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Coco&Me » Blog Archive » Ladyfingers & tiramisu

January 22nd, 2012

Ladyfingers & tiramisu

(Tiramisu in individual cup – with ribbon design stenciled.)


High time for another recipe! So here goes (…a long one)! ^^


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Literally meaning ‘pick me up’, this Italian dessert is made by alternately layering coffee-dipped ladyfingers*, mascarpone mixture, & cocoa powder.


Interestingly, the history of tiramisu doesn’t stretch long. You’d think that such a classic Italian dessert would record back from perhaps generations of family tradition or perhaps it might have been conceptualized soon after when zabaglione was invented all the way back in 1570**. But no, although exact origin is not certain, the earliest tiramisu recipe found*** is from only less than 30 years ago.


There are many tiramisu recipes out there, but it mainly separates into two camps: raw-egg version or pasteurized egg version. I prefer the pasteurized version – It feels safer that way. I also prefer to use Kahlúa (Mexican coffee flavored rum based liqueur) in the cream mixture as opposed to Marsala wine, as I think it marries the coffee-soaked ladyfingers & the cream better.


The following recipe will make 4 & a half tea-cups of tiramisu like the picture above. Obviously, you can make it in one big dish if you prefer. And for the ladyfingers, you can ofcourse use store bought instead, but nothing beats homemade on this one! ^^ So let’s first look in to making the ladyfingers!


First thing we need to do is to prepare the baking surface with guide lines so that you can pipe the ladyfingers straight with the same length & thickness. – If using baking parchment sheet, use pencil & ruler. Just make sure to reverse the paper so you pipe on the surface without pencil-side. – On a Silpat, you can’t draw, so dust icing sugar instead.


Coco&Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com - Ladyfingers recipe


On a Silpat, the back of the ladyfinger will come out smooth & shiny. It comes out rough on baking paper. It is also easier to remove/ lift off the ladyfingers with silpat’s non-sitck surface compared to having to peel it off on baking paper. Silpat also provides even heat transfer to your baked goods. This is because the glass fibres in it increases the heat transfer. I have experimented on both sheets, & I had to add another 4 minutes to the baking time when using baking paper.


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Makes about 30 to 35 fingers. (Please note: for the tiramisu recipe below, you will only use half as much)



3 medium eggs

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

60g icing sugar

45g cornstarch

30g icing sugar

60g plain flour

Icing sugar for dusting the top
Things you need to prepare beforehand:
Piping bag
Small fine-mesh sieve (like a tea-strainer)
Hand mixer
Small bowl with water
Chosen baking sheet with guide grid.



  1. 1. Start pre-heating the oven to 220°c, as it takes a while to heat up.
  2. 2.Measure/ prepare all ingredients for smooth operation. (Separate the 3 eggs to two bowls, the egg yolks in to a small bowl & the whites to normal size bowl). Also have the piping bag & scissors ready.

Coco&Me - Coco and Me - www.cocoandme.com - Ladyfingers / tiramisu recipe

  1. 3. First, let’s make meringue. In a normal sized bowl, whip the 3 egg whites to foamy stage.
  2. 4. Add 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar. Keep whisking.

  1. 5. Next gradually add the 60g icing sugar while whisking. Whisk until soft peak stage.
  2. 6. Add 45g cornstarch & give it a final whip until hard peaks form. Leave this bowl aside for now.

  1. 7. Next, quickly go on to the small bowl with the 3 egg yolks. Dump the 30g of icing sugar, then on high speed, whip until it has tripled in volume. It should look paler & fluffier. (To avoid washing-up, just use the same whisk attachment as the one you were using to whip the egg whites!!)
  2. 7. Spatula in the yolk mixture in to the bowl with the meringue. Fold it in roughly. (Not too much because you will be giving it a proper mix in a moment with the flour anyway!)

  1. 8. Sieve in the 60g plain flour.
  2. 9. Gently fold the mixture just until no flour remains to be seen. (Don’t over-mix!!)

  1. 10. Place the mixture in to the piping bag & then snip off the tip so that you have a 1cm piping-hole. (Notice in the picture above that the baking sheet is reversed so we’re not piping directly on pencil marks.)

  1. 10.Slowly & precisely pipe neat lines using the guides on your baking sheet.
    (Tip on piping: Start piping about 1cm inside the guide. Squeeze the batter out until it’s a round blob & until it touches the guides. Keeping the pressure flow, gradually & slowly move the piping bag across to make a line.)
  2. 11. Your piped shapes will have a ‘kink’ sticking out where you lifted the piping bag off. So dab minimal amount of water on to your finger & press the pointy bits down very gently & smooth that bit of surface. (If you don’t do this, you will end up with ladyfingers that have burnt pointy bit.)

