5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup + 4 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup Marsala wine, Brandy, or Rum (we use rum)
1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled
1 lb Mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups espresso or very strong coffee
1 tbsp vanilla
2 packages Savoiardi cookies (ladyfingers)
Chocolate shavings (optional - but yummy!)
First, make the zabaglione:
In a bowl that will fit over a pot of hot water (or a double boiler), beat eggs and sugar together until mixture is a pale yellow, about 3 minutes.
Bring water to a boil in pot, then reduce to a simmer.
Place bowl with eggs yolks mixture over water and gradually beat in the wine, brandy or rum.
Keep beating continuously.
Cook about 7 minutes, stirring to scrape sides and bottom of bowl.
Mixture will be thick. (It always takes me a lot longer than 7 minutes - so be patient! You'll know when it's thick and ready!)
Cover bowl and refrigerate 45 minutes.
When zabaglione is chilled:
Whip the heavy cream and 4 tbsp sugar together to form whipped cream.
Gently fold Mascarpone cheese and zabaglione into the whipped cream. (Be very gentle! If you over do it, you will get a watery mess!)
Now mix together the espresso, 1/4 cup wine, brandy or rum, and vanilla.
Arrange ladyfingers in a single layer in a 9 x 13 pan.
Spoon about 1/2 to 1 tbsp coffee mixture over each cookie.
Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the cookies.
Sprinkle with cocoa powder.
Repeat two more times: cookies, coffee, cheese mixture, cocoa.
If you wish, you can add chocolate shavings on top - it looks pretty, and it tastes nummy!
Refrigerate and serve! I let it set up in the fridge for about 3-4 hours before serving.