Tiramisu, translated as "pick me up" from Italian, is a dessert that consists of ladyfinger sponge cakes dipped in coffee or espresso that are sandwiched between layers of a sweet custard mixture. The origins of the dessert, while undeniably Italian, are disputed, with some camps asserting the dessert was created in the late 1960s at a restaurant called Le Beccherie, while others believe tiramisu is a variation on a classic 19th century dessert called zuppa inglese. No matter what the actual origins are, there's no disputing the popularity of this flavorful and complex dessert.
Beat together the egg yolks and the sugar until the mixture is a very light yellow.
Separately, beat the egg whites until they are fluffy and firm.
Mix the egg yolks and sugar with the mascarpone cheese.
Carefully fold the egg whites into the mixture. This should lead to a creamy mixture.
Combine the coffee and alcohol in a bowl. Dip the ladyfingers cookies one by one, very quickly, in the coffee and alcohol mixture and lay them in a rectangular or square baking dish. Spread a layer of the creamy mixture on top of the ladyfingers. Sift cocoa powder through a mesh strainer and cover the top of the creamy mixture.
Repeat these steps to create a second layer. Refrigerate for at least four hours before serving.