  1. 12. Sieve plenty of icing sugar on the shapes. Do this twice. (This way, you get the pearlized look, aswell as help it lift the top surface up & give it ‘feet’ around the sides just like a macaron.)
  2. 13. Bake in the pre-heated oven. Half way through baking, take it out & turn them over so that the underside becomes dry too.

  1. 14. After about 15 minutes, lift one of the biscuits & tap the back, if it sounds hollow it is done. Take it out & let it cool on the baking tray. You can see from the picture it is baked through & is dry all the way to the middle. It’ll have a nice snap.




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Strong coffee – cold

3g gelatin powder

30g Kahlúa

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

10g Kahlúa

3 egg yolks

80g sugar

250g double cream

250g mascarpone cheese

cocoa powder



Coco&Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com- creamy tiramisu recipe - homemade - design - individual cups

  1. 1. Make strong coffee & set aside to cool.
  2. 2. Sprinkle 3g of gelatin powder in to 30g of Kahlúa liqueur. Stir it straight away with a spoon. Set this aside. (Top tip to successfully dissolving gelatin is to add powder to liquid, not visa versa)
  3. .

  1. 3. Next, we pasteurize the eggs: In a small mixing bowl, combine 10g Kahlúa, 3 egg yolks & 80g sugar. Put this bowl over a bain marie & bring the mixture temperature to 60°c, whisking all the time. Beat it for 3 minutes. The mixture will be fluffy & have doubled in quantity. (Note: 60°c temperature for 3 minutes destroys salmonella organisms.)
  2. 4. Microwave the Kahlúa-gelatin liquid from step 2 for 20 seconds or until the gelatin granules have dissolved. Set this aside to cool.
  3. .

  1. 5. In a separate bowl, whip the 250g double cream until it forms stiff peaks. Set aside.
  2. 6. In another bowl, combine 250g mascapone cheese to the egg-mixture from step 3.


Coco&Me - Coco & Me - www.cocoandme.com- creamy tiramisu recipe - homemade - design - individual cups

  1. 7. Then fold in the whipped double cream from step 5 & the cooled gelatin from step 2.


  1. 8. Have the cold coffee liquid in a shallow bowl, & one by one, soak a ladyfinger in cold coffee on both sides for one second each.
  2. 9. Align one layer.


  1. 10. Layer mascapone mixture to half way.
  2. 11. Sieve cocoa powder.



  1. 12. Run your finger around the cup to remove excess cocoa powder.
  2. 13. Then repeat by placing another layer of coffee soaked ladyfingers, after that, cream – this time all the way to the top. Finally run your finger around the rim again to tidy up.
  3. 14. Refrigerate for 4 hours.


  1. 15. Sieve cocoa powder. (use a stencil to customize the top if you like!)
  2. 17. Finally, use fingertip to go around the glass rim to tidy up the cocoa powder.
  3. 18. Serve cold. Buon Appetito!!

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* Ladyfingers are also called ‘savoiardi’ (=from Savoy) in Italian, ‘biscuits à la cuillère’ or ‘boudoirs’ in French, ‘lange vingers’ (=long fingers) in Dutch, ‘Löffelbiskuit’ (=spoon biscuit) in German. ** Detailed instruction of ‘Zambaione’ was mentioned in a cookbook called ‘Opera’ by Bartolomeo Scappi in 1570. *** Book titled I Dolci del Veneto (The Desserts of Veneto) by Giovanni Capnist in 1983. In here, it says “(Tiramisu is) a recent recipe with infinite variations from the town of Treviso” & is a “discovery of restaurants more than family tradition.”


  1. Yum! Kahlua is definitely the way to go ;)

    Comment by petoskystone - January 22, 2012 1:19 pm

  2. Petoskystone, I’m glad you agree about the Kahlua! – I love that liquer anyway, we sometimes drink White Russian, ever since we saw Coen brother’s The Big Lebowski more than 10 years ago…! x

    Comment by tamami - January 22, 2012 5:10 pm

  3. Waow… I think i read your recipe a hundred times, only for the pleasure of watching those mouth-watering pictures again and again… I wish i’d have the patience to make it, i hope i will someday soon!

    Comment by Bonjour Juliette - January 24, 2012 1:36 pm

  4. Bonjour Juliette, thank you! ^^ & how lovely to hear from you again!! It actually is not so complicated to make, especially if you use store-bought ladyfingers! ^^ Please have a try one day! xx

    Comment by tamami - January 24, 2012 2:21 pm

  5. Beatufil Tiramisu Cups! It is probably the dessert i like the most! Very professional steps!
    Cheers from Argentina!

    Comment by Magdalena Garbarini - January 25, 2012 3:26 pm

  6. Thank you very much Magdalena!!!!!!! I’m so glad that you think it looks good! ^^ I wonder, are Tiramisu popular in Argentina too? Here in UK, it almost certainly will be in the menu in any Italian restaurant! x

    Comment by tamami - January 25, 2012 5:14 pm

  7. It is the prettiest tiramisu I have ever seen! Congratulations! I like that you can see the layers from the side of the clear cup too.

