This classic Italian dessert features a delicious combination of
mascarpone (Italian cream cheese), ladyfingers, and coffee.
Just recently, my wife and I hosted a murder mystery party. There were 7 of us there, and the game featured an Italian theme. (Who could have killed dear Pepi Roni?) We made a huge plate of spaghetti and meatballs and served chianti from the classic reed-wrapped bottles. Why am I talking about this murder mystery? Well, one of the guests/suspects was named Tara Misu, and ever since that night, I’ve been craving this delicious Italian dessert! Tiramisu is a wonderful combination of mascarpone, ladyfingers, and coffee…and it has long been one of my favorite “fancy” desserts.
It’s no secret that I love Italian food. It’s amazing how such simple ingredients can be combined to create really tasty food. When I was first learning to bake and cook, I remember making homemade pound cakes and overnight coffee cakes like it was my job. But then I decided to start challenging myself a bit more, and I think tiramisu was the first “fancier-style dessert” that I learned to make. And I’ve been making it ever since! You’ll notice in the pictures that I like to serve this dessert in martini glasses. It’s fun and festive, and everyone gets their own glass. Tiramisu is traditionally made in a square or rectangular dish by layering the coffee-soaked ladyfingers with the mascarpone cream. You could certainly use this recipe and make it in that form…I just find the martini glasses so much more fun!
One of the keys to making delicious tiramisu is strongly-brewed coffee. While coffee is not the central flavor in tiramisu, it is a supporting flavor (is that an actual term?), and this dessert would not be the same with weak coffee! When making tiramisu, I use either espresso or a strongly roasted drip coffee, and I find that Green Mountain Coffee’s Dark Magic Espresso Blend works quite well. The Dark Magic Espresso Blend is deep and intense, and it makes one heck of a good cup o’ joe. It’s also perfect for making this classic Italian dessert!
Tiramisu is not difficult to make at all, and it’s a great dessert to serve at a dinner party or on a special occasion. (If you don’t have a special occasion, then just make one up…this tiramisu is that good!) Plus, tiramisu should be refrigerated overnight, so it really is the perfect dessert for a dinner party because all you need to do is pull it out and dust it with cocoa powder before serving. For an added touch of Italian authenticity, serve this tiramisu with a shot of espresso (not cappuccino…those are reserved for the morning). Green Mountain Coffee’s Dark Magic Espresso Blend also makes a really good espresso…I may or may not have just had one before sitting down to write this post!
I use store-bought ladyfingers to save time. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could certainly make your own…but I usually opt for the easier route. You should be able to find ladyfingers in either the bakery or grocery section at your local market. Finally, it’s important to include a food safety note here. Tiramisu is never actually cooked, so make sure to use fresh, unbroken, grade A or AA eggs and keep the eggs refrigerated. (Don’t let this scare you. Tiramisu is served quite frequently in Italy, and plenty of other common foods include raw eggs. I’m just saying use common sense and be safe! Another option is using fully pasteurized eggs, but I haven’t tried that myself yet.)
Disclosure: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters supplied two bags of Dark Magic Espresso Blend coffee for this post, however the recipe and content are entirely my own.