A classic Italian tiramisu made with layers of sweet mascarpone cheese filling, vanilla cookies, and Kahlua-infused coffee. An easy, quick, no-bake dessert that's even more delicious than what you find in the restaurant!
Everyone's been there. You're at your favorite Italian restaurant (mine being Vinny's for all of its nostalgia... and garlic bread), having gorged yourself on mountains of pasta, pizza, bread, and various other forms of carbohydrate, when your waiter pops by to check in on your party. In his hands? A dessert menu. You are torn.
On the one hand, you have just eaten enough food to put you into a full-on coma for three days and inspire you to call up that personal trainer you ghosted on after one session left you feeling like your legs were made of the very spaghetti you just ate.
On the other hand, though - TIRAMISU. The traditional Italian dessert that conjures up visions of relaxing on a terrace in Rome, wining and dining the day away, even if you're only in the suburbs of Virginia.
Yep, I'll take the tiramisu any day - it's one of those times when you're #thankful that God created a separate stomach just for desserts!
My friend and baking partner Mike recently returned from traveling around Italy (and Portugal... and Iceland... can I have your life, sir?) and quickly informed me that we NEEDED to make tiramisu. Well, twist my arm! So, after a day of volunteering at a dog adoption event with my gym MINT, he came over and we got to work.
We hit a small snag when we ran out of the Trader Joe's mini almond biscotti cookies we were using as the base (less that 1/4 of the way through... planning has never been my strong suit), but luckily a quick trip to Safeway got us back on track, this time with Nilla wafers! A bit less than traditional, but heck - it was delicious.
While I cheered Mike on in his endeavor to climb onto my roof (don't ask), I heard my friends Keegan and Steff whispering in the kitchen. When I asked them what they were talking about, they responded sheepishly.
Steff - We want the tiramisu.
Jess - Oh, let's bring it to the pregame then!
And bring it, we did. Everyone on our party bus LOVED it, and we even used Oreos to scoop up the cream filling! Which made me think - what if I made Tiramisu DIP? Coming soon to a Scones & Patron blog post near you...
To make this tiramisu, you will need:
- 4 packages of Trader Joe's soft bite almond biscotti OR 2 boxes mini Nilla wafers
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 6 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- 16 oz mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup STRONG coffee, or espresso
- 1/4 cup kahlua
- Cocoa powder and grated chocolate, for garnish
First, whisk the egg yolks with 1/4 cup granulated sugar until very smooth and you create a "ribbon" when you lift your whisk. I let Mike take this step... this much whisking is a serious tricep workout! Once this is combined, whisk in the mascarpone cheese until fully combined.
Next, beat your egg whites on low speed until frothy, then stream in the other 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Turn the mixer up to high and beat the egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg white mixture gently into the egg yolk mixture until just combined.
Combine your coffee and Kahlua, and then dip your cookies into the mixture before layering them on the bottom of your pan. Keep going until there is a layer of cookies over the entire base.
Add half of your mascarpone filling, then repeat the cookie soaking and layering process. Top that layer with the remaining mascarpone, then use a sifter to sprinkle cocoa powder on top. I also grated some semisweet chocolate onto the top - Mike said cinnamon was a great addition, too! Go crazy.
Since this dessert is no-bake, it's great for the HOT days of summer. Thanks for the inspiration, Mike! Check out his baking (& traveling & teaching) adventures over on his blog, Teach Bake Travel.