My mom asked me for a tiramisu recipe a while ago. I didn't have a go-to tiramisu recipe, so I made a mental note to research it and make it for her birthday. Unfortunately, I was hiking when her birthday rolled around, but I promised I would make it once I got back.

And that time came a little sooner than expected! With plenty of time on my hands, I took to the kitchen (and google). Did you know tiramisu didn't appear until the 80s? And now everyone has their Italian nonna's tiramisu recipe.

I very loosely followed the NYT recipe. Except I know that "classic" tiramisu doesn't use heavy cream. And I didn't want to leave Alex with a bunch of egg whites in the fridge if I could help it. I know how much he hates that.

2-quart baking dish / 8x8-inch pan / 9-inch round cake pan
a mixer (or very toned arms)

5 eggs
120 grams sugar (divided in half)
8 oz mascarpone

2 packets of instant coffee
2 tbsp rum
3 tbsp cocoa powder
7 oz package ladyfingers (24 cookies)
1-2 oz chocolate (optional)

Separate the eggs into two large bowls. 

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add half of the sugar (60 grams) and beat until medium peaks.

Add the rest of the sugar (60 grams) to the egg yolks. Beat until pale yellow and tripled in volume. (No need to clean the beaters if you did the egg whites first.) Add mascarpone and continue to beat until combined. Gently fold the egg whites into the sweetened egg yolks.

Combine instant coffee and 1 3/4 cups of water in a shallow bowl. Add the rum.

Using a sifter or a sieve, dust the bottom of the pan with 1 tbsp cocoa powder. One at a time, dip half of the ladyfingers into the coffee/rum mixture and arrange them in the bottom of the pan. (I had a little bit of space between mine.) Spread half to the egg/mascarpone cream on top of the ladyfingers. Dust with cocoa powder again.

Repeat with remaining ladyfingers and cream. You should have 2 layers of coffee soaked ladyfingers and cream.

Dust the top layer of cream with cocoa powder. Shave some chocolate on top if you're feeling fancy. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

The recipe called for espresso, obviously. But I had these dark roast coffee packets laying around. They seemed like a good idea for the trail, so I carried them all 651 miles. In reality, ain't nobody got time for making coffee on the PCT. Hence my misguided attempt to use them up in oatmeal.

I really liked how it turned out. It even got praise from Jackie (a real Italian).