Cut across middle of sponge cake, forming two layers, each about 1 and 1/2 inches thick. Blend coffee and brandy. Sprinkle enough mixture over the bottom half of cake to flavor it strongly. Don't moisten cake too much or it may collapse on serving.
Beat room temperature cheese and 1 cup sugar until sugar is completely dissolved and cheese is light and spreadable. Test for sweetness during the beating, adding more sugar if needed.
On the cut surface of the bottom layer, spread half of the cheese mixture. Replace the second layer and top with remaining cheese mixture.
Sprinkle top with sifted cocoa. Refrigerate the cake for at least two hours before cutting and serving.
An original Tiramisu recipe uses mascarpone cheese but if you can substitute cream cheese instead.
Rum is a great alternative to brandy if you don't have brandy in your home.
Tiramisu is served cold. So make sure you refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Leave out at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving. You can do another dust of cocoa powder before serving.
Tiramisu can stay in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The cake will get too mushy if left longer than that.
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