Easy twist on a classic dessert

Gretchen Mckay
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

I tend to eat a lot of Popsicles for dessert during summer because they’re sweet and cooling when the weather on my back porch is anything but. But I’m not against making something from scratch as long as it doesn’t require turning on the oven.

This easy tiramisu fits the bill. Whether you use a hand mixer or a stand mixer (my preference), it whips together in a couple of minutes with just a handful of ingredients.

There are countless recipes for this classic, espresso-flavored dessert. Some call for beating the eggs and sugar over a pot of simmering water or include heavy whipping cream in the ingredient list. I skip all that, adding mascarpone (a soft Italian cream cheese) directly to the egg and sugar mixture after it’s been creamed in a mixer. It’s easier and tastes just as good.

My son had just given me a bottle of dark rum, so I used that to flavor the espresso, but you could also use Kahlua, brandy, Amaretto or Frangelico; traditional recipes include sweet marsala wine.

This recipe includes raw egg yolk, so if that won’t do, look for pasteurized eggs.

Easy Summer Tiramisu

6 egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

16 ounces mascarpone cheese

2 cups freshly brewed strong espresso or coffee, cooled slightly

1/4 cup dark rum

Bittersweet cocoa powder, for garnish

Dark chocolate shavings or finely chopped dark chocolate, for garnish

Combine egg yolks, sugar and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a stand mixture. Beat on high speed until well mixed, and the egg mixture is light, creamy and very thick, around 4 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese and beat on medium speed just until smooth and well combined.

Pour espresso or coffee and rum into a shallow dish or bowl. Have an 8-by-8- or 8-by-10-inch baking dish at the ready.

Dip each ladyfinger into the coffee/rum mixture for a few seconds. You want the cookie to be soaked but not fall apart. Place soaked ladyfingers on the bottom of the baking dish. You may have to break some in half for them to fit the bottom.

Spread evenly half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers and top with remaining mascarpone mixture.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-8 hours to allow the flavors to mingle and the tiramisu to set up.

Before serving, use a fine-mesh sieve to dust the top with a heavy-handed layer of cocoa powder. Garnish with chocolate shavings or finely chopped chocolate.

Serves 4-6.