If you’ve been around Dianne’s Dishes a while, you probably have heard me lament my extreme distaste for coffee. I just don’t like it. The flavor doesn’t appeal to me. If you get enough cream and sugar in the cup to make it somewhat palatable, you’re actually drinking sugar sludge and that’s not appealing either. Therefore, tiramisu has never been a favorite, in fact though I’ve tried many times, I’d rather pass. Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept of tiramisu, but in actuality? No…not so much! I mean come on! Creamy layers of soaked lady fingers, with a sprinkling of chocolate for fun? Divine…IF you leave out the coffee, because coffee! Blech!
A few years ago I stumbled across a recipe for a coffee free tiramisu and I was intrigued. As is often the case I intended to make it, and then got tied up in this crazy ride we call life, and never got around to it, because isn’t that how it always goes? A few months ago around Christmas I decided I was going to make some and set out to acquire lady fingers, only to find those buggers are harder than you would think to locate, so I got side tracked…again.
I finally decided to check Amazon, and wouldn’t you know it, lady fingers! Then as is par for the course, I got side tracked again. I even put them in my cart, and still forgot them. I finally got back to the whole idea this weekend.
When I had ordered the lady fingers, I actually looked at the recipe for the first time in years and wasn’t convinced it was what I wanted to do. It just wasn’t quite right. I did some research and found other coffeeless recipes, but they weren’t quite it either and in the grand tradition of kitchen experimentation I thought, “Screw it! I’m going rouge!” and what I ended up with is so good, whether you like coffee or not, you won’t miss it. I promise! And if you like chocolate this is definitely the dessert for you!
So here we have my coffee free tiramisu! It’s definitely not like your Mom would make, but that’s not a bad thing…at all! One day, I plan to experiment with a chocolate tea variety, but that is a story for another day. So sit back, relax, and let’s make a little tiramisu…and hold the coffee, please!
What You’ll Need to Soak the Lady Fingers:
2 cups of milk
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
1/2 cup of cocoa
1/4 cup of chocolate vodka or liqueur
Stir the ingredients together in a small pot. Heath through until sugar is melted.
Yes…you just made hot chocolate! 😉
Sit aside and let cool to room temperature.
What you’ll Need for the First Part of the Cream Layer:
4 egg yolks (Note: If you have a thing about raw eggs, this is not the recipe for you.)
1/4 cup of sugar
Place the egg yolks and sugar in a glass bowl and beat on medium/high for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is pale yellow and the air in the mixture makes it look bigger. It’ll be very creamy. Set aside.
What You’ll need for the Second Part of the Cream Layer:
1 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of sugar
1 – 8 ounce package of mascarpone, softened
Beat the cream and sugar together until soft peaks form. Add the mascarpone and beat until incorporated.
Now you’re going to mix the first part of the cream layer and the second part of the cream layer together.
Fold the second part in to the first egg mixture until incorporated:
Now comes the assembly.
Give an 8 X 8 inch dish a quick spray of non-stick spray, or if you want to go a little crazy, give it a rub with butter. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with about a tablespoon of cocoa powder:
Next you will start making your lady finger layer. Take a lady finger and dip it in the cooled hot chocolate mixture, coating both sides and place in the your baking dish:
Repeat this process until the bottom of the dish is covered. You may have to break a few of the lady fingers to get them to fit toward the end:
If you soak the lady fingers more than a few seconds they’ll disintegrate. I like to just give them a dip on one side, and then on the other.
Add 1/2 of the cream mixture and spread out over top of the soaked lady finger layer:
Then repeat with another layer of soaked lady fingers:
And then top with the remaining cream mixture:
Now this is where you can have a bit of fun. You can shave chocolate over the top, drizzle it, or go a little nuts like I did, and place a dark chocolate ganache heart on top of each slice. It makes it easier to tell where you’ll slice it later too:
And now comes the hard part. You need to place your tiramisu in the refrigerator and let it sit overnight. You’ll want to cut right in, but trust me, sitting makes it better. The lady fingers become soft, the flavors meld and you end up with lovely, gorgeous layers!
I had some the next day for second breakfast. What? You didn’t know I was a Hobbit? 😉
Take a look at this forkful of goodness!
Even though it’s hard, you’ll be glad you waited! Now dig in and enjoy!
Notes: There are so many variations you could do with this. You could add 1/3 cup of cocoa in to the cream mixture for a more concentrated chocolate flavor. You could add in some salted caramel elements to give a bit of a twist. If you just wanted to, you could add in espresso in place of hot chocolate, but that would defeat the purpose as far as I’m concerned, now wouldn’t it! 😉