May 20, 2013

Hi! I've made it! However, after I've set it as a cake form (without any container or cup), the cake started to fall down. Seems like it's too heavy or the filling is too soft? Would be glad to try again with some modification.

By Timeless Tiramisu :: All Things Andy Gavin on May 16, 2013

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By How to make Tiramisu « English Forum on Dec 4, 2012

[...] Image from [...]

By Chelsea on Sep 25, 2012

Hey, the recipe is great, but i couldn't find how the mascarpone cheese was used. Do you just fold it in the cream mixture. It doesn't say what to do with it

Pls refer step 33. --DK

By ORKED on May 19, 2012

i will try asap

By Apeksha on Apr 4, 2012

Hi, Can I substitute eggs with anything else..that's vegetarian?

By Lakshmi Venugopal on Feb 26, 2012

pls let me know if i can omit leamon rind in ur tiramisu recepi....will it affect the end product taste...somehow i hate the strong taste leamon gives.....will the end product have strong leamon taste if i use it?

By Lakshmi Venugopal on Feb 26, 2012

pls let me know if there is a problem if i omit the leamon zest par in the tiramisu will it change the end product....somehow i hate the leamon rind strong taste....will putting it bring the strong taste of leamon in the end recepi....

By Sana on Apr 21, 2011

Hi The pictures are lovely and method is well explained , I come back again and again to read it, but I cannot find pasteurized cream only ultra pasteurized :( What can I do. I really want to make this one

By cindy on Jan 12, 2011

thanks for the recipe!! but if i can't find heavy cream for the whipped cream, is there any other substitute???

By lucy on Oct 15, 2010

this recipe is good! i successfully made tiramisu! thank you for this awesome recipe with awesome pics! :-P

By Pallavi on Sep 24, 2010

Looks yummy!!! But this is way too much trouble for lazy bones like me!!

By Monika on Sep 22, 2010

This looks very tempting. My toddler looked at the photo and said it is beauuutifuuuuuuul. Although it is described step by step (hats off to you). I do not think I will be able to make it. I am doubting my potential. :) It looks amazing and divine :). I feel like eating it straight from the pictures...........

By mrinali on Apr 16, 2010

:your reciepe is too good thanxidea: :wink:

By hannah on Apr 10, 2010

What if i do not want to add the ladyfinger biscuit ? :idea:

By bob on Mar 20, 2010

wow, look at that, I'm already drooling, great color, looks delicious!!!

By sreelu on Mar 15, 2010

D this is awesome, I would love to try this out sometime

By neha on Mar 12, 2010

hey... the recipe looks yummm... but being pure vegetarians.. cant use egg could you please suggest a substitute to egg / egg yolk

I am not really sure but I think using the commercially available egg substitute (use as per direction given in the packet) might work too! --DK

By bakingaddict on Mar 4, 2010

Wow such amazing photos and beautiful tiramisu. :)

By Aditi on Mar 2, 2010

Do you have any position for an assistant open?? My goodness that is somee you I too tasted Tiramisu just 3 months back and since then it haunts me in my dreams..with your detailed description I am almost tempted to try making it but I don't want to get ahead of myself just yet...but definitely this year sometime. Great great presentation!!

LOL, yes I do need assistants to finish off all the recipe requests I have in the pipeline :) Yes pls do give it a try when you can. Its worth it :) --DK

By Uma on Feb 28, 2010

that's an absolute pleasure for eyes as well as stomach. looks so good and tempting.

By on Feb 28, 2010

Your Tiramisu looks wonderful and tasty.Beautiful presentation.

By Aparna on Feb 28, 2010

Like you said, we announced it just in time. Now you'll not have to go shopping for the fingers and mascarpone! :) Your tiramisu looks beautiful. Thanks for baking with us.

By Priya on Feb 28, 2010

Am speechless and this tiramisu is definitely a killer, wat a great efforts u have put...Definitely a worth to try!!

By Priya Srinivasan on Feb 28, 2010

Hey DK, u have got lots and lots of patience, Wonderful Post, Tempting tempting tiramisu!!!! Wish i can grab it fm the picture :)

By Alka on Feb 27, 2010

Ok fainting now after going thru this crazy stuff..will be back again once I regain consciousness.

By Suma on Feb 27, 2010

Drool!! Drool ! Drool! Awesome.. time i tried making this at home!!

By Siri on Feb 27, 2010

Phew! I was tired looking at those pictures..wonder how you made it:) Kudos to your patience and hardwork babes... :-D Add this to the list please ;) Remember the goodies you promised to make me when we meet :D ..just watched Karthik Calling Karthik.. Awesome watch yaar..I am officially a fan of Farhan Akthar now!!! Hugs, Siri

By Divya on Feb 27, 2010

OMG..Fantastic Dhiv..this post is just too too good.I've never tasted Tiramisu and the steps to make it always put me off,but your step by step instructions are tempting me..I might just end up making it..great job:)

By Ellie (Almost Bourdain) on Feb 27, 2010

Stunning tiramisu. Very nice presentation. Well done :)

By Rashmi on Feb 27, 2010

OMG! Awesome Awesome Awesome....... I love tiramisu. I have been meaning to try it at home and have even brought the mascrapone cheese, I cannot do it from scratch as you did, but will try doing it semi homemade.

By Mary on Feb 27, 2010

Beautiful step-by-step photos! And the finished result looks delicious too! It's nice to be able to customize to our liking and still do the challenges. I made a raspberry Amaretto one and loved it.

By Luci on Feb 27, 2010

You tiramisu looks beautiful. I will agree my favorite part of this challenge was making the cheese.

By John SleepingBear on Feb 27, 2010

Lucky you checked the challenge before shopping, you might have been up to your ears in different versions of Tiramisu. I couldn't find anything but Ultra as well, even at my Whole Foods. Perhaps one day I will get a shot at making the mascarpone. Wonderful job!!!!!

By Indhu on Feb 27, 2010

ohh woww... the amount of detail in this post is stunning... lovely step-by-step instructions dhivya :)

By Champa on Feb 27, 2010

Looks awesome. Will try it when I have company next time.

By usha on Feb 27, 2010

omg... that is so tempting! Perfect pictures! If I could, I would just grab one from your blog!

By Pavani on Feb 27, 2010

Yumm..yumm, Mmmm..mmmm.. is all I can say right now.. Tiramisu looks absolutely divine.

By Yaelian on Feb 27, 2010

Beautiful tiramisu! And great step by step instructions :-P

By rachel on Feb 27, 2010 tempted to make them again.

By Deepa G Joshi on Feb 27, 2010

OMG :-o This is a killer..I am drooling over the pics so much. I love tiramisu. Love the servings in the dessert glasses.