Circle B Kitchen

As I mentioned in the blog, finding savoiardi cookies can be challenging. If your store doesn't carry them and you don't have access to an Italian grocery store (I get mine at Whole Foods), some stores carry frozen lady fingers that are smaller and softer. I've had to buy those before, but simply thaw them out and place them on a baking sheet in a low oven (200 degrees) for about 15 or 20 minutes. You can just turn off the oven and let them sit in there and they will crisp up. They will work just fine.

1 1/3 cups sugar (divided)

6 large eggs

1 1/2 pounds mascarpone cheese (3 8-0z tubs)

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup instant espresso powder

3/4 cup chilled whipping cream

5 tablespoons rum

44 (about) crisp savoiardi or Italian ladyfinger cookies (from two 7-ounce packages)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Set mascarpone out to come to room temperature. Whisk until smooth.

Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to simmer in a medium saucepan. Add 1 cup of the sugar and the espresso powder; whisk until sugar dissolves. Mix in the cream and refrigerate until cold. (alternately, you can use 1 ½ cups of brewed espresso instead of the water and espresso powder).

Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Whisk the eggs and 1/3 cup sugar in medium metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk constantly for about 10 minutes or until the mixture just begins to thicken. Then set the custard over the bowl of ice water and whisk until cool. Remove the bowl from the ice water, mix in the rum, and fold in the mascarpone cheese. Set aside.

Submerge 3 cookies in the chilled espresso-cream mixture for 5 seconds. Place the cookies on the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish or trifle bowl. Working in batches, repeat with enough remaining cookies to just cover the bottom of the dish. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over cookies. Repeat soaking process with remaining cookies, placing them in single layer atop the mascarpone mixture. Spread the remaining mascarpone mixture over the cookies and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Whisk the cocoa and powdered sugar together in small bowl to blend. Sift the sweetened cocoa over the top of the dessert. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator and let it sit out for about 30 minutes before serving. (I like to sift a little more of the cocoa and powdered sugar mixture over the top just before serving).