La Vera Cucina

Labbate Family Tiramisù

In La Trattoria, we also celebrate family recipes which bring us together around the table.

As a kid at family gatherings, restaurateur Giovanni Labbate always used to especially look forward to dessert! His favorite was his parents’ firmer textured version of tiramisù which stiffened its traditional mascarpone layers with whipped cream cheese. For bolder flavor, consider brewing your espresso extra dark!



  • 2½ cups brewed espresso
  • 3 ounces amaretto liqueur
  • 1½ pounds softened cream cheese
  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 packages ladyfingers
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • cocoa powder



Brew and cool espresso. Add liqueur and mix. Beat cream cheese until light and airy; fold in mascarpone and set aside. Separate egg whites from yolks. Fold egg yolks into mascarpone mixture one at a time; add sugar and mix. Whip egg whites until they peak; fold into mascarpone.

Briefly dip ladyfingers into espresso and layer across the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Cover lady fingers with about half of the mascarpone mixture. Repeat process one more time.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

Begin to whip cream; add vanilla and powdered sugar. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Spoon whipped cream over tiramisù. Dust with cocoa powder; plate and serve. Serves 10-12.


About Tiramisù

In Italian, the word tiramisù (tee-rah-me-sue) literally means “pick me up,” possibly referring to the espresso flavoring in this chilled, layered dessert. There are differing accounts of its origin, but in Italy, tiramisù seems to have first gained popularity on restaurant menus in the 1960s.