I have been wanting to make the traditional Italian dessert Tiramisu, or “pick me up” as it is often called for a long time. I like the metaphorical translation which is “make-me-happy” as this recipe certainly did. The problem has been that I have about 20 different versions of this yummy dessert and it was hard to choose the “best one”. The more choices I had the harder it became. Tiramisu has been adpated into many varieties of cakes but typically, lady fingers are dipped in coffee and then layered with a whipped mixture of mascarpone and other goodies and flavored with cocoa.
I decided to take a picture of all of the recipes I have saved over the past twelve years; the oldest goes back to 2003 so I have been thinking about this dessert a long time. This does not include all of my cookbooks… 🙂
However, in a recent email from King Arthur Flour (KAF) I received this dessert called Berry Tiramisu. Problem above solved as I decided to make this fresh departure from the original coffee-flavored Tiramisu with a citrus/Grand Marnier flavored dessert. Since Michigan strawberries are in it was just meant for me to make this yummy version of this Italian favorite. There is nothing better than plump, juicy Michigan strawberries as you can see in the pictures below!
Strawberry Tiramisu, Adapted
Note: The syrup can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. You can bake the cake a day ahead and keep well covered. KAF also wrote the filling could be made 3 days ahead of time but I found it to be a little “watery” so I would not recommend making it until the time you will assemble the Tiramisu. Love steps you can do ahead of time!
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and line with parchment two 9″ square pans. You can use round cake pans but the layers will be thicker and might need to cook longer.
Combine the eggs, sugar and almond extract in your stand mixer. Beat on high speed (9 on my Kitchen-Aid) until the eggs thicken and become lighter in color, about 5 minutes.
In another bowl whisk together the three dry ingredients. Add 1/3 of the dry mixture over the beaten egg and gently stir it in. Repeat twice more, using 1/3 of the flour mixture each time. The batter will look spongy and fluffy and even the batter had a light and fluffy taste.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes on a rack. Remove the cakes from the pans and cool completely.
Citrus Soaking Syrup:
Comment: I first thought this might be too citrusy and the recipe made more syrup than I needed. There was also fresh orange zest in the filling which was a factor in my decision as well. I chose to use only half of the recipe and the cake was nicely flavored. I also used only 1/3 cup lemon juice (not 1/2) and did use Grand Marnier. Everyone liked the flavor so I am glad I changed the recipe. So, cut the recipe below in half for the perfect, but not too much, citrusy flavor.
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon zest (from 2-3 lemons)
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon juice (juice of 2-3 lemons) I chose 1/3 cup as I did not want to strong of a citrus flavor
- pinch of ground cloves
- 3 tbsp. Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur (could use fresh orange juice instead)
Combine all of the above ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat; simmer until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, strain and set aside to cool.
Citrus Cream Filling:
I did not change the filling ingredients at all.
- 2 cups mascarpone cheese
- 2 tbsp. freshly grated orange zest
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 quarts fresh strawberries (or use a fruit of your choice)
Combine the cheese and orange zest in a small bowl. Gradually stir in the cream until the mixture is smooth and becomes thick. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar.
Place one cake layer on your serving platter and brush it with the syrup. Allow it to soak in, then apply more. Use half of the syrup for the first layer.
My strawberry slicer (see below) really came in handy as all of the strawberries had uniform slices. This is important for this cake as you do want it to be level.
Position half of your sliced berries over the moist cake. Spread half of the cream filling on top of the strawberries in an even layer. Top with the second layer of cake and repeat the soaking process.
I chose to add another layer of strawberries on the cake instead of spreading the second layer of cream like KAF suggested. Then I added the last layer of cream. To serve I placed whole strawberries around the top of the cake and a few in the middle with a few mint leaves for garnish.
This Tiramisu will only keep for about 2 days – KAF does not recommend freezing the cake.
Recipe by cookingwithauntjuju.com
I am thrilled to be co-hosting once again and this time with the talented baker Michelle who turns out some of the most delicious and beautiful desserts, fancy cocktails and maybe even some jam. Check out her site Giraffes Can Bake and mine Cooking with Aunt Juju. Thanks to our host, Angie who has kept Fiesta Friday going for 73 weeks! What would we do without her!