Stop the presses. This is one of the best desserts I’ve ever made. I know I lavish praise (I’m biased, what can I say) in this space on the food I make, but this dessert was above and beyond. (Maybe this will teach me a lesson of how to be more discerning in reviews of my food!). Not only that, it was surprisingly easy to make! After each bite, no matter where we were in conversation, I had to exclaim “This is so good!” I don’t usually do that. In fact, saying it once usually gets the need to say it out of my system. In this case, I couldn’t help it! You won’t either!
Source:Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
2-1/2 cups strong brewed coffee, room temperature
1-1/2 T. instant espresso granules
7-8 T. dark rum
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1-1/2 pounds mascarpone
3/4 cup cold heavy cream
14 ounces (42 to 60, depending on size) dried ladyfingers (savoiardi)
3-1/2 T. cocoa
1/4 cup grated semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (optional)
1. Stir coffee, espresso, and 4 tablespoons rum in a wide bowl or baking dish until espresso dissolves; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat yolks at low speed until just combined. Add sugar and salt and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula once or twice. Add 3 tablespoons rum and beat at medium speed until just combined, 20 to 30 seconds; scrape bowl. Add mascarpone and beat at medium speed until no lumps remain, 30 to 45 seconds, scraping down bowl once or twice. Transfer mixture to large bowl and set aside. Taste to see if you need the extra tablespoon of rum.
3. In now bowl (no need to clean bowl), beat cream at medium speed until frothy, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Increase speed to high and continue to beat until cream holds stiff peaks, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes longer. Using rubber spatula, fold one-third of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture to lighten, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Set mascarpone mixture aside.
4. Working one at a time, drop half of ladyfingers into coffee mixture, roll, remove and transfer to 13×9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. (Do not submerge ladyfingers in coffee mixture; entire process should take no longer than 2 to 3 seconds for each cookie.) Arrange soaked cookies in single layer in baking dish, breaking or trimming ladyfingers as needed to fit neatly into dish.
5. Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers; use rubber spatula to spread mixture to sides and into corners of dish and smooth surface. Place 2 tablespoons cocoa in fine-mesh strainer or sifter and dust cocoa over mascarpone.
6. Repeat dipping and arrangement of ladyfingers; spread remaining mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers and dust with remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons cocoa. Wipe edges of dish with dry paper towel. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 to 24 hours. Sprnkle with grated chocolate, if using; cut into pieces and serve chilled.