Adapted from Bon Appetit
1 cup strong coffee (or espresso)
1/2 cup Kahlua
1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese, divided
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (I used a scant 1/2 teaspoon)
4 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream, divided
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped, plus more for garnish
48 soft ladyfingers
Stir coffee, Kahlua and sugar in a small bowl till sugar dissolves. Set aside.
Whisk together 1 cup of the mascarpone, 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Cover and keep chilled.
Put 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Sprinkle with gelatin and let stand till gelatin softens, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Mix together egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cream and 1/4 water in a medium metal bowl. Place bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and whisk continuously till temperature reaches 160º...about 3-4 minutes. Remove bowl and whisk in gelatin till combined, then return bowl to heat and add the chocolate. Whisk till smooth and melted. Remove from heat and set in an ice bath (I partially fill the sink with water and ice cubes). Let custard cool about 5 minutes.
Whip remaining 3/4 cup cream to firm peaks. Fold half of cream into chocolate custard till well combined, then fold in remaining whipped cream.
1/4 cup of mousse in bottom of 8 one cup ramekins or teacups. Dunk 2-3
ladyfingers in the coffee liquid quickly, and lay on top of mousse.
Cover with more mousse, then another layer of dunked ladyfingers. Spread
about 2 tablespoons (or less) mascarpone mixture on top of ladyfinger
layer, and garnish with shaved chocolate and cocoa if desired.