Ahhh tiramisu. Just the thought of it makes me smile. And really, how can you help but love this slightly boozy, creamy, coffee dessert that melts in your mouth. If it doesn’t make you smile, think back and try to remember if you’ve only eaten it at chain restaurants. For years I thought I didn’t like tiramisu (I’d only had it at a certain Italian restaurant whose name will remain anonymous. Except it starts with an O and then with a G. Sorry O.G., I don’t like your tiramisu. At all). That all changed when I was visiting friends in Paris and had this creamy coffee goodness for dessert one night.
A few years later, a good friend offered to make 2 big bowls of tiramisu for the dessert table at my wedding (yes you read that right.. 2 huge bowls!). I wish I could say that I snuck out the back door of the reception with one whole bowl of it.. laughing maniacally of course.. but instead I shared. How thoughtful of me.
My tiramisu love story continued last summer in Italy, where the husband and I hunted down every scrumptious Italian dessert we could find. We shamelessly devoured gelato, cannoli, and you guessed it.. tiramisu. It was spectacular. Just make sure to check your teeth for cocoa powder after you gobble it up. Chocolate smudges on your front teeth isn’t a look that everyone appreciates (although I think it screams “my dessert was AMAZING. Be jealous.”)
This yummy goodness needs quality ingredients. Mascarpone cheese isn’t as cheap as cream cheese (usually $4-$5 for an 8 ounce container), but please, don’t substitute the cheese. This isn’t a dessert you’ll make nightly, and the rest of the ingredients are fairly inexpensive. I also don’t recommend swapping out the lady fingers for spongecake, but that’s a personal preference (I don’t like the texture as well). If you’re buying lady fingers, there’s two kinds- a hard crunchy Italian one and a softer lady finger that’s more spongy. Both kinds of cookies will end up soft after you dip them in the coffee mixture. If you can find the hard ones, they should hold up better than the soft, especially if you’re letting your tiramisu sit overnight, but either cookie will work!
This recipe gives you options on how much rum and wine to use. The smaller amount is what you probably should use, but come on.. let’s make a boozy tiramisu. Yum.
Need more dessert ideas? Try these:
Classic Italian Tiramisu
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 TB moscato (or other sweet white wine), plus 1-2 TB moscato
- 8 oz mascarpone (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup brewed espresso coffee
- 1 TB chocolate chips
- •2 TB - 1/4 cup rum (use more or less depending on preference)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 30 lady fingers (exact number needed depends on size of cookies and size/shape of dish)
- 2 TB cocoa powder for dusting (amount approximate)
- Optional toppings: chocolate chips or chunks, fruit, more whipped cream
First, put a small mixing bowl in the freezer.
Next, cream egg yolks with sugar in a heatproof bowl or small pan set inside a larger pan full of simmering water (Or- use a double boiler. You want to heat the egg yolks without getting water in them). Add the wine and whip until mixture doubles in size. Remove from heat. Stir in mascarpone and until blended.
Remove mixing bowl from freezer, and add cream. Use a hand mixer to whip until peaks form, and then fold cream into mascarpone mixture. Set mixture in the fridge.
Next, combine espresso, chocolate, rum, vanilla, and remaining 1 TB moscato. Heat until chocolate is dissolved (or use freshly brewed espresso and it should dissolve the chocolate). Allow mixture to cool in the fridge (about 5-10 minutes. It needs to get to room temperature).
To arrange your tiramisu, dip your lady fingers quickly into the espresso mixture and make a single layer on the bottom of an 9"x13" pan OR 8 medium-large ramekins. (If you used soft lady fingers instead of hard ones, you may need to brush the espresso mixture onto the cookies with a pastry brush so they don't fall apart).
Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the lady fingers. Repeat process, topping mascarpone with another layer of soaked lady fingers, and finishing with a final layer of the mascarpone mixture.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours (or overnight). Just before serving, dust top with cocoa powder.
Serve cold with optional toppings if desired.
Recipe adapted from: Food Network