A staple on restaurant menus, Tiramisu is a quintessential Italian dessert that is also easy to make at home. It can be layered up to 24 hours ahead and chilled until serving time.
Split the ladyfingers in half with a serrated knife. Line the bottom of an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with some of the ladyfingers, cut sides down, trimming as needed to fit into the pan. Drizzle or brush ladyfingers with 2 tablespoons brewed espresso or strong coffee (it can be hot or cold). Set the pan aside.
Grate the Chocolate
Using a box grater or handheld grater, carefully pull a 1-ounce white chocolate baking square or white baking bar across the grater panel repeatedly until it is completely grated; set aside. Repeat to grate a 1-ounce piece of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and set aside.
Whip Together a Fluffy Filling
In a medium mixing bowl combine mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture just until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight when the beaters are lifted). Add chocolate liqueur and beat just until combined.
How to Layer Tiramisu
How to Chill Tiramisu
Cover the tiramisu with plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours. This chill time allows the flavors to meld and creates a better texture.
Just before serving, remove the tiramisu from the refrigerator and uncover. Place a couple of spoonfuls of unsweetened cocoa powder in a small mesh strainer or sifter, and dust the top of the tiramisu with the cocoa. Cut the dessert into 12 squares. If desired, coarsely chop chocolate-covered coffee beans with a large sharp knife and garnish each square with some of the beans.
How to Store Leftover Tiramisu
Cover and store leftover tiramisu in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.