    Comment by Louise - January 25, 2012 5:19 pm

  8. Louise! Thank you!! ^^ And extra thank you for raising the point about the visible sides of the tiramisu. I forgot to mention it in the post about that!! x

    Comment by tamami - January 25, 2012 5:22 pm

  9. I can confirm tiramisu is no traditional family recipe (both parents are from the area and it did not exist in their tradition) but I find it hard to believe it is only 30 years old!! Most versions are actually easier than this one, it can be made in a flash using store bought ingredients and this is the secret of its success, I believe.

    Your version is beautiful, and than you for the detailed recipe for ladyfingers. They are just so much better when homemade, they are a great guilt-free treat, and any improvement on my technique is most welcome.

    Comment by Caffettiera - January 25, 2012 5:24 pm

  10. Tamami, Thanks for the comment on my blog and happy belated new year to you too. Will you drop a email? I want to write you!

    Comment by Alison - January 25, 2012 5:41 pm

  11. Hello Caffettiera! Thanks for the lovely comment! About the tiramisu being a recent invention – I also found it hard to believe so! I got the info from: http://www.annamariavolpi.com/page38.html
    – I think it’s wonderful that a dish can be so world famous in such a short space of time!
    – I bet yours is very tasty – there’s nothing like food that’s been prepared by native! For example, if I’m going to a Japanese restaurant I’d like the chef to be Japanese! xx
    Alison, I’ve sent you email!! xx

    Comment by tamami - January 26, 2012 12:40 am

  12. Hey Tamami!

    Guess what, I’m nearly a week overdue now…….. slowly going bonkers! :(

    I’ve completely exhausted Mogumon now, I even collected all the sick Mogumons! I need an update! Hahaha. Just can’t find another game I like as much! x x

    Comment by Jan - January 27, 2012 6:20 pm

  13. Wow Jan!!! Any minute now, huh?!!! The baby knows best when to come out. I’m so excited for you! In a cyber-kind of way I feel like an autie to you! ^^ Wishing you all the best Jan, & I so look forward to hearing the news! xx

    Comment by Tamami - January 27, 2012 9:37 pm

  14. Hi Tamami, my Favorited….I really love tiramisu and I could even eat for breakfast, LOL

    Thanks for sharing your recipes and your tiramisu in teacup is so cute. Love it.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Comment by Amelia - January 28, 2012 1:25 pm

  15. Would love to get in touch with you but didn’t see any contact details on your site. How can I reach you? (Or please can you email me)? Thanks, J.

    Comment by Jennifer | The Make Lounge - January 29, 2012 4:47 pm

  16. Amelia, me too, I’ll eat tiramisu any time of day!! xx

    Comment by tamami - January 29, 2012 4:52 pm

  17. Jennifer, I have sent you an email!

    Comment by tamami - January 29, 2012 5:12 pm

  18. あけましておめでとうございます!



    Comment by Aya - January 31, 2012 11:30 am

  19. Aya san,
    明けましておめでとうございます!!!そしてブログチェック有り難うございます! ティラミスは結構簡単なのでぜひトライして下さいねっ!今年はブログの方にも力を入れて行くつもりなんで、また是非ブログに寄って下さいね!珠美

    Comment by tamami - January 31, 2012 12:02 pm

  20. Oh wow T, your version looks amazing – congratulations on conquering the Queen of Deserts (in my eyes).
    See you very soon for some choc sampling ;)XXX

    Comment by Layla - February 2, 2012 10:49 am

  21. Hello Layla!!! Cheers for commenting on here! Well, I’m sure you “know” your tiramisus young lady, so I’m very happy that you like it! C U! xx

    Comment by tamami - February 2, 2012 12:32 pm

  22. Hi Tamami,

    I’ve just come across your blog and it’s amaaaaazing!! I’m a trainee pastry chef and really want to start my own market stall selling cakes and other sweet treats and would be so grateful for any advice you might have for a rookie starting out…?! Would be so grateful for any help at all – maybe a short email??

    Your blog is truly inspirational :)

    Gita xxx

    Comment by Gita - February 14, 2012 12:07 am

  23. Hello Gita! wow, thank you for your amazing comment! So lovely,,,! – If there are any questions you would like to ask me regarding market stall, it might be better if you could use this comment function on the blog instead of email – that way, others in similar shoes as you can read our conversation & take advice! xx
    Hope to hear from you again then! :)

    Comment by tamami - February 14, 2012 1:14 am

  24. Thanks Tamami – no probs!

    First query is about what alterations you had to make to your kitchen at home to make it comply with environmental health standards? Were your local council helpful? I have been doing research on the Foods Standards agency website and it all seems a bit scary!

