This tiramisu recipe is a traditional yet modern approach. The eggs are pasteurized to reduce the potential for food-borne illness.
Preheat oven to 350F. Place parchment paper on a large baking sheet (or two small sheets).
In a glass or metal bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and salt. Bring a pot of water to light boil that this bowl will sit over. The water should just barely touch the bottom.
Heat the contents of the bowl, whisking constantly, until they reach 160F. The sugar should dissolve and should look similar to melted caramel.
When the mixture reaches 160F, remove from the heat. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
Place this mixture in a mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk until it stiffens and forms peaks. The mixture should also be cooled at this point.
Slowly sift the flour over the mixture and fold in. Do several additions and do not overwork the mixture. The air incorporated during the mixing will be lost, which provides volume to the ladyfingers.
Place the batter in a piping bag or a gallon Zip-loc bag and cut a 1/4-1/2" triangle off the corner.
Pipe 1" by 3" fingers on the parchment paper.
Bake for 9-10 minutes.
Cool and then they are ready for tiramisu!
Start by bringing a pot of water to boil, similar to the ladyfingers. With such small amounts, use a small pot and a small bowl to make whisking easier.
Mix together the egg whites and 1/8 cup sugar in a heat resistant bowl (glass or metal work best).
Heat over the boiling water. Mix constantly with a whisk until temperature reaches 160F. This step is not necessary, but should kill off any bacteria that can make you sick (salmonella), since tiramisu uses raw eggs.
Once this is done, repeat with egg yolks and remaining sugar.
Add the egg whites and sugar mixture to a mixer with whisk attachment and beat until size doubles and stiff peaks form. Transfer carefully to another bowl.
Repeat with the egg yolks and sugar mixture. This will not get as big or stiff, but should get thicker and grow in volume some.
Slowly mix in the mascarpone cheese in 4-5 portions.
Fold in the egg whites to the yolk and mascarpone cheese mixture.
Mix wine and coffee together in a bowl large enough to fit a ladyfinger.
Dip a ladyfinger in the coffee and wine mix quickly (about 5 seconds). Then place along the bottom of a small rectangular pan or a loaf pan. The loaf pan will use less ladyfingers, but have thicker mascarpone cheese layers.
Repeat until the bottom of the pan is covered by ladyfingers.
Spread half of the mascarpone mixture on the ladyfingers and smooth it so it's even across the pan.
Repeat by dipping ladyfingers in the coffee and wine, and placing along the top of the layer of mascarpone.
Place the remaining mascarpone on top and spread even.
Place in the fridge overnight.
Immediately before serving, sift cacao powder generously over the top. If desired, sprinkle shaved dark chocolate over the top and enjoy!