Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy
Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.
This fashionable dessert is made all over Italy but is said to have origins in the north. The importance of using the right ladyfingers is critical to the dessert. They must be dry and hard.
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup plus 1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 cup espresso or strong coffee
2 tablespoons cognac
1 cup (10 ounces) mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa
About 20 Italian ladyfingers, toasted.
In a bowl, combine the egg yolks, the ½ cup sugar, the 1 tablespoon espresso, and the cognac. Beat the mixture with a rotary beater until foamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mascarpone cheese and beat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mixture is very smooth.
In a large bowl, combine the egg whites and the 1/8 teaspoon sugar and beat until the egg whites are stiff. Gently fold the mascarpone mixture into the whites. Set aside.
Pour the 1 cup espresso into a shallow bowl. Dip both sides of each ladyfinger quickly in the espresso. Arrange a layer of 6 or 7 ladyfingers in the bottom of a decorative serving bowl. Spread about one third of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Continue layering the ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture, finishing with a mascarpone layer. Sift the cocoa over the top and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
To serve, spoon into individual dessert dishes.
This recipe is from Ciao Italia by Mary Ann Esposito.