Marsala Tiramisu

  • Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 12h 30m
  • Rating ****

8 servings

Tiramisu, which means "pick me up" in Italian, uses espresso to help moisten and flavor the crisp ladyfinger cookie layers. Either brandy, rum or Marsala is typically used to flavor the fluffy custard cream filling (also referred to as zabaglione). Here the Sicilian Marsala wins out, adding complexity to this superb version of the must-try Italian dessert.


  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2/3 cup sweet Marsala wine
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 3 containers (8 ounces each) mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly brewed espresso mixed with 1/2 cup water or 1 cup very strong hot coffee (brewed from 1 1/4 cups water and 3/4 cup ground espresso beans)
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua liqueur
  • 200 grams (7ounces) Champagne biscuits (crisp ladyfinger cookies)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder


Whisk 1 cup sugar, Marsala and yolks in medium metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of gently boiling water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water). Whisk constantly until candy thermometer registers 165 degrees F and mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Remove bowl from over water. Gradually add mascarpone, whisking vigorously until well blended.

Combine espresso, Kahlua and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in another medium bowl; stir until sugar dissolves. Completely submerge 1 biscuit into espresso mixture for 1 second; shake off excess liquid. Place biscuit in bottom of 13 x 9-inch oval gratin dish. Repeat with enough biscuits to just cover bottom of pan. Spoon half of mascarpone mixture over biscuits, spreading to cover. Dip remaining biscuits one at a time into espresso mixture and arrange atop mascarpone mixture (discard remaining espresso mixture). Spoon remaining mascarpone mixture over biscuits, spreading to cover. Sift cocoa powder over top, covering mascarpone mixture completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

DO-AHEAD TIP: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.

Recipe created exclusively for by Sarah Taverner.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 6341

nutrition information per serving

690 calories; 47g total fat; 413mg cholesterol; 97mg sodium; 50g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 12g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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