(CNN) — This dessert recipe was created by Chef Gianni Scappin's sister, Livia. Scappin, coauthor of "The Tucci Cookbook" and chef-owner of restaurants Cucina and Market St. in New York's Hudson Valley, loves her tiramisu because it's not too sweet or heavy. Her secret is a well-beaten egg-and-sugar mixture that minimizes the "eggy flavor." This recipe freezes well.
Makes 10 to 12 servings
Don't underestimate how long to beat the egg-and-sugar mixture.
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 pound mascarpone
1 cup crushed amaretti cookies (optional)
2 cups brewed espresso
1 tablespoon dark rum (such as Myer's) or orange-flavored liqueur (such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
One 7-ounce package ladyfingers
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1. In a medium-size bowl, beat the egg yolks with 6 tablespoons sugar until foamy and pale. Beat in the mascarpone until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer. When they are frothy, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Continue beating until they hold stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture, then fold in the crushed amaretti cookies, if using. Set aside.
Each ladyfinger gets a soak in a mixture of espresso and rum until slightly softened.
3. Mix the espresso with the rum in a shallow bowl. Soak each ladyfinger, one at a time, in this mixture until it has softened slightly and absorbed some of the liquid (The cookies should not be mushy, but your fingers should be able to make a light indentation in them.) Arrange the cookies in an 11x7x2-inch baking dish to form a tightly packed single layer. Use pieces of broken cookies to fill in any gaps. (If the cookies seem dry, a small amount of the coffee mixture may be spooned on top.)
4. Spread the mascarpone cream mixture evenly over the cookies. Shake the cocoa through a fine-mesh sieve to evenly coat the top. Refrigerate to set for at least 2 hours before serving.