This Caramel Chai Tiramisu is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!
I was talking with one of my friends the other day about favorite desserts. He was making a solid argument for cookies. More specifically, his favorite was a chewy chocolate peanut butter cup cookie. They’re delicious, easy to make and can be eaten with one hand. Ok, I had a hard time arguing with that logic. Any dessert that can be eaten with one hand deserves bonus points. And I admit that chocolate and peanut butter is indeed a delicious combination.
But I countered back with one of my all-time favorites: tiramisu. Ok, truthfully, I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and it’s difficult to select favorite desserts. I like them all! But tiramisu has Italian roots, and therefore it
gets bonus points wins. I truthfully can’t remember when I first had tiramisu. Since it features coffee, I’m assuming it wasn’t when I was a kid as I didn’t like coffee-flavored anything until high school. Traditional tiramisu also includes rum, so I’m guessing my first experience with tiramisu was sometime after I was 21.
In fact, tiramisu was one of the first recipes I mastered when I was first learning my way around the kitchen. It’s really rather simple to make, and it’s one of those impressive desserts to serve. No offense to the tasty chocolate peanut butter cup cookie, but tiramisu wins in the presentation category!
I’ve shared my go-to classic tiramisu recipe here before, but I decided to get creative the other day. I had some of International Delight’s Caramel Chai Tea Latte in my fridge, and I decided to use that in place of the milk. Traditional tiramisu also uses raw eggs. My wife can’t eat raw eggs right now, so I used a cooked custard version for this Caramel Chai Tiramisu. I was a little skeptical about veering away from the traditional tiramisu method, but the result was excellent! I also subbed out the traditional cocoa powder on top in favor of cinnamon to go with the flavors in the chai tea. And since cinnamon makes everything better, I was pretty much in heaven with this recipe!
While this recipe does call for cooking the egg yolks indirectly over simmering water, that’s about the only heat required. Other than that, you just layer the espresso-soaked ladyfingers with the delicious caramel chai custard and toss the whole pan in the fridge for a few hours. Right before serving, I topped these tiramisu squares with a little dusting of cinnamon and fresh raspberry.
How do you find time to relax during busy summer days? I know summer is supposed to be a time to sit back, slow down and soak in the rays…but it never seems to work out like that. There’s always lawns to mow, pools to swim in and gardens to weed. (Ok, maybe the pools part isn’t all that bad.) For us, we like to take 10 minutes at the end of the workday to walk around the backyard and look at the flowers and garden. I also enjoy grabbing a book and reading in the hammock on Saturday afternoons with an ice-cold glass of Caramel Chai Tea Latte. My wife enjoys her glass heated up in the morning instead. Either way, that little 10-minute break on a busy day is sometimes all I need to recharge the batteries!
What is your favorite dessert? (You get a bonus point if it is Italian.)
Caramel Chai Tiramisu
- 5 large egg yolks
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- ¾ cup Caramel Chai Tea Latte
- 16 oz. mascarpone cheese room temperature
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 36 ladyfingers
- 1½ cups espresso or strongly-brewed coffee
- Optional garnishes: cinnamon and fresh raspberries
- Line a 9”x9” square baking pan with plastic wrap. (Note: Use extra plastic wrap so that the edges hang over. This will help remove the Tiramisu later.)
- Using a medium heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and chai tea latte. Place bowl over a gently simmering saucepan of water. (Note: Do not let the bottom of the heatproof bowl actually touch the water. It should just sit on top of the saucepan.)
- Heat, whisking frequently, until custard reaches 170°F (~6-8 minutes).
- Remove from heat and set aside to cool. (Tip: You can place the bowl in the refrigerator for several minutes to speed up this step.)
- Add mascarpone cheese and lemon juice to the custard; stir until just combined.
- Whip heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.
- Place the espresso in a shallow bowl. Split each ladyfinger in half. Gently dip 18 of the halves into the espresso and then place in three rows in the 9”x9” baking dish.
- Spread ½ of the mascarpone mixture evenly on top of the ladyfingers.
- Repeat with remaining ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture.
- Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Cut into squares and garnish with cinnamon before serving. (optional)
- Place raspberry in the center of each square before serving. (optional)
This conversation is sponsored by International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.