1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 large egg yolks
1/2 pound (about 1 1/4 cup) mascarpone cheese
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
In a shallow bowl, stir together coffee, rum (if using), and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
Bring 2-inches of water to simmer in a small saucepan.
In a medium, heat-proof bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Place the bowl over the simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water), and use an electric hand mixer to whip the eggs and sugar until pale, thick, and the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the mascarpone cheese until just combined.
In a large bowl, beat heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla extract until soft but stiff peaks form.
Add just under half of the whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture and fold to combine.
Now, set yourself up for assembly. You’ll have your small amaretti cookies, sweetened coffee, mascarpone mixture, whipped cream, and cocoa powder.
Start by dipping and lightly soaking cookies in coffee syrup. You don’t want them to be completely soggy, but rather, just soaked through. Use the soaked cookies to line the bottom of a 9×9-inch square pan. I used an 8×10-inch pan. Something in that size range will serve you well.
Top the soaked cookies with half of the mascarpone mixture and spread evenly.
Top the mascarpone mixture with another layer of coffee soaked cookies. Top the cookies with the remaining mascarpone, then the whipped cream. Dust liberally with cocoa powder.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve chilled with hot coffee.