There are a few desserts that my husband and I typically like to always order whenever we dine out at restaurants. There’s the sinfully gooey pizookie (giant cookie cooked in a mini pizza pan), a warm slice of apple pie (ala mode is a must for me), or the creamy and indulgent cheesecake (because making a regular size one at home would require fat buffet pants for the rest of the month). My personal favorite is the ever so decadent tiramisu, an Italian classic dessert that is a coffee lover’s dream come true. However, Lorenzo isn’t a fan of chocolate desserts, so it’s a rare occasion if I can indulge in tiramisu.

I had a sudden craving to make it myself when I saw that my food bloggy girlfriend, Eva, had Tiramisu on her baking bucket list. I don’t have a cooking or baking bucket list written down but just a running backlog of recipes in my head that I always want to cook or bake up. It’s the desire to complete food challenges to feel a sense of accomplishment and mainly to figure out if homemade desserts taste better at home versus the restaurants, too. And it’s always fun to collaborate with my food bloggy community whenever I can especially before my hands will be busy with a newborn. (We have less than a month left until my due date!)

The challenging aspect of this recipe was locating the ingredients. I had the hardest time locating ladyfingers. Trader Joe’s only carries them during the holiday season, and my go-to grocery store did not carry them as well. Thankfully, Sprouts Farmers market had carried them in stock, and I almost debated about ordering them on Amazon, too. This dessert came together with a little bit of detailed prep, and the results were pretty fantastic. Make sure to not drench the ladyfingers in the coffee-Kahlua mixture too long, just a quick coating or you will have soggy ladyfingers. The texture was wonderfully creamy and you can taste all the wonderful blended flavors of the coffee, cream cheese/mascarpone mixture with the little bits of grated chocolate. More importantly, you will not notice that this is the “lighter” version dessert because you will be too busy finishing your serving.

Make sure to check out Eva Bakes beautifully made Tiramisu as well.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua (or coffee-flavored liqueur), divided
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (reduced if preferred), softened
  • 2 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 24 to 28 savoiardi ladyfingers
  • 3/4 ounces chocolate, finely grated

Cooking Directions

  1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil and remove from heat. Add the instant coffee and let stand for 10 minutes. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. Combine 1/4 cup sugar, egg yolks, and 1 tablespoon Kahlua in the top of a double boiler, whisking constantly until thick and creamy and until a candy thermometer registers 160 degrees. Remove from heat and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  3. In the bowl of the stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on medium high speed until medium peaks form.
  4. In a small saucepan, add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water over medium-high heat. Cook until candy thermometer registers 250 degrees, no need to stir mixture. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour hot syrup into the egg whites. Gradually increase speed to high and mix for 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form, making sure to not overmix.
  5. In a large bowl, mix egg yolk mixture, cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Carefully fold in 1/4 of egg white mixture into cream cheese mixture and gently fold in the remaining egg white mixture.
  6. Place coffee in a 4 inch container (I used a pie plate) and add the remaining 1 tablespoon Kahlua to coffee. Quickly dip ladyfingers into coffee mixture and arrange into desired dishes. For single serving goblets, I used 1 1/2 ladyfingers or 12+ ladyfingers in 9×9 baking dish. Spread a layer of cream cheese mixture over ladyfingers. Sprinkle with grated chocolate. Repeat procedure with remaining ladyfingers. Garnish with remaining chocolate. Cover and let chill for at least 2 hours.

Review: Absolutely delicious, and I prefer the single serving goblets versus the family size. You can easily half the recipe to make personal servings for yourself especially if you have a husband like mine that doesn’t like chocolate desserts.

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