Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,258
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

I'm posting an authentic Tiramisu recipe from San Francisco's renowned North Beach district, full of wonderful Italians for way more than a century.  Their impact on the city has been felt in so many ways, not the least of which has been in the culinary arts.  For your delectation is a wonderful and rich dessert, which I make just a few times a year.  Enjoy!


If you are here to disparage this recipe, due to a certain level of complexity, please don't.  Just go on to another forum.  Perhaps you'd prefer making a Jell-O centric dessert instead, and that's fine, too.


Here we go - This is absolutely wonderful!


North Beach Tiramisu


Source: The Junior League of San Francisco


North Beach is an Italian enclave in San Francisco with sidewalk cafes, coffeehouses and restaurants.  My first meal there was at the “Spaghetti Factory” located in an alley, sometime in the mid-60s.  One of the desserts often enjoyed with coffee or espresso on our cross town trips to North Beach was Tiramisu.   I make this recipe about twice a year and thought to share it with you.


48 small ladyfingers or finger-sized slices of pound cake

2 Tbs instant espresso powder

1 Tbs plus ¼ cup cane sugar

1 cup not water

2 large eggs, separated

4 Tbs light rum or Marsala wine

6 oz mascarpone cheese, room temp

1 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups heavy cream

1 Tbs powdered sugar

12 oz bittersweet chocolate, grated

(If you have a good quality semi sweet chocolate, use it)

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting


Preheat oven to 325.  Place the ladyfingers or pound cake slices on a baking sheet and bake for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  In a small bowl, combine the espresso, 1 Tbs sugar, and hot water. Stir in 3 Tbs of the rumor Marsala and set aside. 


In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and ¼ cup sugar until the mixture forms a slowly dissolving ribbon on the surface when the beaters are lifted.  With a wooden spoon, blend in the cheese until smooth.  Add the remaining 1 Tbs rum/Marsala, the lemon juice, and vanilla.  In a deep bowl, beat the cream with the powdered sugar until soft peaks form.  Fold into the egg mixture.  In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks form.  Fold into the cream mixture.


To assemble, dip the ladyfingers/pound cake slices, one at a time, into the espresso (do not soak) and place in a 9 x 13” glass baking dish.  Sprinkle half of the grated chocolate over the ladyfingers.  Spread half of the cream mixture over the fingers.  Add another layer of ladyfingers dipped in the espresso mixture and the remaining grated chocolate.  Spread the remaining cream mixture over.  Dust the top with cocoa powder.  Place in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Serve and Enjoy!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,860
Registered: ‎02-07-2011

We order this dessert when we go to our favorite pizza place across the street from us.  Often wondered what the exact ingredients were and how "nutritious" it was.  Now I know!!  Thanks!


Frequent Contributor
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎06-10-2015

Easy recipe and quite good.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,832
Registered: ‎10-26-2010

Thank you!!!  Sounds wonderful!!!

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,290
Registered: ‎03-02-2014

@sfnative  - thank you for posting this.  I lived in SF back in the eighties and have many fond memories of the food and the city.  Is Cafe Trieste still in buisness?  That was my first introduction to espresso.  It's hard to find a homemade tiramisu in most Italian restaurants around here (northern VA).

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,172
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

I buy my favorite ladyfingers from Amazon.  They are the Bonomi brand.

Super Contributor
Posts: 255
Registered: ‎11-14-2013

I'm concerned about eating raw eggs....what do others thing about this....?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,192
Registered: ‎09-22-2010

The raw eggs kind of concern me also but I eat over easy eggs all the time and raw fish often.  I have eaten tiramisu many times and never realized it was raw eggs.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,087
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

 @NonnaJoanie . I didn't think the recipe seemed difficult but I have the same reservation as you.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,483
Registered: ‎03-14-2010



I am Italian and tried for years to find a good recipe for tiramisu.  I did find one on the container of the mascarpone but after making it I found it to be lacking something.  Living in NH and being close to Boston I always had a difficult time finding it in restaurants.  Lately there are several restaurants that serve it now.  Thank you so much for this recipe.  I have copied it and definitely intend to make it.  Thanks for posting it!