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Here’s how we make our luscious Tiramisù with about a third of the fat and half the calories of most versions: we layer coffee-and-brandy-soaked ladyfingers with an ultra-light egg-white custard combined with rich mascarpone cheese and lower-fat Neufchâtel cheese. This healthier version of the triflelike dessert would pass muster in any Italian café.

Nutrition Profile: Healthy Weight   Low Calorie   Low Cholesterol   Low Sodium  

Serves 12

Prep Time 60 min

Total Time 300 min.


  • 8 ounces ladyfingers, (60 ladyfingers)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoon brandy, divided
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee (preferably espresso) granules
  • 2 tablespoon dried egg whites, (see Ingredient Note), reconstituted according to package directions
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese, (1/2 cup)
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, (Neufchâtel), softened
  • 1 cup chocolate shavings, (see Tip)
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Cooking Directions

Step 1

If ladyfingers are soft, toast them in a 350°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes. Stir water, 3 tablespoons brandy and coffee granules in a small bowl until the granules are dissolved. Brush over the flat side of the ladyfingers.

Step 2

Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Combine reconstituted egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heatproof mixing bowl that will fit over the saucepan. Set the bowl over the simmering water and beat with an electric mixer at low speed for 4 to 5 minutes. Increase speed to high and continue beating over the heat for about 3 minutes more. (The mixture should form a ribbon trail.) Remove the bowl from the heat and beat until cool and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

Step 3

Beat mascarpone and cream cheese in a large bowl until creamy. Add about 1 cup of the beaten whites and the remaining 1 tablespoon brandy; beat until smooth, scraping down the sides. Fold in the remaining whites.

Step 4

Line the bottom and sides of a 3-quart trifle bowl or soufflé dish with ladyfingers, flat sides toward the center. Spoon in one-fourth of the filling and top with a layer of ladyfingers. Repeat with two more layers of filling and ladyfingers, arranging the fourth layer of ladyfingers decoratively over the top, trimming to fit if necessary. Top with the remaining filling. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.

Step 5

Before serving, sprinkle the tiramisù with chocolate shavings and dust with confectioners’ sugar.