*Disclaimer: this recipe includes the use of alcohol* Listen, Mike is spoiled. Don’t believe him if he says differently. SPOILED! His birthday was in September, and I made him this dessert surprise. His favorite dessert has been the Tiramisu Cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory, but he’s never had actual Tiramisu. So I decided I would try to make him a more classic Tiramisu – but I ended up adding a twist anyways! This Ombre Tiramisu is two different versions of a Tiramisu in one! You get classic AND chocolate. Uh, yum! And let me tell you, as someone who is only “meh” for Tiramisu, I could not eat enough of this Ombre Tiramisu. I seriously gobbled it up! I’m so lucky he’s a sharer.
So, the first place to start with a Tiramisu is the Ladyfingers. You can buy some at the store, but I think Spongy Ladyfingers really make a difference. They’re soft, fresh, spongy and you can split a batch in half to make the normal and chocolate ladyfingers. Here, I definitely made my own.
I’ve said many times, pull your ingredients at the same time, but here I take that back! You’ll want to remove the Mascarpone to allow it to soften a bit – but keep the heavy whipping cream refrigerated until ready for use. Think ahead now to how you want to present your Ombre Tiramisu. You may make it in a trifle bowl or a deep glass 8” pie or square dish to have a see through display. I went with an 8” round springform pan, so that I could remove the outer layer and lightly frost it for more affect. Either is a beautiful and delicious treat!
Line the chocolate ladyfingers along the bottom of your chosen dish. Depending on how perfectly they are shaped, you may need to cut to fit like I did, which is perfectly fine. They need to be pretty well measured to use them all as whole pieces. In a cup, mix the instant espresso powder with hot water and generously brush half of the mixture over chocolate lady fingers. It will soak in like a sponge! And it is delightful. Yummmm.
Here, I use a hand mixer in lieu of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. For this recipe, I like just a little more control. In a clean, metal bowl, whip cold heavy whipping cream until peaks form. Gently – starting on low – whip in powdered sugar, vanilla extract and liqueur, until just combined. If you want a stronger flavor, increase the liqueur just a bit.
Now this step is where I messed up and had to start over! I just dumped in the mascarpone and started mixing. DO NOT DO THIS! I ended up with a very wet clumpy mix that I just couldn’t salvage for anything. Instead, just add in the mascarpone by the spoonful. Slowly whip into the whipped cream and allow it to blend in before adding more.
Separate half of the whipped cream mixture and set aside. To make the chocolate whipped cream mixture, just stir the cocoa powder, by hand, to combine.
Spread chocolate whipped cream mixture over the chocolate ladyfingers.
Sprinkle 1 oz of the grated or shaved bittersweet chocolate over the chocolate whipped cream for a yummy surprise. If you’ve never grated or shaved chocolate before, my suggestion is to freeze it well and hard. This will reduce the melting in your hand. Then just run it over a cheese grater, or use a potato peeler on the ends to shave chunks.
Now we repeat for the classic layer. Line your classic lady fingers over the chocolate whipped cream. Again, cut as needed to fill in the space and generously brush the remaining espresso mixture over.
Spread the whipped cream mixture that was set aside over the top of the classic lady fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. Gently run knife along the edge to separate from pan or bowl. If using a springform pan, remove the outer piece.
Garnish with remaining grated/shaved chocolate and serve if using trifle bowl, pie or square pan. If you chose to use a springform pan, we have a few more steps left!
To make the frosting, make sure the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar are separated as directed. With a hand mixer and whisk attachment, whip the first ½ Cup cold, heavy whipping cream in a metal bowl to form peaks. Then, whip 2 TBS powdered sugar into the whipped cream to create the top layer of “frosting”. Spread the “frosting” along the top and about ⅓ down the side. Then repeat- whip remaining ½ cup cold, heavy whipping cream to form peaks followed by the remaining 1 TBS powdered sugar with cocoa powder. Spread this “frosting” on the unfrosted portion.
Garnish by lightly sifting cocoa powder over the top, and sprinkle the remaining shaved or grated chocolate.
I’m going to be straight with you guys. The time between making something and actually typing up the post is sometimes several weeks apart. So typing this post was TORTURE. Seeing these photos and telling you how amazing my Ombre Tiramisu was, I am practically drooling. I need to make this again. Right. Now.
Please share your version on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and tag us @garnishinglife, with #garnishinglife. I want to see your creations!
- 8-10 Chocolate Ladyfingers
- 8-10 Classic Ladyfingers
- 1/2 Tbs Instant Espresso Powder
- 2-3 Tbs Hot Water
- 1 1/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tbs Chocolate or Coffee Liqueur
- 8 Oz Mascarpone
- 1 Tbs Cocoa Powder extra for Garnish if desired
- 2 Oz Bittersweet Chocolate Bar grated or shaved
(Optional) Whipped Cream "Frosting"
- 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 3 Tbs Powdered Sugar separated, 2 Tbs and 1 Tbs
- 1 Tbs Cocoa Powder
- In an 8” round springform pan or trifle bowl, layer the chocolate ladyfingers to cover the bottom. Cut as needed to fill in the space.
- Mix instant espresso powder with hot water and generously brush half of the mixture over chocolate ladyfingers.
- Using hand mixer and whisk attachment, whip cold heavy whipping cream in a metal bowl to form peaks.
- Whip powdered sugar, vanilla extract and liqueur into the whipped cream, until just combined.
- Add mascarpone by the spoonful and slowly whip into the whipped cream.
- Set aside half of the whipped cream mixture to reserve for the 2nd layer.
- By hand, stir the cocoa powder into the whipped cream mixture for the 1st layer.
- Spread chocolate whipped cream mixture over the chocolate ladyfingers.
- Sprinkle 1 oz of the grated bittersweet chocolate over the chocolate whipped cream.
- Layer the classic lady fingers over the chocolate whipped cream. Cut as needed to fill in the space.
- Generously brush remaining espresso mixture over classic ladyfingers.
- Spread the whipped cream mixture that was set aside over the top of the classic ladyfingers.
- Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
- Gently run knife along the edge to separate from pan or bowl. If using a springform pan, remove the outer piece.
- Garnish with remaining grated/shaved chocolate and serve if using trifle bowl, pie or square pan. Follow directions for “frosting” if a springform pan was used.
(Optional) Whipped Cream Frosting
- Using hand mixer and whisk attachment, whip ½ Cup cold, heavy whipping cream in a metal bowl to form peaks.
- Whip 2 TBS powdered sugar into the whipped cream, until just combined.
- Frost the top and about ⅓ down the side.
- In a separate bowl, whip remaining ½ Cup cold, heavy whipping cream in a metal bowl to form peaks.
- Whip in remaining 1 TBS powdered sugar and 1 TBS Cocoa Powder into the whipped cream, until just combined.
- Frost remaining, unfrosted portion.