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1 1/2 cups espresso , (or strong coffee), room temperature (I used Starbucks Instant Coffee)

6 Tbsp golden rum (optional, you can use a little vanilla extract or some of the espresso as a substitute)

40 ladyfingers

6 egg yolks, (large)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

16 oz COLD mascarpone

2 cups COLD heavy whipping cream

2-3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

In a bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups espresso and 3 Tbsp rum(optional). Quickly dip half of the ladyfingers, one at a time and arrange in a single layer in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. Do not let the ladyfingers soak, they will become too mushy and not hold their shape.

In a separate medium glass bowl, whisk together yolks and sugar. Place over a double boiler and whisk on low heat until the mixture is lighter in color, slightly thickened and not grainy when you rub between your fingers. Remove from heat and whisk for a few minutes off the heat to help it cool down then set aside.

Beat together 16 oz mascarpone and 3 Tbsp rum(i used espresso instead). Use an hand or stand mixer to beat in the warm yolk mixture until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, beat cold heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Use a spatula to gently fold half of the whipped cream into mascarpone cream then blend in remaining whipped cream, just until incorporated. Be careful not to overfold or it will become grainy.

Spread half of the cream over the first layer of ladyfingers. Dip and arrange remaining ladyfingers. Spread remaining cream. Refrigerate overnight to allow it to set(important!).

Dust with cocoa powder before serving.

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