Making Tirimisu – Which Ladyfinger to Choose

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by: Samantha Kane


you can find it on any menu from your favorite mom and pop spot, to Olive Garden, and even at one of Philadelphia’s best restaurants, Amis.  Stay under the 5 ingredient rule, easy enough to do, and so tasty.

So I have decided to make it at home, and find the best ladyfingers to do it with.

At Di Bruno Brothers, we sell two kinds of ladyfingers:

  1. The first one, everyone knows; it’s a huge yellow bag, filled with mini bags of ladyfingers, plump and as long as your own. photo

  2. Then, a brand I have seen for the first time this year called Pavesini, is a smaller bag and also, to my surprise, smaller lady fingers.

  • Now, if you are looking for the tiramisu you see in pictures, the one that, if you are like me, you imagine and crave, the Pavesini may not be for you. However, they do have their place.

So as a test I followed the same recipe for both kinds of cookies. I followed the recipe on the side of the ladyfingers bag, in fact.

  1. I whipped egg yolks until they were perfect ribbons with sugar and then folded in mascarpone and tasted the delicious beginning.
  2. Then I brewed some dark roast coffee, the Rittenhouse Blend from Di Bruno, and mixed it on the sweeter side with sugar.
  3. When it is cool enough I dipped the ladyfingers in and began layering with mascarpone. The Pavesini didn’t take much to get soft and flavorful, but they will take far more bags of cookies to make the size tiramisu one could hope for.
  4. photoDo not be afraid to add a little extra coffee on top of the cookies or even some liquor!
  5. Finally, after the last layer of mascarpone, dust the top with cocoa powder for just a hint of bitterness.

In conclusion, for a picturesque tiramisu, use the pudgy ladyfingers that you have seen for years.

Italian specialties are based on tradition, after all.

For single serving, quickly made tiramisu, or even a play on strawberry shortcakes, get the thin Pavesini. Either way, it is a little bite of Italian happiness. Enjoy!


To serve 4-6 people

  • 400 g lady fingers
  • 400g mascarpone
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 100g sugar
  • 3/4 c coffee
  • Bitter cocoa powder
  1. Mix the egg yolk and sugar in a bowl until they become creamy then add the mascarpone cheese and mix
  2. Soak the cookies in the coffee lightly and place a layer into the bottom of a rectangular baking dish. Top with mascarpone and then another layer of cookies. Continue to alternate and then too with a layer of cocoa powder.
  3. Let chill for at least 4 hours and serve cold.