When I posted this on Instagram yesterday, I had a few people, even close friends, shocked at the fact that I am not a fan of Tiramisu, the dessert. I’m not sure why. Let’s analyze.
I like coffee, but I don’t LOVE coffee. I can live without it. Same goes for Kahlua, the coffee-flavored liquor. I can’t say that I don’t like ladyfingers, they are quite good, but don’t you think it’s a bit suspicious how fast they crumble into mush when immersed in coffee? Like literally, you drop them in for 2 seconds, flip, 2 seconds, and somehow they are now mush. It makes me wonder.
So why did I attempt a tiramisu ice-cream? My Montreal foodie friend first suggested it a few months back. Unfortunately, the week she was visiting became the week of insanity: my elderly father fell and broke 5 ribs, I burned my hand, my mother also fell, and my son blew his eyebrows off in a heater-lighting incident. Needless to say, we never got around to making this flavor.
But, I never forgot about it either.
Recently I went to a school for 6 days that was supported by volunteers. One of the organizers and his wife worked tirelessly, organizing, feeding, cleaning …. the list goes on. What is one of their favorite desserts? Tiramisu. Being a non-tiramisu lover, I thought twice about making a version that probably wouldn’t be as great as ones they’ve had before. Next natural choice? Ice-cream.
I was worried as I tried to come up with the measurements for this because, well, if I don’t like tiramisu, how am I going to properly taste-test this? We do what we must. Also, my husband, a coffee lover, was always available to assist and advise.
I mostly didn’t know how to or if I even should add the mush ladyfingers, so I messaged one of my Italian friends back home. Believe it or not, she was actually at an ice-cream stand with a tiramisu flavor when I messaged her. How’s that for friendship? She literally sent me a picture of the ice-cream in front of her and asked the owner his thoughts on this question. I wish she could be my personal life assistant, that woman knows how to get things done, even when she doesn’t plan it.
I ended up putting the soaked ladyfingers in, but in order for them not to completely dissolve in the ice-cream, I added them in a layer in the middle like this:
I tried adding one to the churned ice-cream and it turned to, you guessed it, mush. When you lay them in this way, you get a larger chunk of the soaked ladyfingers in your scoop, which, to me, makes it real tiramisu.
This flavor is FANTASTIC. I love it. It’s my new favorite. The mascarpone cheese makes it so creamy, the alcohol makes it scoop-able, and that hit of soaked ladyfingers brings it all together.
Try it, you may like it even better than the dessert itself!
And now I need to go and make more because this was so good that we may have eaten it all and my hard-working friends didn’t get any. Oops.
- 2 cups mascarpone cheese
- 2 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 egg yolks
- 3 shots espresso, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 ladyfingers
- 1/4 cup Kahlua
In a medium saucepan on medium heat, warm whipping cream and sugar. In the meantime, whisk egg yolks in a small bowl. When liquid mixture is warm, slowly whisk a small amount into the egg yolks and whisk until tempered and combined. Pour egg yolks and cream back into pot and stir regularly with a flat-bottomed wooden spoon until mixture coats the spoon and leaves a line when you run your finger through it. Take off heat.
In a bowl, combine mascarpone, vanilla, and two espresso shots. Pour warm cream mixture through a fine mesh strainer into mascarpone mixture. Whisk if there are any lumps. Let cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Churn ice-cream according to manufacturers directions. When finished, pour half the mixture into an ice-cream safe container. Combine Kahlua and 1 espresso shot together. Dip ladyfingers very briefly on each side. Cut into pieces and layer on top of ice-cream. (If you like, pour remaining liquid from ladyfingers into ice cream). Pour remaining ice cream on top and freeze a few hours, covered.
Makes about 2 pints.