Kahlua Tiramisu

2012 is getting off to a shaky start.  I’m still suffering from my thumb injury.  Thankfully I can still draw and paint and use the computer, but it’s a little hard to take photos.

It’s believed I had either osteoarthritis in the joint from before (so it’s probably not entirely the fault of the pesky gum paste) or I strained the muscles around the joint or a combination of both.  I’m still trying to use my left hand as much as possible these days.

I made this Kahlua Tiramisu pre-injury and have been meaning to do a post about  it.

Here is a better view of the layers.

The thing I love about this particular recipe is that it doesn’t include raw egg  like a traditional tiramisu.  It’s a little more work because it’s made up of zabaglione, pastry cream, and mascarpone, but it is so worth it.  You can make it with Marsala wine or rum, but I love Kahlua, and I still have two bottles from my duty-free bounty.

My precious

I made  this recipe last month for a dinner that got postponed due to illness.  Because of the holidays and travel, we weren’t able to get together again until this past weekend.  I had already made the Tiramisu before the dinner was postponed, so the wonderful thing is that I was able to freeze it for this long!  I thawed it in the refrigerator for four hours before bringing it to our friends’ house.  I have to say that it still tasted great, and the texture was perfect.  So if you need to make a dessert for a special occasion several days or more in advance, I highly recommend this one!  The Tiramisu actually tastes better the next day in general, so if you don’t freeze it, try to make it the day before the event.

I found the original recipe at thedaringkitchen.com and changed some of the amounts, used store bought lady fingers and mascarpone (their amazing version called for home-made and they have  instructions if you are so inclined…)  Usually a package of 7.7 oz. lady fingers contain 24 fingers.  The original recipe calls for 36, so I adjusted the amounts for a 24 lady finger tiramisu.

Kahlua Tiramisu

For the zabaglione:
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup Kahlua
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

For the vanilla pastry cream:

¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup whole milk

For the whipped cream:
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

To assemble the tiramisu:

1 1/2 cups strong coffee, warmed
3/4 teaspoon Kahlua
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
24 savoiardi/ ladyfinger biscuits

1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

For the zabaglione:

Heat water in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place a pot with about an inch of water in it on the stove. Place a heat-proof bowl in the pot making sure the bottom does not touch the water.

In a large mixing bowl (or stainless steel mixing bowl), mix together the egg yolks, sugar, the Kahlua, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Whisk together until the yolks are fully blended and the mixture looks smooth.

Transfer the mixture to the top of a double boiler or place your bowl over the pan/ pot with simmering water. Cook the egg mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 8 minutes or until it resembles thick custard. It may bubble a bit as it reaches that consistency.

Let cool to room temperature and transfer the zabaglione to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

For the pastry cream:

Mix together the sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla extract in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. To this add the egg yolk and half the milk. Whisk until smooth.

Now place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling.

Add the remaining milk a little at a time, still stirring constantly. After about 12 minutes the mixture will be thick, free of lumps and beginning to bubble. (If you have a few lumps, don’t worry. You can push the cream through a fine-mesh strainer.)

Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

For the whipped cream:

Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer or immersion blender until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Set aside.

Three fillings: pastry cream, whipped cream, and zabiglione

To assemble the tiramisu:

Mix together the warm espresso, Kahlua and sugar in a shallow dish, whisking to mix well. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese with a spoon to break down the lumps and make it smooth. This will make it easier to fold. Add the prepared and chilled zabaglione and pastry cream, blending until just combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream.  Set this cream mixture aside.


Working quickly, dip the ladyfingers in the sweetened espresso, about 1 second per side. They should be moist but not soggy. Immediately transfer each ladyfinger to a square baking dish, placing them side by side. You may have to break a lady finger into two to fit them all in to the baking dish in one layer.

I placed the dry lady fingers in the pan first to get an idea of how they would fit in after soaking.

Working quickly, I did three at a time, then placed them in the pan.

Spoon one-half of the cream mixture on top of the ladyfingers, then use a rubber spatula or spreading knife to cover the top evenly, all the way to the edges.

Repeat to create another layer, using 12 more ladyfingers and the cream mixture for the top layer. Clean any spilled cream mixture; cover carefully with plastic wrap and refrigerate the tiramisu overnight.

Dust with cocoa right before serving.

To serve, carefully remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the tiramisu with cocoa powder. Cut into individual portions and serve.

Serves 8.



Filed under Desserts

19 responses to “Kahlua Tiramisu

  1. Oh, wow! Could there be anything better? You had me from the title alone: two sweeter words were never spoken. I don’t usually have lady fingers or mascarpone on hand, but maybe I’ll make some for my birthday next month. Hope your hand gets better soon. Meanwhile, paint away.

  2. Oh wow, this looks so, so indulgent and delicious 🙂 Love the idea of using Kahlua, and this might be the first version of tiramisu that my wife would share!

  3. It is indulgent, but sometimes those moments are necessary!

  4. No doubt the Kahlua is a fabulous addition. I have never made tiramisu but this post sure does motivate me to try it! The picture above the recipe looks amazing. Thanks for sharing this one, I am saving it. Great post.

  5. Missy,

    If you lived closer I would so let you make this for me! I’d invite you over for dinner of course! It looks delicious and reminds me that I haven’t eaten or made Tiramisu in a few years.

  6. Strictly speaking I am too young for Kahlua but I love alcohol (a little bit) in desserts and Tiramisu is king – this is a delightful post with yummy results
    Wonderful blog!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Aus Day Green and Gold Cake

  7. Like Tina, I have never made tiramisu but your looks so scrumptious it’s inviting to make one ASAP. I am sure my sister in Boston will love this recipe as well. Thanks

    Have a nice week 🙂

  8. Looks delicious! I hope your thumb heals soon.

  9. Sorry about the thumb injury….awful. 😦 I hope you get back to 100% fast.

    Kahlua in tiramisu!! Why did I not think of that?

  10. Julie

    I would love to try this recipe.

    What size pan do you recommend?

  11. Pingback: Kahlua Egg Cream | The Hungry Artist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s