What You'll Need:
1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1/4 cup coffee-flavored liqueur
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese (see Note)
1 cup sugar
2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
2 (3-ounce) packages ladyfingers (you may have a few extra)
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
What To Do:
1. In a small bowl, combine water, coffee granules, liqueur, and vanilla; stir to dissolve the coffee, then set aside. In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese and sugar until smooth; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold 1-1/2 cups of whipped cream into cheese mixture until thoroughly combined.
3. Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish with ladyfingers, slightly overlapping to fit. Spoon half the coffee mixture evenly over ladyfingers. Spoon half the cheese mixture evenly over ladyfingers.
4. Layer with more ladyfingers and repeat with coffee mixture and cheese mixture. Spoon remaining whipped cream over the top and sprinkle with cocoa. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving.
Mascarpone cheese is a fresh Italian double cream cheese that is buttery smooth in texture and can often be found in supermarket deli departments. If it's not available, it's fine to substitute cream cheese beaten with a little milk, until creamy and smooth.