As requested by my brother as his birthday cake. I think next time I’ll swap the rum for some coffee liquor, but otherwise this a creamy not too sweet nearly perfect version of the classic Italian cake.
For the syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 freshly brewed espresso
1/3 cup rum
1/3 cup water
For the cake
1/3 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup heavy cream
450g mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 tea spoon vanilla extract.
45 ladyfingers (approx)
1-2 table spoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water for the syrup. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar.
2. While the sugar is melting, brew the coffee.
3. Pour the coffee into the sugar syrup and set aside to cool to room temperature.
4. In a heat proof bowl combine the sugar and egg yolks for the filling.
5. Whisk together until the sugar is fully dissolved and the color lightens (2 minutes or so).
6. Pour about 2 inches of water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Put the bowl over the saucepan (making sure the bottom doesn’t touch the water) and heat the egg yolks while whisking continually until tripled in volume and thick (8-10 minutes).
7. Remove the eggs from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Keep an eye on them and stir often as they cool.
Add the rum to the coffee syrup.
8. While the eggs are cooling whip the heavy cream.
9. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the mascarpone cheese and the vanilla extract. Whisk together until fluffy.
10. The eggs should be cool by now. The picture isn’t clear, but they will have continued to thicken as they cool, turning into a nice ribbon texture.
11. Add the eggs to the mascarpone.
12. Beat until well combined and smooth.
13. Remove from the mixer and fold in the whipped cream with a spatula.
14. Assembly time!
Pour the coffee syrup in a large shallow plate (here, I’m using a pie plate).
15. Soak lady fingers one or two at a time and line the bottom of an 8×8 pyrex baking dish.
Note : 9×9 would probably yield a cleaner result, but 8×8 is what I have so meh.
16. Spread 1/3 of the filling over the ladyfingers.
17. Repeat with more cookies.
18. Spread over 1/2 of the remaining filling.
19. Last layer of cookies.
20. Bang the dish a bit on the counter to make everything settle then add as much of the filling as will fit (here is the reason for the note about the dish’s size).
Wipe anything that spilled over, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and preferably overnight.
21. When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and dust cocoa over the surface.
22. Spoon out into portions and enjoy!