You will need 3 bowls, an electric hand mixer, and a whisk. I recommend making this the day before serving.
In the first bowl, add the egg yolks and sugar and mix with an electric hand mixer until the batter turns white.
In the second bowl, add the egg whites and whip with an electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
In the third bowl, add the heavy cream and whip with an electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form. (Be careful not to over-whisk the cream, otherwise it will dry out.)
From this point on, set aside the electric hand mixer, change to a whisk and mix gently and carefully. To the first bowl, add the mascarpone cheese and mix until the mixture is smooth.
Once the mixture is smooth, add the egg whites and mix. Add the whipped cream and gently mix until the batter is evenly mixed.
Add the rum and mix some more. (If serving to children, you can omit the rum.) The cream is ready.
Dissolve the ☆ sugar in the espresso and add the ☆ milk. Pour into a container with a flat bottom. (The container should be large enough so that a ladyfinger fits.)
Espresso machines are handy to have at home but if you don't have one, you can grab a freshly brewed cup at Starbucks or other coffee shops. (It's fine even if it's cold.)
Take one ladyfinger at a time between your fingers, soak in the espresso for a second, lift out immediately, and align the biscuits in a glass container.
Since ladyfingers are very light, they will melt and fall apart if you soak them for too long. Try to soak them for just a second.
After you align the ladyfingers in a container, pour the cream over and smooth out the top.
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. The moisture in the cream will soften the biscuits and they'll taste really good.
The next day, sprinkle cocoa powder through a tea strainer just before serving, and it's done.
Even if you don't have time to let it sit overnight, let it sit at least for 3 hours in the refrigerator.
I recommend Bambini biscuits for the ladyfingers! Where I live, you can buy these in imported food stores.
Story Behind this Recipe
I was reading through an Italian book, and I found this rich tiramisu recipe that was home cooked in Italy. I left the steps as-is, but modified the ingredient ratio to make it easier to make and adjusted the sweetness, and decreased the alcohol content.
1) After adding the mascarpone cheese to the batter, change to a whisk and mix gently and carefully. For a smoother texture, mix well until all the cheese clusters have incorporated into the batter. 2) Use espresso. 3) Try not to soak the ladyfingers for too long, instead try to soak the entire biscuit in an instant. 4) Make it a day ahead and let it rest overnight.