Isn't this an adorable little dessert? It also packs a flavor punch thanks to strong coffee, rum and cocoa powder! For a family-friendly version, you can leave out the rum. This recipe is super simple, so don't be afraid of the steps. Sure, you can streamline the process by using prepared whipped cream and vanilla pudding (instead of the egg yolk, sugar and milk mixture), but you'll love how truly authentic this tastes. Super comforting and chilled - perfect for summer.

Individual Tiramisu Cakes
Note: I said the recipe makes 8 servings, but it really depends on what glasses or small bowls you use. You can make 10 to 12 little cakes if you want.

6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
16 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, room temperature
2 tablespoons rum, any variety (I like dark rum), optional
2 (3-ounce) packages ladyfinger cookies
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in the milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils. Boil gently for 1 minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or a lid and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

In a medium bowl, beat the cream and vanilla together until stiff peaks form.
Whisk the mascarpone cheese into the egg yolk mixture. Whisk until smooth.
In a small bowl, combine the coffee and rum. Split the ladyfingers in half lengthwise.
Dip the ladyfingers into the coffee mixture and turn to coat. Arrange the soaked ladyfingers in the bottom of 8 clear glasses. Spread 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers, and then 1/3 of the whipped cream over that.
Repeat the layers two more times and then sift the cocoa over top.

Cover each glass with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours, until set.

Serves 8

Photo: rakratchada torsap