I recently made this recipe, went over splendidly. It’s in the new Bon Appétit Desserts cookbook (pg 373). It’s a splendid recipe and a truly invaluable cookbook.
1 cup freshly brewed espresso
2/3 cup sweet Marsala, divided
3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
3 large eggs, separated, room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
26 crisp ladyfingers (Boudoirs, Champagne Biscuits, or savoiardi)
1/2 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 teaspoon natural unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
Stir hot espresso, 1/3 cup Marsala, and 1 tablespoon sugar in small bowl until sugar is dissolved. Chill until cold.
Meanwhile, vigorously whisk egg yolks, remaining Marsala, and 1/4 cup sugar in medium bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water); whisk until mixture is pale, thick, fluffy, and doubled in volume; about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in mascarpone cheese until blended.
Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl until foamy. Add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and beat just until peaks form. Fold egg white mixture into mascarpone mixture. Beat cream in same bowl until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture.
Working one ladyfinger at a time, quickly dip in coffee mixture to submerge, turning to coat. Arrange ladyfingers in single layer in 9-inch square baking dish, trimming cookies to fit as needed. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers. Using microplane grater, grate half of chocolate over mascarpone mixture, then sift 1/2 teaspoon cocoa over. Repeat with remaining ladyfingers, mascarpoine mixture, chocolate, and cocoa powder. Cover and chill at least three hours.
Notes to the recipe:
1. 26 ladyfingers isn’t nearly enough. I bought two boxes of ladyfingers from Whole Foods, 20 cookies per box ($2.99 per box, quite affordable), and used both completely. Plan for at least 40 cookies. Don’t use soft spongy ladyfingers, they’ll fall apart.
2. If you don’t have an espresso maker in your home you needn’t worry. You can get 8 ounces (1 cup; 8 shots) of espresso from Starbucks for about $6. Work with it immediately.
3. 9-inch pan is actually too big, go with an 8-inch pan. Two rows of cookies fit perfectly.
4. Don’t “dunk” the ladyfingers into a bowl. Rather, pour a bit of the expresso mixture into a shallow soup plate and roll the ladyfingers in the mixture. It will still coat the cookies evenly, but they won’t disintegrate till you get them situated in the pan.
5. While the dessert will be chilled through in 3 hours, it won’t be quite firm enough for serving. I’d say let it be all day (make early in the morning if you plan to serve it after dinner), or let it firm up over night. The cream really needs the extra time.