Welcome to Real Baking with Rose, the personal blog of author Rose Levy Beranbaum.

Watch the Baking Bible
Come Alive

Spend A Moment with Rose, in this video portrait by Ben Fink.

Check out my new creations

Rose's Alpha Bakers

Rose's Alpha Bakers for the Bread Bible


Get the blog delivered by email. Enter your address:

Eat your books
Previous Book

Roses' Cookbooks

The Baking Bible

The Baking Bible

Buy from Amazon: USA | Canada | France | Germany | UK

Buy from IndieBound

Next Book

Current Announcements

FORUMS will be discontinued by end of October. If one of you is interested in hosting the Forums please contact Woody at: woody@ptd.net

A Special Holiday Dessert

Dec 1, 2012 | From the kitchen of Rose


Tira Misu: Quite Possibly the Most Adored Dessert in the World

This recipe offering is actually a special tribute to Anna Teresa Callen, one of the most beloved Italian cooking teachers, who died this year. She loved to tell the story about when I was working on The Cake Bible and asked her about the recipe called Tira Misu which translates as Raise Me Up. The name appealed to my sense of poetry, though I had never heard of it before nor did most people outside of Italy. All that was to change in short order as it swept the world. In Japan they even created a drink with the TIra Misu profile. Anna Teresa used to laugh heartily as she told people her response to my interest in including it in my book which was: When Rosa asked for the recipe, I said: Why would you want such an oRRRdinary dessert?! You write such elegant and extraordinary recipes!

Tira Misu is the ultimate comfort food. It is essentially a voluptuous mascarpone and Marsala egg yolk custard, layered with Savoiardi biscuits that have been dipped in a coffee syrup, topped with cocoa.In its very simplicity It is one of life's perfect things. It didn't make it into The Cake Bible, but it was included in my next cake book 20 years later, Rose's Heavenly Cakes. And here it is now. The ordinary that became the extraordinary by virtue of its excellence.

Tira Misu

Serves 14 to 16

8 large egg yolks, preferably Safest Choice pasteurized, room temperature133 ml5.3 ounces150 grams
superfine sugar3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons, divided6 ounces175 grams
sweet Marsala1/4 cup (59 ml)2 ounces59 grams
freshly brewed espresso (see Note)2 cups (473 ml)16.6 ounces472 grams
pure vanilla extract2 teaspoons, divided..
Mascarpone, preferably imported, softenedabout 2 cups17.6 ounces500 grams
heavy cream, cold1 cup (236 ml)8.2 ounces232 grams
Savoiardi (Italian ladyfingers)3610.5 ounces300 grams
garnish: unsweetened cocoa powder OR bittersweet chocolate, 60 to 61% cacao, grated1 tablespoon OR 1/3 cup1 ounce28 grams

