There’s a restaurant in town that serves the most delicious, light, and perfectly airy tiramisu. It’s not something I regularly order, nor is it a dessert I’ve ever made myself, but for some reason, at this restaurant, if I’m going to order dessert (and lately that seems to be ending the majority of my meals), it’s what I get. They’ve perfected the coffee to lady finger to creamy mascarpone ratio, and it’s the perfect proportion for two people to share.
I’ve never made it at home for a couple of reasons, first, because Kevin claims to dislike desserts that have any sort of coffee flavor, coffee, he says, should be hot, black, and reside in a giant mug. Noted. The second reason I’ve never made it at home is because it just seemed too darn complex, plus lady fingers kind of baffle me.
I was contacted by Nielsen Massey to try some of their extracts and pair them with something chocolately. Of course I immediately knew I wanted to take on the project, because who wouldn’t want to?? After I perused their site and spotted a coffee extract, the lady fingers I randomly picked up on sale a few weeks back came to the forefront of my mind. I immediately dreamt up this untraditional chocolate raspberry tiramisu, and here we are.
This version has all of the traditional components of a classic tiramisu – mascarpone, coffee-soaked lady fingers, and a layered esthetic – but has the addition of chocolate and raspberries.
As most tiramisu begin, I started by soaking the dry lady fingers in a combination of freshly brewed traditional breakfast coffee and some of the coffee extract to facilitate a deeper coffee taste. While the cookies soaked, I threw together the filling.
Egg yolks and sugar were whisked together over a low heat just until the sugar dissolved, if you’re worried about eating raw egg yolks, cook the mixture a little bit longer, but use a double boiler to reduce the risk of curdling the eggs.
Once the sugar is dissolved, I added in melted chocolate mixed with a little bit of heavy cream to make the chocolate a little bit easier to incorporate into the egg mixture.
The chocolate and eggs were then transferred to the bowl of a stand mixer and beaten with softened mascarpone cheese and another Nielsen Massey product, vanilla bean paste, which, by the way, has got to be one of my favorite baking assistants to date. Instead of only using the concentrated liquid extract, actual vanilla bean seeds are added to the extract, along with a touch of sugar making it an easy replacement for vanilla beans that can dry out in the pantry. Seriously, I’m not just saying this, I’m absolutely gaga over this stuff.
Anyways, at this point you can go one of two ways, leave the mixture as is, and have a looser filling, or, fold in a cup or so of whipped cream to sturdy the texture up, either way is the right way, it’s just a personal preference. For me, I left it as is, not wanting to dilute the chocolate and vanilla flavors.
I layered the soaked lady fingers, chocolate mascarpone mixture and raspberries together in mini dessert cups, but if you don’t have something similar on hand, you can just use a square 8×8 dish, it will yield the same results.
This is best after it’s been chilled for a few hours, but I’m impatient and require instant gratification, so I dug in right away, and it was just as good flavor-wise.
Finish off with a little bit of homemade whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder.
- 7 ounce package lady finger cookies (24 cookies)
- 1 cup coffee
- 1 teaspoon nielsen massey coffee extract
- 4 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 8 ounces room temperature mascarpone cheese
- 1½ teaspoons nielsen massey vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup whipped cream
- 2 pints raspberries
- Line lady fingers up in a shallow dish. Mix coffee and coffee extract together in a measuring cup. Pour over lady fingers, making sure the coffee is evenly distributed. Let cookies soak while you make the chocolate cream.
- In a medium saucepan, add egg yolks and sugar. Whisk until combined. Turn the heat on low, and whisk constantly until the sugar has melted, about 3-4 minutes. BE SURE TO NOT OVERHEAT AND CURDLE EGGS. If the you feel the mixture is getting too hot, remove from heat, whisk and then put back on the heat. Once the sugar has melted, remove from the heat.
- Add chocolate and heavy cream to a small microwave-safe dish. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate melts. If there are still some pieces that haven't melted, pop back in the microwave for 15 more seconds.
- Add chocolate mixture to egg yolk and sugar. Mix until combined. Add to the bottom of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment. Add in mascarpone cheese. Beat until completely combined and fluffy.
- You can assemble the tiramisu in four individual dessert cups, or in a square clear dish. Instructions here are for four dessert cups. Start by spooning some of the chocolate on the bottom. Layer with three soaked lady fingers. Spoon more chocolate on top. Lay raspberries on top. Place three more lady fingers on top of raspberries. Cover in chocolate mixture. Garnish with whipped cream and cocoa powder.
Thank you to Nielsen Massey for sponsoring this post!