The recipe below is from my cooking class in Florence, Italy, recently. Even as the chef, Giovanni, was dictating the recipe below, he was telling us his own personal preferences for variations. (For example, he doesn't use any liquer, saying there are enough other flavors already, and it thins the cream filling.) The picture at right is my own variation of the recipe: I don't like coffee; so I substituted a chocolate infused red wine, and instead of dusting the glasses with cocoa powder I used a layer of fudge sauce. Use the recipe below, given in its original form, as a base and create your own favorite dessert!
Ingredients (serves 5)
1 lb mascarpone cheese, room temperature
4 eggs, room temperature
5 Tbls (heaping) sugar
5 Tbls sweetened cocoa powder
10 ladyfingers (or other similar biscuits/cookies, or spongecake)
1 C coffee
5 Tbls liquer (Baileys, Kahlua, rum...)
Separate eggs. Whisk sugar into egg yolks a little at a time. Add mascarpone to yolk mixture, stirring until very smooth. Whisk egg whites until soft peaks form; fold gently into yolk mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Add liquer to egg cream mixture.
Dust serving dishes with cocoa. Add a layer of cream mixture, dust with cocoa, top with ladyfingers that have been dipped in coffee. (If using spongecake, slice and cut to fit serving dishes.) Top with another layer of cream, and dust tops with more cocoa powder.
Serve garnished with chocolate shavings, additional biscuits, whipped cream...