An easy and quick recipe! Make this classic Italian dessert with ingredients you already have in your kitchen, like cream cheese, cake and chocolate!
This is the perfect Easter (or after Easter) dessert!
You gonna ask why? I’ll tell you!
It’s very easy and quick! All you have to do is whip up a batch of cream cheese mousse, briefly dip some ladyfingers or cookies in coffee and arrange everything in a glass.
And you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen! During the holidays there’s always a cake or sweet bread like challah, babka (have you checked this amazing white chocolate and goji berry olive oil Babka???) or tsoureki in every house; use these if you haven’t any ladyfingers or savoyard biscuits, though they’re pretty easy to find. And if you’ve made some mini cheese balls with herbs, you may have some cream cheese left in the fridge.
Need I say anything about chocolate? Though a good quality chocolate with 55% cocoa or more will work best, you certainly can use any chocolate bar or chocolate eggs to make the chocolate sauce. The good thing about this dessert is that it’s a faux tiramisu, meaning we have more freedom choosing our ingredients and don’t have to stick to the original recipe!
Now I know that almost every post about tiramisu explains the meaning of its name, but if I don’t say a few words too, I won’t feel good about myself 🙂
Tiramisu is an Italian name that comes from the words tirare (= pull), mi (= me) and su (= up/on). So, literally, tiramisu means “pick me up” and metaphorically “cheer me up” due to the effect from the coffee, cocoa and marsala wine. And it’s true! After the first spoonful of this dessert you feel lighter and carefree!
Real tiramisu is made of mascarpone cheese (which is about 50% fat) and egg yolks, savoyard biscuits dipped in espresso coffee and sweet marsala wine and cocoa powder. In this recipe egg yolks are left out, because working with raw eggs makes me a bit uncomfortable. At first, I thought f pasteurizing them with the sugar in a water bath, but this would make the recipe more difficult and time consuming. The best alternative was to replace them with cream. I think that beating the cream and cream cheese together makes something like stabilized whipped cream (or cream cheese mousse as I call it), which is actually awesome! The cream can absorb a good amount of vanilla, coffee and wine/liqueur without losing its light texture and fluffiness (yay!)
Savoyard biscuits also known as ladyfingers are made with the same ingredients as the basic sponge cake also known as pan di spagna (but with slight changes in proportions): eggs and sugar are beaten together until tripled in volume and then some flour is folded into the mixture. If you want you can bake this mixture as a cake, or transfer it into a piping bag and pipe thin, long, finger-shaped biscuits (thus the name!). This recipe with some cocoa added is used in my sinfully rich, creamy and indulgent pure chocolate mousse cake.
I had some savoyard biscuits left, from a charlotte I made for a friend’s birthday. But I’ve also made this dessert with pieces of sponge cake, chocolate cake, vanilla cake, sweet bread and crashed cookies.
Don’t let the biscuits/sponge soak too much coffee! They’ll also absorb some moisture from the cream, so be quick.
Instead of marsala wine you can use porto or another sweet wine, kahlua, dark rum, brandy or cognac.
Instead of mascarpone you can use your favorite cream cheese.
For the chocolate sauce use whatever you can find! Chocolate eggs, chocolate bars, chocolate chips. If you have nothing of the above, replace the sauce with some extra cocoa powder, or go buy a baking chocolate (55% cocoa or more!)
If you don’t have espresso, choose a good quality strong coffee.
- For the cream:
- 1 ¼ cup (300 grams) cream cheese (mascarpone or other type)
- ¾ cup (100 grams) icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons kahlua liqueur, dark rum or brandy
- 2 tablespoons espresso coffee
- 1 ¼ cup (300 grams) cream, 35% fat, cold
- For the chocolate sauce:
- ¼ cup (60 grams) cream
- ¼ cup (60 grams) chopped chocolate
- For the rest:
- 18-21 ladyfingers (sovoyard biscuits) or the same amount of cake/sweet bread pieces
- 4 tablespoons espresso coffee
- 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
- 2 tablespoons kahlua liqueur, dark rum or brandy
- Cocoa powder for dusting
- Beat cream cheese with icing sugar with an electric mixer and add the vanilla, coffee and liqueur.
- Add the cold cream and beat until mixture is light and fluffy and soft peaks form.
- In a small saucepan, gently heat cream with chocolate until smooth. Set aside.
- Combine coffee, liqueur and sugar(optional) in a plate and very briefly (almost instantly) dip one ladyfinger (or cake piece). Break the ladyfinger in two and place it on the bottom of a glass. Repeat for the rest glasses.
- Scoop 2 full tablespoons of cream in each glass and drizzle some of the chocolate sauce on top.
- Repeat with the rest of the biscuits and the cream.
- Store in the fridge for 2-3 hours or longer.
- Dust with cocoa powder before serving.
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