1c (237ml)freshly brewed espresso or very strong coffee
6 tbsp (89ml)marsala wine, divided see notes
1 1/2 c (355ml)heavy whipping cream, cold
8oz. (250g)mascarpone cheese, room temperature see notes
1/2 c (100g)superfine or caster sugar sub with regular granulated sugar
1tsp (5ml)vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
7oz (200g)Savoiadri ladyfingers
2-3 tbsp cocoa powder for dusting
If you would like to remove the ice box cake from the pan: Line a 9X5 loaf pan with parchment paper or pastic wrap on all sides. Smooth along the sides as much as possible. Set aside. Otherwise, have the preferred serving pan ready to go. Brew the 1 c (237ml) espresso according to the package directions. Cool slightly, about 10-15 minutes. Whisk in 2 tbsp marsala wine (or alcohol of choice). Remove the frozen berries from the freezer into a bowl. Toss in 2 tbsp marsala wine (or other liquid). Allow the berries to thaw at room temperature for 20-25 minutes. If omitting alcohol from this recipe, use 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp granulated sugar.
Pour heavy cream into a mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed to medium-soft peaks. Scoop into another bowl and set aside.
Using the same bowl as the one used to mix the whipped cream (no need to clean), slowly beat the mascarpone. The mascarpone should be smooth across the bottom. Go slowly or the cheese could break. Pour in the final 2 tbsp marsala wine, sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Slowly beat to incorporate. Beat on the lowest setting until smooth and well combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Taste and adjust flavors as needed. Beat on low to incorporate. By hand or on the lowest mixer setting, fold in the whipped cream. Again, go slowly or you risk the mascarpone breaking.
To assemble:Quickly dip ladyfingers in the brewed espresso. Make sure to dip both sides. Layer 1/3 of the ladyfingers across the bottom of the pan. Break the cookies if needed to mostly cover the bottom. Scoop about 1/3 mascarpone filling on top of the layer of espresso ladyfingers. . Using a slotted spoon, scoop 1/2 of the wine soaked berries on top of the masacrpone filling. Try to drain the excess liquid from the berries before spooning onto the filling. Repeat with another layer of espresso ladyfingers on top of the berries. Top with 1/3 masacrpone filling and then the remaining 1/2 wine soaked berries (drained). Add the final layer of ladyfingers, followed with the final 1/3 of the mascarpone filling. Smooth the top with a spoon, small spatula or icing spatula.
Chill the prepared blackberry tiramisu icebox cake in the fridge for about 2 hours to set the top. Cover with plastic wrap and chill an additional 6 hrs- overnight. Before serving, top with a dusting of powdered cocoa and more fresh blackberries. Mint leaves are a nice touch if you have them. Slice and serve.
marsala wine: this is available in sweet or dry. this tiramisu cake was developed with sweet wine, but dry would pair very nicely.
optional substitutions: port, brandy, bourbon whisky, coffee flavored liquor or omit in favor of more brewed espresso.
mascarpone cheese: is a soft, spreadable, sweet Italian cheese. this is the most commonly used cheese for tiramisu. cream cheese is a possible substitute. however, the flavor will be tangier than mascarpone cheese. superfine or caster sugar: is like it sounds, very fine granules of cane sugar. if possible, this is preferred here. if not, regular granulated sugar works fine. storing: any unused portion of this icebox cake should be rewrapped in plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days or freezer 3-4 weeks.