There’s a good reason why you can almost always find tiramisu on a restaurant’s dessert menu: It’s really quite delicious. And it’s especially good on a hot summer night, at the end of a light meal – creamy mascarpone and rum-flavored mousse, paired with espresso-soaked ladyfingers – it’s one of those indulgences that never feels too rich or too heavy as you’re enjoying it. Espresso and rum are certainly two of my favorite pick-me-ups. This recipe can easily be cut in half, if you only want 4 servings.

Makes 8 parfaits


Espresso Soak:

  • 2 cups (472 grams) brewed espresso or strong coffee, hot
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

Mascarpone Cream:

  • 6 large (112 grams) egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water
  • 1 pound (454 grams) mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) dark rum, such as Myers’s or Flor de Caña
  • 1 cup (232 grams) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract


  • 1 14-ounce (400-gram) package Savoiardi ladyfingers (such as Flora brand, which is in the cookie aisle of the supermarket)


  • Dutch-processed cocoa powder for dusting top of parfaits
  • Chocolate-covered espresso beans


Make the Espresso Soak:

  1. In a glass measure, combine the hot coffee and sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the vanilla extract and set the coffee aside.

Make the Mascarpone Cream:

  1. In a medium, stainless steel bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and water. Place the bowl over a pot of barely simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and continue to whisk constantly, until the mixture thickens and is hot to the touch, about 7 minutes. Immediately scrape the mixture into another bowl to stop the cooking, and then place this bowl into a slightly larger bowl half filled with ice water. Allow to stand, stirring occasionally, until cool, about 8 minutes.
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream and vanilla extract at high speed until soft peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  1. Rinse and dry the bowl of the mixer and, using the paddle attachment, beat the mascarpone cheese at medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually beat in the cooled egg yolk mixture and the dark rum and mix until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and whisk the mixture a few times to make sure it is well blended and smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream.

Assemble the parfaits:

  1. Have ready eight 8-ounce serving glasses (preferably straight-edged) and a round cookie or biscuit cutter that is the same diameter as the glasses (if you use glasses that are curved, you will need 2 cookie cutters to match the different diameters of where the ladyfinger layers will go).
  1. On a cutting board, arrange 3 ladyfingers so that they form a rectangle, letting the edges touch. Using the cutter, cut out a circle from the ladyfingers (it will be in 3 pieces). Dip one of the pieces in the espresso syrup and place it in the bottom of a glass. Repeat with the other 2 pieces, so that you have an espresso-dipped round at the bottom of the glass. Spoon a generous ¼ cup of the Mascarpone Cream on top. Repeat the cutting and dipping of ladyfingers, and arrange another round over the cream. Fill the remainder of the glass with Mascarpone Cream. Refrigerate the parfait while you assemble the remaining parfaits. Refrigerate the parfaits, loosely covered, for at least 6 hours.

Garnish the parfaits:

  1. Right before serving, dust the top of each parfait generously with sifted cocoa powder and top with a chocolate-covered espresso bean.

Recommended Equipment:

12 Pieces Round Biscuit Cookie Cutter Set – Stainless Steel Circle

OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Balloon Whisk


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Tish Boyle
Tish Boylehttps://pastryathome.com
Tish Boyle is the Managing Editor of Pastry Arts Magazine, a food writer and cookbook author with expertise in baking, desserts and chocolate. A graduate of Smith College and La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine, Tish has written several dessert and baking books including Chocolate Passion, Diner Desserts, The Good Cookie, The Cake Book and Flavorful. Co-writing credits include Payard Desserts and the Grand Finales series of books.

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