Venice’s favorite dessert has become popular in chic Italian restaurants in America. The name means “pick me up,” and it does indeed give us a lift! You can use ladyfingers or a genoise as a base—the latter being a little more elegant but also a bit more work. We prefer the peasant version.
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cooking for a date, Family Get-together
Dietary Considerationkosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian
Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, light, rich, sweet
Type of Dishdessert
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
- 1 tablespoon sweet Marsala
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 6 tablespoons strong coffee or espresso, cold
- 12 ladyfingers, broken into thirds
- 2 ounces milk chocolate, grated
Beat the egg yolks and confectioners’ sugar together with an electric mixer until pale and thick. Slowly beat in 1 tablespoon of the liqueur and the Marsala. Add the mascarpone, and beat until the mixture is thick and smooth.
In a small bowl, combine the coffee and the remaining 1 tablespoon liqueur. Drop three ladyfinger pieces in the bottom of each of six wine glasses. Drizzle half the coffee mixture over the ladyfingers. Then spoon in half the mascarpone, and sprinkle with half the grated chocolate.
Repeat the layers with the remaining ladyfingers, coffee, mascarpone, and chocolate. Cover and chill for 2 hours before serving.
1989 Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins