6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar (divided, plus 2 tablespoons)
1 pound mascarpone cheese (softened to room temperature)
2 cups heavy cream (chilled)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup coffee-flavored liqueur
2 tablespoons espresso or strongly brewed coffee (chilled, plus 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
35-40 lady fingers
1/4 cup sweetened cocoa powder
In a mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water, add the yolks and 1/2 cup sugar. Using a whisk, whip the egg mixture until pale yellow and thick, about 5 minutes. When you lift the whisk, the mixture will fall in thick ribbons. Cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment or in a bowl with a whisk, add 2 cups heavy cream and whisk until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla and fold to combine. Add mascarpone cheese and gently fold to combine. Add whipped cream mixture to the cooled egg mixture and gently fold to combine.
In a baking dish or mixing bowl, add the coffee-flavored liqueur, the espresso, salt, and 2 tablespoons of sugar, and whisk to combine.
To assemble, quickly submerge a lady finger into the coffee mixture. Place into the bottom of a glass 9 inch x 13 inch baking dish. Continue soaking lady fingers until the bottom of the baking dish is covered. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the lady fingers. Arrange another layer of soaked lady fingers and spread the rest of the mascarpone mixture on top in an even layer. Using a sifter, dust the top with the cocoa powder to completely coat. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
Tip: Use decaf coffee and eliminate the alcohol for a kid-friendly dish!
Tip: Use cubed, day-old pound cake instead of lady fingers!