Ripples Recipe

Contributed by Mary Sapp


  • 6 egg yolks
  • ¾ cup white sugar + 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup (whole) milk
  • 1¼ cups heavy whipping cream (no carrageenan, with at least 36% butterfat)
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup strong brewed coffee (or espresso), room temperature (make 1 cup in case you need more, or even 2 cups if you want to drink some!)
  • 6 tablespoons rum 
  • 2 (3-ounce) or one 7-ounce packages hard ladyfinger cookies (can order Balocco Savoiardi Ladyfingers through Amazon)  
  • 2 + 2 tablespoons (approximately) unsweetened cocoa powder

IMPORTANT: Make two days in advance so flavors meld in refrigerator, and allow two hours to assemble.

1. Make coffee and let cool. Take mascarpone from refrigerator to soften. In a small saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and ¾ cup sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils (should take around 5-8 minutes). Boil gently for 1-2 minutes, remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

2. After an hour, whisk mascarpone into yolk mixture until smooth. In a medium bowl, use electric mixer to beat cream with vanilla and 2 teaspoons sugar until stiff peaks form. Then gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone until basically uniform.

3. In a flat container long enough to hold a ladyfinger (I used a small square Tupperware; a pie pan should also work), combine ¾ cup coffee and 6 tablespoons rum. Quickly dip ladyfingers (don’t split) in coffee mixture, turn over, quickly dip other side, and arrange one layer of soaked ladyfingers in bottom of a 7x11 inch dish (use just under half of first package since bottom of dish isn’t as wide as top). Spread half of mascarpone/whipped cream mixture over ladyfingers, then sift around 2 tablespoons cocoa over the top. Repeat, using rest of ladyfingers and mascarpone/whipped cream (but not the cocoa). Cover and refrigerate for two days (toothpicks with plastic wrap work well to cover). Shortly before serving, sift more cocoa over top until it’s covered. Consider adding shaved chocolate on top.

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