Tiramisu means as ‘pick me up’ or ‘cheer me up’ in Italian. And this dessert is just that! It’s so simple – 5 ingredients requiring no cooking, no added eggs, no added sugar and it’s better made ahead – what’s not to love! It’s great for an intimate dinner party and for a large crowd. I keep the ingredients on-hand, the cream and mascarpone freeze well and the biscuits store fuss-free in my pantry. This is an easy but glam dessert.
Using a large glass bowl is fabulous because you can see all the wonderful layers and it will look, and taste, like you went to the trouble of making something super special Trust me. You’ll secretly want to bring home the leftovers, if there are any!
Once you serve it, you will be known for it.
Serves 6-8 people
Use a large glass bowl to build the Tiramisu or a serving bowl.
Can be made up to 2 days ahead and the taste will even improve!
1/3 Cup Kahlua
2 Cups fresh espresso coffee* (short shots. Long shots just add water)
400g Italian Savoiardi biscuits (or any Italian lady finger biscuits)
1. Brew your coffee and let it cool.
2. Put the coffee into a shallow bowl so you can immerse a lady finger biscuit into the liquid easily. Add the Kahlua.
You might need to make more coffee and Kahlua if you run out. Everyone’s touch and brand of biscuits means the soaking process will be unique to you.
3. Beat the cream until it can hold a peak or two and add the mascarpone. Beat to mix well.
4. Dip a lady finger biscuit into the coffee and Kahlua mix for just 1-2 seconds (max!), making sure all sides get ‘wet’. You want the dipping to be long enough to soak up some liquid but fast enough that it doesn’t get soggy. You don’t want the biscuits to disintegrate which can happen fairly quickly.
5. Place each biscuit once it’s wet into the bottom of your serving bowl and follow with more soaked biscuits until you’ve lined the bottom of the bowl. Cover with thin layer of the cream / mascarpone mix (about 1cm, any more than this will overwhelm the dish with cream. This pick me up is a balance between coffee, cake and cream!
6. Repeat. Cover the layer of cream with another round of dipped coffee biscuit goodness and a layer of cream. Do this until you’re out of ingredients or out of room in the bowl. Make sure your last layer is the cream mix it presents better than the biscuit layer and you can decorate it with shaved chocolate or I often use Hershey’s chocolate syrup up to an hour before serving. Hershey’s chocolate syrup holds it’s shape (do some arty drizzles), it won’t spread and run like other brands.
Done! What could be more simple or more delicious?
*Adding too much water to the coffee, such as running a long shot with a pod, auto or manual machine, will make the tiramisu taste waterlogged. I use a pod machine and run roughly 6 pods, give or take a few, through the short option. This also works best for your morning latte, the coffee is sweeter and the crema stronger. The next best option would be to make a strong brew in a plunger, using good quality ground coffee. Better yet, grind whole beans so that the coffee is fresh. Last, but not least, use your favourite instant coffee. Make it about twice as strong as you would for your morning coffee. Your tiramisu will still have some elegance to it.