    I have TONS of questions…but let’s start with this one first!!

    Have attempted to make an exploding chocolate tart today that Heston showed on his programme a few weeks back – it’s looking ok so far, hoping it sets in time for our family Valentines meal tonight :)

    Thanks again for the help, so appreciated

    Gita xx

    Comment by Gita - February 14, 2012 4:28 pm

  25. Hello Gita,
    – no, I haven’t made kitchen alterations! :) Like you say, your local council is really your best bet (not me!) for help as they have leaflets, advisors, etc on hand to talk about issues if there are any. – I haven’t watched the Heston programme you mentioned but the name “exploding…” sounds very much him. Lol! – Anyway, I suppose you’ve done your food hygiene certificate right? If not, that’s probably the first thing to do, & there, you’d also be able to ask many questions. Also, if you have a market that you have ear-marked, talk to the stall holders/ market manager there for advice. All the best, t

    Comment by Tamami - February 14, 2012 10:59 pm

  26. Hi Tamami,

    Thanks for the advice, am going to get on with doing as much research as possible!


    This is Heston’s recipe – first one of his I tried and eating it was definitely fun :)

    Thanks again,

    Gita xx

    Comment by Gita - February 14, 2012 11:33 pm

  27. Gita, A-ha! popping candy, hence “exploding”… He does seem to like using that stuff. And reading the recipe, it reminded me that I also bought a paint-gun about 6 years ago to do a similar thing (but it didn’t work – the nozzle clogged up…)…
    Anyway, good luck with everything – I forgot there was one more thing to add – quite often, markets are already at full capacity for traders, & so you might be better off first to find a market that would take you on before your extensive research…
    (For example my market will not take on any more cake sellers as there are too many!)
    All the best, t xx

    Comment by tamami - February 18, 2012 12:02 am

  28. Hi, Just nominated your blog for a Versatile Blogger Award. Check it out: http://l2ee2l.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/me-you-like/. Paying it forward. Mahalo, The Mouse.

    Comment by The Mouse - February 21, 2012 7:33 pm

  29. The mouse, many many thanks for the nomination!!! Yay!!! ^^

    Comment by tamami - February 27, 2012 10:14 am

  30. Hi Tamami!
    I also have some questions for you! I’ve been reading your blog for the last few years, never commented though. I live in Germany, but am moving back home to Seattle in 2 months and was thinking of making my own baked goods and desserts stall at a local market, while trying to find a job again. And I think it’ll be a good job for me because I’ll start going back to uni soon. I’ll be in London in a week, and will make sure to stop by your stall when there. Do you think I could maybe help out at your stall for the Saturday to see how you do it and how you prepare (just volunteering)? Just so I can see what I’ll need to do to run my own stall. If not, that’s alright.
    Kumiko Matter

    Comment by Kumiko M - February 24, 2012 6:30 pm

  31. Hello Kumiko! :)
    Thanks for your comment! – If you like, you’re most welcome to come to my stall & stand next to me/ observe! The regulations are that I’m not allowed to have ‘helpers’ unless they are registered, so I won’t be able to ask you for any help, but we can definitely have a chit-chat for half an hour, while I’m working, & you’d get to see what working at a stall is like!? (Mind you, it’s certainly not rocket science! ^^) It’ll be lovely to have company!

    Comment by Tamami - February 25, 2012 12:49 am

  32. Wonderful! That’s good enough for me! :) I’m excited to get to meet you. Thanks!

    Comment by Kumiko M - February 25, 2012 12:56 am

  33. Hi Kumiko! That’s great! See you next week then! (I’m there from 9:30 ~ 4:30. But am too busy until 11am setting up, etc, so it’ll be better if you arrive after that!) ^^ Lookin’ forward!

    Comment by Tamami - February 25, 2012 1:00 am

  34. delizioso!
    Tiramisu flavors are so pure, yet so many places get it wrong. Love the graphic touch as usual!!

    Comment by SB Kimmy - March 3, 2012 3:22 am

  35. SB Kimmy, hooray! Thank you so much for the lovely comment! xx I’m craving tiramisu right now…!

    Comment by tamami - March 4, 2012 9:26 am

  36. Tamami, I want!!!! you need to make this for the market!!!

    Comment by Anh - March 16, 2012 1:09 pm

  37. Anh!!! he he!! ^^ I’ll make it for you next time I go around to yours! xx

    Comment by Tamami - March 16, 2012 6:47 pm

  38. Hi Tamami! I love the way you share recipes (even though you bake stall). I have been following your blog and enjoy it so that I have nominated you for… come and have a look. :) Tina

    Comment by Tina - March 26, 2012 5:43 am

  39. Hi Tina! Wow!!!!!! Thank you very much for nominating my blog! What an honour! Made my day! Thank you very much! xx

    Comment by Tamami - March 26, 2012 11:06 am


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