Tuesday, 11 September 2007


This would rank as one of my favourite desserts to make, to serve and of course to eat! My wife loves this dessert as well and it is always a favourite whenever I make it. From my research, Tiramisu means 'pick me up' and legend has it that in Venice of old, there were a group of courtesans who worked in the brothel above the restaurant. According to legend, the ladies needed a "pick me up" to fortify themselves between amorous encounters. Nice story for a nice dessert!

My own story has a bit of romance in it. When my wife and I were dating, we would often have dinner dates and she always raved about Tiramisu. That was probably one of the earliest challenges she ever threw me and I responded with great flair to produce this recipe. It is loosely based on the recipe from All Time Favourites from The Australian Womens Weekly but since I have changed it quite a bit, I claim it as my own!

Tiramisu is supposed to be served scooped out of a dish or bowl. This is quite unlike what you find in some establishments where it is served in slices or squares.

The original recipe calls for Mascarpone but I substitute it with Philadelphia Cream Cheese mixed with whipped cream. This is far easier to handle as well as substantially cheaper. I also find that the taste difference is negligible. I also subsitute Kahlua and Rum for the Marsala Wine.

This is my modified recipe:

250 g Cream Cheese
400 ml Thickened Cream (Unsweetened)
2 tbsp Icing Sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 ½ Tbsp instant coffee powder
1 ½ tsp granulated Sugar
½ cup Kahlua
¼ cup Rum or Crème De Cacao
½ Cup cold water
Cocoa Powder for dusting
1 Packet Savoiardi (Sponge Fingers)


Cream the cheese until soft.
Whip cream with icing sugar until stiff
Dissolve coffee and granulated sugar in boiling water. Let cool
Mix Liqueurs and cold water. Pour 2/3 of this mixture into coffee. Add in remaining liqueur mixture into creamed cheese. Mix well.
Fold in cream and mix well till incorporated
Line the bottom of a Pyrex loaf pan with Savoiardi. You may need to trim the edges of the sponge fingers to fit into the pan.
Soak the cake evenly with half the coffee mixture. Reserve the remaining coffee mixture.
Cover sponge fingers with half the cream mixture
Arrange another layer of cake on top of the cream mixture and then soak evenly with the remaining coffee mixture.
Cover with remaining cream mixture and smooth the top evenly.
Chill for at least 4 hours - preferably overnight
Dust Cocoa powder over the top of dessert before serving.

There is always just a little extra of everthing to make a small, individual serve of tiramisu. This time I layered it nicely in a wine glass, like the fancy restaurants do.

My coffee liqeuor mixture is rather strong, just the way I like it and the way a 'pick me up' should be - irrespective of there being a brothel or not....!


Deborah said...

I have never heard the story behind tiramisu - how interesting, and a bit humorous!!

slush said...

I love tiramisu! I have never been brave enough to try it at home. Yours looks absolutely to die for, looks like you have perfected it!

April said...

Yum!! I love tiramisu, and this sounds delish!!! I will have to try this!!

Thistlemoon said...

Nice job Dharm! I love the way you presented it! It looks beautiful and I am sure your wife is happy!

Roberto makes wonderful Tiramisu - he uses marscapone and instead of marsala wine, sometimes we use frangelico (hazelnut liquor) or godiva liquor. I have never made it with cream cheese, but I am sure it passes muster. I do however really like your idea of mixing it with a little whipped cream - making it lighter and more airy! I think next time we will make 1/2 marscapone and 1/2 whipped cream to lighten things up!

culinaryprincess said...

Just came across your blog today.Really impressed with the wide variety of recipes you have.Will try out some of them soon especially ur tiramisu :)

Peabody said...

Looks good.

KJ said...

Yum, I love tiramisu and yours look delicious. Using cream cheese is a great idea.

I have finally answered your meme. Sorry for the delay.

Helene said...

Looks great! Get that new camera cranking!

Ruth Daniels said...

It does look sinfully good. Thanks for sharing.

Morven said...

Sounds like a great recipe and I love your idea of cream cheese and whipped cream. Your pictures are great.

Anonymous said...

definitly droolworthy. I am not sure I;m allowed to look at it, I am dieting... :P

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Anonymous said...


Dharm said...

Thanks for all the great comments guys! I'm learning that aside from being great fun, I'm making a whole lot of new friends on this blog!

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Yum Tiramisu is my fave dessert too. I have tried all kinds of variations - but the classical one is really the best! Yours looks fantastic and has me craving for one again.

Cara said...

Lovely presentation!

Chef Jeena said...

Your tiramisu looks fantastic. I bet it was delicious. Great post I bet your family enjoyed it a treat. :)


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