|2 Cups (4 sticks)||Unsalted Butter|
|4-6 tbsp||Cognac or Brandy|
|3/4 cup||Sweet Marsala Wine|
|1 1/2 cup||Water|
|1 cup||Brewed Espresso Coffee|
|2 packages||Ladyfingers (about 48 cookies)|
|2 cups||Almonds - sliced|
|2 cups||Icing Sugar|
Boil the eggs for 4-5 minutes and set aside to cool. Separate the egg yolks from the whites (yolks should be partially cooked but soft) and discard the whites. Cream the sugar, egg yolks, and butter. Add 4-6 tablespoons of cognac or brandy and mix until creamy smooth. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the marsala wine with half the water. In a second bowl, combine the rum and remaining water. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with waxed paper or plastic wrap and spread a thin layer of cream, about 1⁄2 cup, on the bottom of the pan. Dip the ladyfingers one at a time in the marsala and water mixture and place them in the pan, forming a single layer over the cream. Add a second layer of ladyfingers, this time dipping them in the rum mixture. Spread the remaining cream evenly over the cookies. Finally, add a third layer of ladyfingers dipped in espresso coffee. Cover the dessert with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
In a small bowl, combine the sliced almonds and icing sugar. Just before serving, uncover and invert the cake onto a large serving platter, remove all the plastic wrap or waxed paper. Using your hands, spread the sugar and almonds evenly over the cake top and against the sides for a finished, decorated look.