Equipment: A 13 by 9 by 2-inch (3 quart) baking pan

Place a medium mixing bowl and the beaters in the refrigerator to chill for the whipped cream.
Have ready near the range a silicone scraper and medium bowl.
Mix the Batter
In a large round-bottomed bowl, whisk together the yolks, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and 3 tablespoons of the Marsala and set it over a saucepan with simmering water that does not touch the bottom of the bowl. If you have an unlined copper bowl you can use it directly on a low flame.
Whisk constantly until the mixture approximately triples in volume and begins to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes. Be careful not too overcook the yolks to prevent scrambling! An instant read thermometer will register 165 to 170˚F/75˚C.
Immediately scrape the mixture into the bowl by the range. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes or until completely cool.
Espresso Syrup
In a medium bowl, stir together the hot espresso and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the sugar, until dissolved. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and remaining 1 tablespoon of Marsala. Pour half of the syrup into a shallow pan and reserve the remainder for the second layer of ladyfingers.
Mix the Mascarpone and Egg Yolk Mixture
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, on low speed beat the mascarpone about 10 seconds or until creamy. Raise the speed slightly and gradually beat in the cooled egg yolk mixture until completely incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl once or twice with a silicone spatula.
Whip the Cream and Add it to the Mascarpone Mixture
In the chilled mixing bowl, combine the heavy cream and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Whip on medium-high speed until the cream begins to thicken. Add the remaining teaspoon of vanilla and beat just until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised.
With a large silicone spatula, fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.
Dip the Ladyfingers in the Espresso Syrup and Compose the Tira Misu
Dip each ladyfinger very quickly in the espresso syrup, dipping first one side, then the other, taking no longer than about a full second a side. The goal is to moisten most of the biscuit but maintain a firm texture and an narrow inner core that is unsyruped. After each finger is dipped, set it in the large rectangular serving pan, forming 3 rows of 6 fingers for the first layer. If necessary press the fingers slightly to fit them into the pan. You should have less than 1/2 cup of espresso syrup remaining. If you have more, brush the syrup evenly onto the fingers until you have a little less than 1/2 cup. Now add the reserved syrup for the second layer to the remaining syrup in the shallow pan.
Spread half (3 cups) the mascarpone mixture evenly over the fingers. Dip the remaining fingers into the syrup and arrange a second layer on top of the mascarpone mixture. (You should have 1/2 to 3/4 cup of left-over espresso syrup which can be discarded. If you have more, again brush the fingers evenly until no more than 3/4 cup remains.) Pour the remaining mascarpone mixture over the top and use a spatula to spread it evenly.
Place the cocoa in a fine strainer, held over the Tira Misu, and sprinkle it lightly over the surface, using a small spoon to stir the cocoa in the strainer. I prefer a light sprinkle but more cocoa can be added if a thicker coat is desired.
Store airtight. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours up to 3 days before serving. The Tira Misu can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
To serve, use a large serving spoon or pancake turner to scoop out portions. For 12 servings, use a knife to score it in thirds the long way and quarters the short way.
Variation: Chocolate Snowflake Topping
Dark chocolate is a lovely and sweeter alternative to the bitter cocoa dusting but it must be grated so finely it melts on the tongue to maintain the harmonious creaminess of the dessert. The chocolate needs to be as hard as possible to grate finely so it must not be warm. If you have a large block of chocolate use a melon-baller to scrape the chocolate, making short, light strokes that do not cut too deeply into the chocolate. Alternatively, use the coarse holes on a cheese grater to grate the edge of a chocolate bar. Hold the chocolate with a paper towel so that your fingers won't melt the chocolate. Allow the flakes to fall onto a small cool baking sheet. Place the sheet inside a large plastic bag and shake the flakes into the bag. Avoid touching them because they melt very easily. Use a large spoon to lift the chocolate flakes and sprinkle them on the surface of the Tira Misu.
Note: this requires 8 shots of espresso. Alternatively, you can use 1/4 cup/0.5 ounce/15 grams Medaglio d'Oro instant espresso powder. Dissolve it with the sugar in 1 cup of boiling water. Remove it from the heat and add another cup of cold water, the vanilla and the remaining 1 tablespoon of Marsala.


Peter Nosko
Peter Nosko
05/ 1/2013 09:01 PM

Hello again Rose. I'm having lots of trouble making your simple Hot Fudge recipe (The Cake Bible, pg 88). I tried 3 times using the (gas) stove method. The first time, it was for a single recipe amount, and it nearly turned to chewy fudge. The last two times, I used 4oz chocolate and proportional amounts of other ingredients. It came out too thin, and gets grainy when refrigerated. There's a lot of action between 5 and 10 minutes of moderate boil. I am careful to not stir after boiling begins (just a few pans swirls). Is there a temperature I could hone in on or would you recommend the microwave and watching for the correct volume (probably sounds easier than doing). Thanks.


I LOVE tira misu...it is the ULTIMATE dessert, scratch that...thing to eat anytime! Forget regular food, I'll eat tira misu anytime! They say ambrosia is the food of the gods.......well, they are missing out...it shaouls be tira misu!!!!


Thank you for posting this recipe. I have made this recipe many times and it is a fan favorite in my home. I might try using Kahlua or amaretto the next time. Sounds intriguiging.


I have made this also and it is a favorite. Thanks for posting the recipe, Rose!


Your version sounds wonderful. I will be sure to make it this holiday. Thank you for sharing the recipe.


diana Seear
diana Seear
12/ 4/2012 02:29 PM

In our Italian family we like to use amaretto, rum or Kahlua instead of the sweet wine...just a matter of preference ...it does make a huge difference so try and find the Marscapone from Italy. If you want the best results you must use the finest ingredients.


Your tiramisu is one of my all-time favorite recipes! It's very generous to post it so that everyone can have the recipe.



(won't be displayed, but it is used to display your picture, if you have a Gravatar)


You may use HTML tags for style.

Rose's Chocolate Baking Essentials on Craftsy


Sign up for Rose's newsletter, a once-a-month mouthwatering treat!


Featured on finecooking.com