SMiLes by Meg

Individual Tiramisu

So I know I said I would be making sourdough starter, and I will, but it would be really mean of me not to pass along this recipe to you all first. On Friday night, which was our last night staying with Barb and Randy, Erik and I cooked dinner. Or, more accurately, Erik cooked dinner (Bucatini all’Amatriciana) and I put together an easy, but impressive looking, dessert. Because we were going to be serving a pasta dish, I wanted a lighter, but still Italian, dessert. And, surprisingly, I had never made just a regular tiramisu for the blog. 

At the end of my teaching career I made a Nutella Tiramisu, but that had a hazelnut twist and chocolate sauce you wouldn’t normally find at an Italian restaurant. Sometimes, you don’t want something quite that fancy: enter (almost) classic tiramisu.

This is almost classic for two reasons. First, I made them in individual servings, rather than one cake, largely because I participated in a cooking class last summer where we made tiramisu in champagne flutes and thought that was super cool. Second, Alaska grocery stores don’t always have everything you want, and I couldn’t find ladyfinger cookies anywhere, so I improvised with some Madeleines. Other than that, though, this is as by the books as it gets!

First, in a medium mixing bowl, beat 1/4 cup sugar and egg yolks on medium to high speed until pale yellow and tripled in volume. Transfer the egg yolk mixture to a large bowl. Back in the medium bowl (after wiping it clean, beat the heavy cream and 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form. Add the mascarpone and beat until soft and spreadable. It may look chunky, but test it by swirling a spatula inside – you’ll notice that it’s actually quite light. Fold the mascarpone mixture into the egg yolk mixture in the large bowl. Next, for assembly. First, shave some unsweetened cocoa (or use unsweetened cocoa powder) into the bottom of each individual ramekin. Barb had some cool mini trifle bowl type things, but wine glasses or champagne flutes would work equally well. In a shallow bowl, combine espresso and spiced rum. You could use a different liquor if you wanted, but the spiced rum tasted pretty good. I broke the madeleines in half, which I think works better for individual servings. Dip each half in the espresso, and place two halves in the bottom of each serving dish. Spoon some of the custard on top. You should use about half of the total custard at this stage. Shave more chocolate onto the custards. Dip more ladyfinger halves in espresso, and push down on top of custard. Spread remaining custard on top, covering ladyfingers. Dust with cocoa powder or shaved bittersweet chocolate. Cover the serving dishes with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, at most about a day. When ready to serve, you’ll have trifle-like tiramisu ready to go!As I said, super easy. Later this week, maybe in its own new special bread section, check out my adventures in sourdough!


Individual Tiramisu


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 3/4 heavy cream
  • 1 cup (8 oz) mascarpone
  • 1 cup espresso
  • 2 tablespoons spiced rum
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 12 ladyfingers


  1. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar on medium to high speed until pale yellow and tripled in volume. Transfer to large bowl and wipe out medium bowl.
  2. In medium bowl, beat heavy cream and 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form.
  3. Add mascarpone and beat until spreadable and light.
  4. Fold mascarpone mixture into egg yolk mixture in large bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. Combine espresso and rum in a shallow bowl. Break ladyfingers in half.
  6. Dust cocoa powder into bottom of each of six individual serving dishes.
  7. Dip ladyfinger halves into espresso. Put two halves into the bottom of each dish.
  8. Using about half of the custard, spoon some into each dish.
  9. Repeat with another layer in each dish: sprinkle cocoa powder, dip ladyfinger halves and place them, spoon in custard, and dust with more cocoa powder.
  10. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

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