Monday, March 29, 2010

Tiramisu with minibar Kahlua espresso syrup

My favourite Australian/New Zealand dessert is pavlova.  My favourite Italian dessert is tiramisu.  And aren't I lucky that, unlike the pavlova, tiramisu is so easy to make.

There are many versions of tiramisu, but this recipe is based on a 'deconstructed' version from Donna Hay.  In the original, she layers the biscuits and mascarpone on a plate and spoons the syrup on top.  I prefer to layer everything in a bowl, as the savoiardi biscuits are just meant to absorb all the delicious liquid.

Speaking of which, I just adore Kahlua.  I'm not a big drinker (or should I say, I'm not a drinker at all), but I won't say no to something sweet.  I had to buy the Kahlua to make this and ended up just getting a little bottle from the liquor store.  Too cute.  I may also get the delightful Grand Marnier one, and start up my own personal hotel mini bar in the living room.

Tiramisu with Espresso Syrup
serves 2-3

1/2 cup (125ml) strong black coffee
1/3 cup (80ml) coffee liqueur (Kahlua, Tia Maria, etc)
2 tblsp brown sugar
1 cup (250g) mascarpone
1/4 cup (60ml) cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tblsp brown sugar, extra
6-8 small store-bought sponge finger biscuits (Savoiardi)

1.  Place coffee, liqueur and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Simmer for 5-6 minutes (the alcohol will evaporate). Pour into a shallow bowl and refrigerate until cool.
2.  Whisk together the mascarpone, cream, vanilla and extra sugar until combined. Do not overbeat or the mixture will be too thick.
3.  Remove coffee liquid from refrigerator.  Dip one side of a sponge-finger biscuit into the coffee, then turn it over and dip the other side.  Arrange the biscuit in the base of a serving bowl and repeat the dipping until the base of the bowl is covered.  You may need to cut the biscuits to size first.
4.  Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the biscuits.  Dip and arrange the remaining biscuits and top with the remaining cream.  Note: If you want more of an alcohol hit, sprinkle a little coffee liqueur over the biscuit layers.
5.  Refrigerate the tiramisu for at least 2 hours.  Sprinkle with cocoa powder before serving.  The tiramisu keeps for 3 days in the refrigerator, and its flavour improves over this time.

Recipe adapted from no time to cook (Donna Hay)
Some of the ingredients. I do like the mini-bar sizes of Kahlua...

Just pictures of the pouring of the syrup.

The savoiardi biscuits really soak up the liquid - make sure you dip both sides of the biscuit so that the syrup infuses all the way through.

A sprinkling of cocoa to complete this delicious dessert


  1. Ciao il tuo tiramisù è ottimo, complimenti!

  2. love tiramisu, kahlua is a good addition. I used Bailey's which is just as nice. love your portion of the tiramisu though :)

  3. aww. pav's not so hard. and there's so much leeway -- any mistakes can be hidden under a mountain of cream. plus, if it fails, you can turn it into eton mess. ;)

  4. The pics of the syrup-pouring are so mesmerising... *stares*. I love a good homemade tiramisu. I also love pavlova. Do you think it has something to do with cream? lol

  5. I like your version way better than Donna Hay. That's right! You gotta soak these biscuits with all that goodness!

  6. What a delicious (somewhat) boozy dessert! I love Kahlua too, but I have the opposite bottle to you - a massive duty free one!

    I wish there were those mini bottles of Grand Marnier at the shop when I needed some for my jaffa cheesecake - that stuff is so expensive. Still, at least I now have it for Crepes Suzette :)

  7. Ooh got to love Donna! I love how reliable her recipes are and this looks fantastic Belle! :D

  8. Great! I've got a large bottle of Kahlua sitting at home and wondered what to do with it. I find Kahlua too sweet to drink on its own. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Tiramisu is my favourite cake and this looks sooooo yummy Belle! Oh gosh it's 940pm and uhmm I don't think there's any cake joint open at the moment to satisfy my craving. AHhhhh this is wonderful!!

  10. Looks lovely! I definitely think that the biscuits should soak up the liquid too. I know deconstructed is cool and all, but c'mon! Why mess with a good thing?

  11. That's truly one great pick me up Belle! I don't drink as well and there is a huge bottle of kahlua given to us my a guest that is sitting here waiting to be used by YOU to make me that dessert! HA!

  12. oh god...what are you doin to me. This looks amazingly creamy and...just...amazing. My fav Italian dessert is also tiramisu which is why you could see me panting!!!

  13. I use Tia Maria and I have a large purpose pretty much for the sole purpose of making tiramisu! Pretty much my husband's favourite dessert =)

  14. I am right there with loving tiramisu. All the ingredients are just so rich and delicious. And together? Divine!

  15. Wow...that looks simple and easy to make. I can do it too. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Hey Belle, this looks delicious, especially right now-I'm starved. You know, I've never made tiramisu outside of the restaurant. Maybe I should try this...

  17. *droool*
    This is a dangerous dessert for one who is addicted to chocolate, coffee and Kahlua. Not that I know such person *whistles innocently*

    Fantastic recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  18. hi Everybody! Another late comment from Bel - looks like I know lots of, um, connoisseurs of liqueur. I'll know who to call when I make my next tiramisu :op