Tiramisu and Zabaglione: Two Classic Italian Desserts

Tiramisu and Zabaglione: Two Classic Italian Desserts

Tiramisu & Zabaglione -
Two Classic Italian Desserts

by Cheri Sicard of FabulousFoods.com


TiramisuTiramisu is one of the most popular sweet endings ordered at restaurants, but it isn't difficult to make at home. While traditional Tiramisu calls for raw egg yolks, I substituted Zabaglione, another classic Italian dessert that is an egg custard flavored with sweet wine for this version. The flavor is out of this world, with the dessert wine in the Zabaglione giving the Tiramisu even more depth. Of course, you also serve just the Zabaglione on its own over a slice of plain cake or ladyfingers or even with fresh berries.

This recipe makes enough to layer the Tiramisu ingredients in a shallow 8-inch square pan. For the Tiramisu in the photo I doubled both this recipes to create a giant version of the dessert to feed a crowd at a party. As you can see, I served this version in a trifle bowl.

Mascarpone is a very mild cream cheese available in gourmet stores and specialty markets. Ladyfingers are small oblong sponge cakes sold in most stores.


6 egg yolks
6 T sugar
1 C sweet white wine, such as Moscato

Serves 4 as a dessert or use with 1 recipe Tiramisu

The Zabaglione is cooked over simmering water in a double boiler. This will prevent the eggs from curdling, so take care the water doesn't come into contact with the bottom of the bowl.

In the top of the double boiler (or a metal bowl that can be suspended over simmering water), beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick and foamy. Beat in the wine. Set the mixture over the simmering water and whisk constantly for about 4-5 minutes. If the mixture heats too quickly, remove it from the heat for a few seconds. You want to cook the eggs slowly so the mixture stays very smooth. It will look foamy and be slightly thick. Serve immediately, or chill for making Tiramisu.


7 eggs, separated
7 T sugar
Two 2 1/2 C mascarpone cheese
3/4 C espresso or strong black coffee
3-4 T cocoa powder
about 24 ladyfingers
1 recipe Zabaglione (follow link for recipe)

Serves 8-10

Beat the Zabaglione with the mascarpone cheese until smooth.

Pour the espresso into a shallow dish. Quickly dip a ladyfinger, turning to dip both sides, taking care to wet it, but not so much that it falls apart. Place a layer of soaked ladyfingers on the bottom of your dish. Spoon half of the mascarpone mixture over the soaked ladyfingers. Repeat with another layer of espresso soaked ladyfingers, followed by another layer of the mascarpone/zabaglione mixture. Sift cocoa powder over the top, cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Note: For a decorative striped effect on the top of your Tiramisu, cut out 1 inch wide strips of waxed paper and arrange in stripes on the top layer of mascarpone. Sift cocoa over the top, then carefully life off the waxed paper strips. The Tiramisu will now have cocoa stripes on the top layer.

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