For the last several years I make tiramisu around the fourth of July because it is JA's favorite desserts and it so happens to also be his birthday.  I am not a big coffee drinker because I don't really like the flavor and the amount of sugar and cream I need to add just so I can drink it down is way more than than my body needs to consume.  I also think I was scared, from an early age, of the smell of that stale coffee as you board an airplane.  That smell still bothers me some to this day.  Now my wife she loves tiramisu and I have to admit I didn't eat a whole lot of tiramisu before being with her because of my lack of interest in coffee.  But over the years we have ordered quite a few and some really aren't that bad.  I think a moist ladyfinger is one strong key to making a good tiramisu along with a delicious cream.  I make my own ladyfingers but instead of making individual ones I bake the whole batter like a sponge cake.   The cream I make with a mixture of mascarpone,

XO Cafe Patron


Dark Cocoa Patron

, and


.  The combination of all these flavors makes for a spectacular cream filling along with the soft ladyfingers and coffee.  This tiramisu is definitely one that I can enjoy regardless of my lack of love for coffee.  Here is the recipe for a

large baking dish

this makes about 20 pieces  (so for a small batch you might want to cut in half and do in a large loaf pan)

For the Ladyfingers

6 oz of all purpose flour

9 eggs separated

9 oz of sugar

1 lemon juiced

4 1/2 oz of cornstarch

1 tsp of vanilla

Mascarpone filling

2 tsp of gelatin powder (

all beef


1/2 cup XO Cafe Patron

1/2 cup CoCoa Patron

1/4 cup of Amaretto

3/4 cup of sugar

2 cups of heavy cream

3  8 oz containers of mascarpone room temperature (1 1/2 lb)

4 cups of coffee (4 (mug cups not standard) not hot)

coco powder for dusting

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

For the ladyfingers

Sift all purpose flour and set aside.  Take egg yolks and a third of the sugar and whip in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.  Then add the all purpose flour to the egg yolk mixture and whip for another minute until well incorporated.  Then scrape out the mixture into a large mixing bowl and set aside.  Rinse and dry the mixing bowl for the stand mixer and add egg whites, on third of the sugar and lemon juice.  Whip on high for about 2 minutes until the egg whites are foamy and tripled in volume.  Then add the remaining sugar and cornstarch and whip until stiff peaks.  Then take a third of the egg whites and fold them into the egg yolk batter.  I don't worry about deflating my egg whites incorporating them into the egg yolk batter on the first time around.  I try to incorporate the batter completely on the first 1/3 of egg whites.  Then I add the second 1/3 of egg whites and again trying to insure that the batter is well incorporated but still trying maintain the air in the egg whites a little more than the first time.  By the time you add the last 1/3 of egg whites you should have a light airy batter and you can take real care in folding in the last 1/3 of egg whites.  If you wanted to put the batter into a piping bag and pipe individual ladyfinger you could here.  I decided to line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the batter on top.  Then level the batter out with a spatula (doesn't have to be completely level and perfect) and place in the oven.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown.  Take out and let it cool completely.

For the Mascarpone filling

sprinkle gelatin with a half cup of XO patron and set aside.  Then take egg yolks, sugar, and the rest of the alcohol and plate in a bowl over a bain marie.  Whisk constantly by hand or hand mixer until the mixture reaches a thick sabayon consistency.  Then remove from the heat and place in a stand mixer and whip until it is cool to the touch.  Transfer to a bowl and place in the refrigerator.  Whip heavy cream to stiff peaks, set aside.  Then take the mascarpone and add it to the cooled egg yolk mixture.  Heat up the patron - gelatin to dissolve, cool slightly and add to the mascarpone mixture.  Finally fold the whip cream into the mascarpone egg mixture and place in the refrigerator to keep cold. 

Put it all together.

I cut the ladyfinger sheet cake in half.  I then took the casserole dish and poured in a cup of coffee in the bottom of the dish.  Then place the half of the ladyfingers sheet cake on top of the coffee.  The sponge cake should soak up all the coffee on the bottom of the cake.  I add another half cup or so of coffee on the top of the cake facing you.  Then I take mascarpone filling and place on top of the ladyfinger sheet cake.  Using a off set spatula smooth out the layer of filling.  Then with the second half of the ladyfinger cake pour or with a pastry brush, dab the ladyfinger cake with another cup of coffee.  Then place the side that you have brushed face down on top of the mascarpone cream to make the second layer.  Then brush the last side with the remaining coffee.  Then add the remaining mascarpone filling on top to make the top layer.  I always have a little extra filling left over but it makes for a great snack.  Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two to help set the tiramisu.  Before serving take a small strainer of coco powder and dust the top of the tiramisu to put the finishing touches on a classic tiramisu.  Serve and enjoy!