For best results, I suggest that you use authentic Italian products such as Gelmini Mascarpone, Balocco Savoiardi Lady Fingers, or Ferraro Cacao. These products are not hard to find, but if you can not find them, you can use domestic substitutes.
5 – large eggs (be sure they are very fresh)
1 – cup sugar
16 – oz. Mascarpone (at room temperature)
1 – 14 oz. package Savoiardi (Lady Fingers)
32 – oz. very strong coffee
3 – oz. coffee liquor (such as Kahlua)
Some recipes do not call for liquor, but I like to add the coffee liquor to enhance the flavor.
Make 4 cups of very strong coffee and set aside to let cool.
Add about two inches of water to a medium sized sauce pan that you can use as adouble-boiler and heat to a boil.
Separate the eggs, placing the yolks into a stainless steel mixing bowl that will fit on top of the sauce pan, and place the whites into a large mixing bowl for use later.
Before placing the bowl of egg yolks on the double boiler, add 3/4 cup of the sugar to the egg yolks and whisk until smooth. Turn down the heat on the boiling water to a simmer and place the bowl of egg yolks on top of the sauce pan. Whisk the yolks constantly for about 5 minutes until the yolks and sugar become frothy, forming a sponge (or zabaglione). Continue to cook the sponge a couple minutes more whisking constantly, until it is thick enough to form ribbons. Now remove it from the heat and let it cool.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar to the egg whites and whip with an electric mixer until stiff.
Next, place the room temperature mascarpone in a large mixing bowl and mix it with a spoon until smooth. Fold in the cooled egg yolk sponge a little at a time to the mascarpone.
Now fold in the whipped egg whites a little at a time until well blended.
Now assemble the Tiramisù. You should have enough cream and lady fingers to make two 8″ square Pyrex dishes or one 8″ x 12″ dish.
Spread a small amount of the cream on the bottom of the dish.
Pour the cooled coffee and liquor into a shallow dish in which you can dip the lady fingers. Dip the cookies one at a time into the coffee mixture by rolling them quickly to cover all sides. Do not leave the cookie in the coffee too long or it will fall apart.
Place the dipped lady fingers to make a complete layer. You will need to cut some of the cookies to make them fit properly.
Spread cream on top of the lady fingers to cover the cookies completely. Then make a second layer of dipped cookies and top with cream. Two layers will fill the dish to the top.
Cover with plastic wrap, but be careful not to let the plastic rest on top of the cream. You may want to insert toothpicks to keep the plastic wrap from sticking to the cream. Be sure to remove the toothpicks before serving. Let the tiramisù chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before serving.
Just before serving, sprinkle cocoa powder on top.