(This recipe comes from here.) Warning... definitely not vegan.
Above: Separating the eggs.
Above: Mascarpone cheese, which actually doesn't taste like much at all on its own.
Above: This begins the egg white beating process. Note the changes. Note the lack of an electric mixer. Yes, I usually use my own arm to beat egg whites. I call it a labor of love.
Above: Looking a little more like what it's supposed to...
Above: Are these what they call "soft peaks?"
Above: About 20-25 minutes of beating eventually leads to... stiff peak? Triumphant, sweaty, and tired! (Ignore the banana... not part of the recipe.)
Above: "Booze" of choice. The coffee is an espresso roast, courtesy of my workplace. Had to double the called-for amount of booze by request. =/
Above: Layer 1 - dip ladyfingers (acquired most cheaply at Asian markets) in booze/espresso and line bottom. No, I am not perfect by any means, but the gloppy stuff will cover it up...
Above: Layer 3... I had poured half of the cheese already.
Above: Here's the finished product, with a dusting of fancy cocoa powder and shaved bits of fancy chocolate!
While I rarely taste my own tiramisus, I actually had a good taste of this one. It was a little on the dry side, which I prefer, but not sure if everyone does. The booze factor was still subtle, and overall, it was enjoyed by all. So I guess all the effort was worth it, even though a hand mixer would have allowed me to finish this in a quarter of the time!