Chocolate Cake Tiramisu with Chocolate Sabayon

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Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6

Giada De Laurentiis, who shared with us this recipe from her new book Happy Cooking, says, “If you like chocolate as much I like chocolate, which is to say it’s what makes dessert worth eating, this double-chocolate tiramisu cake will knock your socks off. No one but you will ever suspect it starts with a boxed-cake mix; they’ll be too busy drooling over the flashy chocolate zabaglione sauce and sultry mascarpone filling.”


  • 6 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 5 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) imported sweet Marsala
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) plus 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) cold heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup (4 oz./125 g) dark chocolate morsels or semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 store-bought chocolate cake mix, such as Betty Crocker SuperMoist Dark Chocolate, baked according to box instructions and cooled
  • 3 1/2-oz (105-g) bar bittersweet chocolate, such as Lindt (optional)


In a stainless-steel bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until blended. Whisk in the Marsala, the 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) cream and salt. Place the bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water; do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Whisk constantly until the sauce is thick and a thermometer inserted into the sabayon registers 160°F to 170°F (71 to 77°C), about 15 minutes.

Remove the bowl from over the water. Add the chocolate morsels and whisk until they are melted and the sabayon is smooth and blended. (The sabayon can be made 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Whisk before continuing.)

In another bowl, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) cream and the mascarpone until peaks form. Dice the cake into small cubes. Place about 1/2 cup of the cake cubes into each of six 1 1/2- to 2-cup (12- to 16-fl oz./375- to 500-ml) old-fashioned glasses or water goblets. Spoon 2 heaping Tbs. sabayon over the cake in each glass, then top with a spoonful of the mascarpone cream. Repeat the layering with the rest of the cake, sabayon and mascarpone cream.

To make the chocolate curls, stand the chocolate bar in a large measuring cup. Microwave on 50% power in 10-second intervals just until the chocolate feels a bit warm. Stand the chocolate bar upright and run a vegetable peeler down one narrow edge to shave off chocolate curls. Sprinkle the curls over each serving of tiramisu and serve. Serves 6.

Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, Happy Cooking (Pam Krauss Books, 2015)

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