Darcie Bakes //

Baking from scratch… because good things take time.


Tiramisu is one of those desserts that looks all fancy schmancy. It has intimidated me ever since I learned what it was.

tiramisucoverAdmittedly, it’s not one of my favorite desserts – despite the fact that I do enjoy coffee – so therefore, I’ve never had much motivation to make it for myself. However, it is one of my dad’s favorite desserts. I realized a few months ago that I have never bothered to make it for him. {I have baked all kinds of treats for my dad in the past, so I’m not a bad daughter, I swear!} Finally, this Christmas, I decided it was time to take the tiramisu plunge.

I started with a [simple enough] recipe from the Use Real Butter blog. And you know what? Making tiramisu really isn’t that difficult. Of course, I fumbled through a few steps, but overall, it’s not that difficult to make. The most difficult part of making the tiramisu is making the custard portion. And then it just takes some time to assemble. {Note: See my recipe notes after the recipe itself; I’ve shared several “first time lessons learned” below.}

This tiramisu is light, fluffy, and rich. But it’s not too sweet. It’s got a nice cocoa flavor and a subtle espresso flavor, but even for people who aren’t coffee fans, it’s not overwhelming. I’d give it an 8.5 out of 10; would make again. I only wish mine turned out a bit prettier – I wanted to pipe the top layer of filling on top, but alas, it still tastes great. 😉

tiramisuverticalTiramisu makes a good post-Christmas dinner dessert.

Dem layers doe.

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Yield: I used an 8×8″ square glass pan and got about 8-10 servings. You can use an 8×8″ or 9×9″ pan and you should be fine.

– Four [4] egg yolks
– 1/4 cup granulated sugar
– 1/4 cup Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
– Pinch of salt
– 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 3 packages lady fingers/savoiardi [I used three 5 oz. packages of lady fingers.]
– 2 cups hot brewed espresso [I used Medaglia D’Oro instant espresso powder brewed in hot water.]
– 2 TBS. unsweetened cocoa powder or grated bittersweet chocolate [I used cocoa powder this time.]


Make the Filling:
1. In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, place the egg yolks, sugar, Kahlua, and salt. Whisk the ingredients constantly for about six minutes, or until the mixture becomes thick. When lifting the whisk out, you should be able to leave a “ribbon” on the surface. {Note: If you’re concerned about egg safety, check the temperature of the “custard” – the temperature should reach 160°F. I like to live life on the edge, so I didn’t bother checking it.}

2. Remove the custard mixture from the heat, and set the bowl on ice to cool. Be sure to stir it occasionally.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer [or in a bowl with an electric hand mixer], mix the mascarpone cheese and heavy cream together. Then beat the cheese/cream mixture together until heavy peaks form.


4. Once the egg custard mixture has cooled completely, fold it into the cream and cheese mix until it’s evenly combined. Set aside the filling until you’re ready to assemble.

tiramisufillingDat filling doe.

Assemble the Tiramisu:
1. One at a time, dip each lady finger into [cooled] espresso. Arrange them in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Spread about one third of the filling evenly over the lady fingers. Dust the top of the layer with cocoa powder.
2. Repeat step one for the second layer.
3. For the third layer, you can either spread the remaining filling on top, or pipe it all pretty over the lady fingers. Finally, dust with cocoa powder.
4. Place the tiramisu in the refrigerator for twenty-four hours so that it can firm up and allow all of the flavors to meld together. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes/”First Time” Lessons Learned:
– On lady fingers: Apparently, there are two different varieties of lady fingers at the store. There are softer ones, and crunchy ones. My dad could only find the soft ones at Kroger, so I took them out of the package and let them get a little dried out for a day or two. I think that was a good choice, because even after being dried out, they still got a bit too soggy in places from dipping them in the espresso. Next time, I’ll probably just make my own crunchy lady fingers. They seem fairly easy to make from scratch.
– On layering/dipping the lady fingers: Be careful not to get the lady fingers too saturated with espresso. If they become too soggy, they will make the final product a bit “soupy.” Soupy – in this case – is gross.
– Cooking the custard: To make the filling, I made a “makeshift” double boiler. A makeshift double boiler is just a sauce pan filled with simmering water, over high heat. Then I just place a heatproof bowl on top, and put the custard ingredients in to whisk/cook.
– On the cocoa powder: If I were in my own kitchen when I made this, I would have used a sieve or sifter to dust the cocoa powder on each layer. However, I didn’t have access to those tools, so I just used a strainer to sort of “sift” it over. It didn’t turn out as pretty, but it worked well enough.

Tiramisu recipe from Use Real Butter.

 breakfastTiramisu also makes a nice breakfast, along with a cup of hot, black coffee. 😛

 PS: This blog post is dedicated to my dad. I’m glad you enjoyed my first ever homemade tiramisu! 🙂

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