One of my mum's staple desserts was tiramisu, and because I love coffee, I also loved that she made it frequently. It's the type of dessert that kids thought was very grown-up and sophisticated. I still love this classic dessert and make it often myself.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, whisk the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high to high speed until the mixture is pale and holds a ribbon on the surface when the whisk is lifted out, 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the mascarpone until the mixture thickens.
In a clean mixer bowl using a clean whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on medium-high speed until they form stiff peaks. They will almost triple in size.
Gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
Pour the coffee and brandy into a shallow dish. Dip the ladyfingers into the coffee mixture one at a time and arrange them over the base of a 7-by-11-inch or 9-by-13-inch serving dish. When dipping, do not let the ladyfingers soak, or they will get soggy; instead, dip one in the liquid and then quickly turn and dip the other end, then straight into the serving dish.
Spread one-third of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers, covering them well, then repeat the layers twice more, dipping the ladyfingers, arranging them in the dish, and then covering with mascarpone.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 5 hours to set. Before serving, dust generously with the cocoa powder. This is best eaten within 24 hours.
For this recipe, I recommend using the freshest eggs available or pasteurized eggs.