Serves 4 to 6 (depending on the serving glasses you choose)


I love Italian spoon desserts or dolci al cucchiaio. This easy take on tiramisù fits in that category, along with so many other of my favorite desserts. They are custardy, creamy, homey and meant to be eaten with a spoon. They’re incredibly versatile, as is this recipe here – you can swap out the nuts or the cookies or flavor the cream in a different manner to create endless variations.


  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone (8 ounces), at room temperature
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ¾ cup freshly brewed espresso
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup hazelnut liqueur
  • 16 hazelnut Loacker wafer cookies, coarsely crumbled
  • ½ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts


Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water, and keep it warm. Meanwhile, whisk the cream in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until it just holds soft peaks. (Don’t overwhip—you will be whisking it again with the mascarpone, and you don’t want to make butter).

Whisk the mascarpone in a separate bowl with the mixer at medium speed until smooth. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar, and whisk until smooth.

Whisk the whipped cream into the mascarpone until they are just combined. Refrigerate if not using it right away.

Combine the espresso and granulated sugar in a medium saucepan set over low heat. Cook until the sugar has dissolved, then stir in the hazelnut liqueur. Remove it from the heat, and stir in the melted chocolate.

In 4 (or 6) serving glasses, sprinkle a third of the crumbled cookies and chopped nuts. Drizzle with about a third of the chocolate espresso mixture.

Top with a third of the mascarpone mixture. Continue layering in this manner, ending with a full layer of the mascarpone mixture and a final sprinkle of cookies and nuts.

Refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours. Serve at room temperature.