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Catholic Recipe: Tirami Su: "Pick-Me-Up" Dessert


  • 1 package (about 24) ladyfingers
  • 3/4 cup brewed espresso coffee, cooled
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 10 ounces unsalted cream cheese or Mascarpone, if available
  • 3 Tablespoons Cognac
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa


Serves: 6

Prep Time: N/A

Difficulty: • •

Cost: $$$$

For Ages:15+



Food Categories (1)


Feasts (1)

Also Called: Tiramisu

The Solemnity of the Annunciation is traditionally called "Lady Day", so how appropriate to incorporate a dessert with ladyfingers.

This traditional Venetian dessert is better if made the night before. In Italy we use Mascarpone, a sweet unsalted cheese. If you cannot find any at your local markets, you can substitute unsalted cream cheese.


1. Dip one side of each of the ladyfingers into the espresso and place them on a mall oval or round platter, coffee side down. Cover the bottom of the platter as well as possible.

2. Beat the egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar together until thick and lemon colored. Add the cream cheese/Mascarpone and Cognac and mix thoroughly.

3. Pour half the cream cheese/Mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers and sprinkle with 1 1/2 Tablespoons of the cocoa. Dip more ladyfingers in the coffee and make another layer, topping with the remaining cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the rest of the cocoa on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, over night if possible.

4. Just before serving, sprinkle the tablespoon of confectioners' sugar on top.

Recipe Source: Italian Cooking in the Grand Tradition by Jo Bettoja and Anna Maria Cornetto, The Dial Press, 1982