2 pounds (1 kg) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1½ cups (375 ml) heavy cream (35%)
1¼ cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups cold strong espresso coffee
¼ cup brandy or dark rum
1 - 14 oz. (400 g) package ladyfinger cookies (about 40 cookies)
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
shaved semisweet chocolate, for garnish
This can be prepared either in a large trifle bowl or a 9 x 13-inch (3.5 L) dish.
In a large stand mixer bowl, beat the marscapone, cream, sugar and vanilla for 2 minutes until thick and creamy.
In a shallow bowl, mix the cold coffee with the brandy or rum. Lightly dip half the ladyfingers into the liquid one at a time and place them very close together in the trifle bowl or dish.
Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the soaked ladyfingers. Sift half the cocoa powder over the mascarpone through a fine mesh sieve. Top with the remaining ladyfingers, dipped in espresso mixture, then with the remaining mascarpone to make another layer. Sprinkle with the cocoa powder again.
Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours. The longer it rests, the more flavourful it will be. Just before serving, remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle some shaved chocolate overtop.