Tiramisu dessert for two. A small batch of tiramisu for two, made with authentic zabaglione sauce from scratch! A small labor of love, but completely worth it in the flavor department!


tiramisu dessert

Real tiramisu.  Authentic Italian tiramisu, y’all asked for it, and I delivered it for you. This tiramisu for two is a rich, decadent dessert that tastes just like it does at your favorite Italian eatery–even if that’s Olive Garden for you. Actually, if it’s OG for you, then I can tell you that this tastes even better, because I can almost guarantee short-cuts are used when tiramisu is produced on a large scale. 

This tiramisu dessert for two is slightly time-consuming, but so very worth it in the flavor department. When we made the video for this recipe, the camera crew practically buckled at the knees upon first bite. It’s so rich, creamy, boozy, and very slightly bitter from the cocoa powder and coffee.

Tiramisu dessert:

Not only was this dessert highly requested by you, my fabulous readers, but also, when I made a redneck version of tiramisu with apple pie moonshine, you received it so well.  Thanks for not balking at my down-home version.  As a reward, I made you the real deal that includes brandy and zabaglione.  I even splurged on mascarpone for you.  However, I made it a few times with cream cheese and it was delicious–either works. 

Tiramisu alcohol:

When making this tiramisu dessert, I reach for brandy most commonly. I’ve seen versions that use Marsala wine, and if you go that route, you’re looking for the sweet Marsala wine, ok? If you are desperate, a high-quality whiskey is a great replacement for brandy, because brandy is a liquor made with grapes while whiskey is made with corn instead.

I also made a batch of this tiramisu dessert with Frangelico (hazelnut liquor), and I dare say it was better than the version with brandy.  I’m now dreaming of making it with chocolate liquor. If you’re looking for a larger batch recipe (and one that contains more booze), I highly suggest this Amaretto Tiramisu by Little Ferraro Kitchen.

Speaking of Frangelico, Giada has a version of tiramisu made with lemon, hazelnuts and Frangelico in one of her recent books, and it made me a believer in tiramisu.  I used to be lukewarm about it.  But now, I see the light—cookies soaked in alcohol and layered with creaminess is a zen state.  Perhaps this summer, I’ll work on that one for you; I adore no bake desserts for summer, don’t you?

Tiramisu ingredients:

Tiramisu is made up of ladyfingers, a sweet coffee and booze dipping sauce for the ladyfingers, and a homemade zabaglione mixture. First, let’s talk about zabaglione, the sweet egg-y custard mixture that floats around the ladyfingers.

Real zabaglione requires you to stand over a double boiler with a hand mixer.  Check beforehand if your mixer cord reaches the stove.  I was scared of this step because I’ve only made real zabaglione one other time in my life, but I found the process so easy that I’m dreaming up a small batch of 7-minute frosting for you next.

tiramisu ingredients

To make zabaglione, first, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar very well in a heat-safe bowl. Then, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. If you’re using a glass bowl, be sure to leave space for steam to escape, or your bowl might crack! Honestly, it’s best to use a metal bowl like this one instead of glass. Right after we made this recipe video, I ordered metal bowls because it was making me too nervous!

Moving along, beat the mixture in your makeshift double boiler until it reaches 160-degrees Farenheit, then remove from heat before stirring in the brandy. Once this mixture cools, you’ll beat in the mascarpone (or cream cheese), and then fold in some freshly whipped cream.

zabaglione recipe

Once your zabaglione is made, the final steps to make a tiramisu dessert are easy: dip each ladyfinger in the coffee, sugar and brandy mixture, layer in a glass with the zabaglione, and sprinkle unsweetened cocoa powder between each layer. 

So, put on a pot of espresso (or dissolve some of the instant espresso I’m always calling for in my recipes), grab some lady fingers, and get ready for this one.

tiramisu dessert

Yield: 2 servings

Tiramisu Dessert

tiramisu dessert

Authentic tiramisu dessert recipe that serves two. This tiramisu for two takes some effort, but is unbelievably delicious.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


For the dip:

  • 1/2 cup espresso (or 1 tablespoon espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 cup of boiling water)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brandy (divided use)
  • 8-12 lady fingers (depends on your serving vessels)

For the zabaglione:

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 3 ounces mascarpone (or cream cheese), softened
  • cocoa powder for dusting


  1. In a small, shallow dish stir together the espresso, powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of the brandy. Set this aside--this is your lady finger dunking mixture.
  2. Next, make the zabaglione: in a medium bowl that you can fit over a pan of simmering water (or the top part of a double boiler), add the egg yolks and granulated sugar.
  3. Set the bowl over barely simmering water (not boiling!) and beat continuously with an electric hand mixer until it reaches 160 degrees. Once it's up to temperature, remove the zabaglione from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Finally, stir in the remaining tablespoon of brandy.
  4. Meanwhile, in another bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and beat until combined. Have ready the mascarpone on the side.
  5. Once the zabaglione has cooled for 10 minutes, beat in the mascarpone. Finally, fold in the whipped cream.
  6. Have your serving dishes ready. Dip one lady finger in the espresso mixture and flip it over immediately so that it doesn't soak for more than 2 seconds per side. Fit it in the bottom of your bowl (you might have to cut it to fit it, depending on your serving dishes). Continue until the bottom of both serving dishes are covered. Spoon some zabaglione-cream mixture on top of each lady finger layer and dust lightly with cocoa powder. Then, repeat three or more times until the serving dishes are full.
  7. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 835Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 532mgSodium: 379mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 1gSugar: 29gProtein: 18g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram