This has to be my husband’s all time favorite dessert.  He’s not a big fan of sugary concoctions in general, but for this, he’ll make an exception.  You know what else?  He’s about to turn the big 3-0.  Even though it’s not my favorite dessert, I smile every time I think about it because of him.  Oh, don’t get me wrong—I still really, really enjoy it (it just doesn’t contain lemon as a main ingredient, so it gets knocked down a few notches).  This version is from Tyler Florence and is just perfect after sitting overnight in the fridge.  Did you know that if you buy your lady fingers that it doesn’t even require you to bake (OK, admittedly there is a little stove top time)?  Have fun with this decadent dessert.

7 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup sweet marsala, plus 2 tablespoons
8 ounces mascarpone, softened to room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup brewed espresso coffee
1 ounce dark chocolate
1/4 cup rum
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
48 ladyfingers
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Cream together egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Add 1/3 cup of the marsala and continue to whisk until mixture is thick and doubled in volume. This is basically a zabaglione. Remove from heat. Stir in the mascarpone until completely blended.

In a chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture, to lighten.

In a small saucepan, combine espresso, chocolate, rum, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons marsala. Heat gently, and stir to dissolve the chocolate. Then, chill the mixture to cool it down, about 15 minutes. Quickly dip each ladyfinger in the chilled coffee mixture and arrange in a single layer on a 9 by 13-inch glass baking pan. Do not soak the cookies or they will become too moist. Spread 1/2 the mascarpone cream evenly with a spatula on top of the dipped ladyfingers. Repeat with a second layer of dipped ladyfingers and remaining mascarpone cream. Sprinkle top with cocoa powder. Refrigerate overnight.

**I’ve been loving making little individual desserts in these ramekins with leftover batter, lady finger, etc. whenever my baking bowl runneth over.



I usually use extremely strong coffee in place of espresso, which is usually hot enough to melt the chocolate without melting everything over the stove.

I also put the chocolate/rum mixture in a shallow pie plate for easy dipping.