14 ounces ladyfingers
2 cups strong coffee
1/3 cup coffee liqueur
8 eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 pound plus ounces mascarpone cheese
1 1/4 pound finely grated semisweet chocolate
1. The day before serving, lay all the cookies out on a baking sheet and brush on both sides with the coffee and coffee liqueur. They should be moist on the outside but still crunchy on the inside.
2. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks, 1/2 cup of the sugar and the vanilla with an electric mixer until the mixture is thick enough to form along ribbon when you life the beater, about 5 minutes. Add the mascarpone cheese, beat for 3 minutes then set aside.
3. Clean the beaters of the electric mixer carefully and in a clean bowl beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar until they form stiff peaks and have a glossy sheen, about 5 minutes.
4. Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture, 1/3 at a time. Be careful: if you don’t it in completely, you’ll have a coarse texture. Be sure you fold the egg whites in rather than stirring them as this will cause the dessert to lose its lightness.
5. In a 9- x 17-inch glass baking dish assemble the dessert: Layer half the cookies on the bottom, top with half the cream and half the grated chocolate. Repeat with one more layer of each. Place the dish, uncovered, in the refrigerator, overnight. Serve the next day.
This is a simple version of tiramisu in that the custard is not cooked. That means, however, that the recipe contains raw eggs. The risk of food poisoning from eggs is highest in raw and lightly-cooked dishes; according to the USDA, egg mixtures are safe if they are cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.