Tiramisu just may be the perfect no-bake summer dessert recipe. You won't believe how easy it is to put the Southwest flavors of caramel and sarsaparilla into this creamy, classic and turn it into a summer dessert for the whole family.
Finally! A dessert fit to wrap up our annual Spaghetti Western Fiesta celebrating Clint Eastwood's birthday! I know you have been waiting on pins a needles in anticipation. I mean really, how do you wrap things up without dessert? And, what is the most Italian of desserts? My favorite, tiramisu.
It's true, it's true, cowboys do love their coffee but, caramel and sarsaparilla are the perfect Southwest combo to go with the creaminess of the tiramisu. It is a very subtle flavor and not at all as strong as you would think. I also add a little Mexican chocolate to the sarsaparilla to dip the lady fingers into. The chocolate adds some of the "bitterness" of the coffee and actually adds to the sarsaparilla flavor.
Tiramisu is one of my absolute favorite desserts and I actually make it quite often. My youngest son loves my traditional (but without the booze) recipe so much that we make it for his birthday instead of a birthday cake. Most of the time, I change up the flavors for the different seasons of the year and put my own spin on it. You won't believe how easy it is to change the flavors! Besides, the coffee and marsala in the original recipe can be a little heavy for the summer and not very "girlie" when I make it to serve at events like my niece's wedding shower, lunch with the ladies or even summer brunches.
The bonus to making tiramisu for a party or special event is that this dessert needs to sit in the refrigerator long enough for the flavors to blend together, the cream to set and the lady fingers to soften. If you dip the lady fingers quickly in the sarsaparilla mixture, you can keep it overnight without them getting soggy.
Tiramisu seems to be one of those "mysteries" that sounds complicated to make but, is actually very easy. Once you grab the courage to try, you will wonder why you waited so long!
Here's how I make the tiramisu:
- 1 bottle sarsaparilla or root beer (12 ounces) divided
- 1½ ounce Mexican chocolate, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- 7 egg yolks
- 8 ounce mascarpone, room temperature
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 48 lady fingers (the dried, hard variety)
- ⅓ cup caramel sauce
- Fresh berries for garnish, optional
- Step 1-Reserve ⅓ cup of sarsaparilla, set aside. Pour the remaining sarsaparilla into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove sarsaparilla from heat and add the Mexican chocolate. Stir to melt the chocolate and add the vanilla when cooled.
- Step 2-In a heat proof mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until light in color. Set the bowl over a saucepan with boiling water and whisk until the egg mixture is doubled in size and thick enough to leave whisk marks in the mixture and you can see the bottom of the bowl.
- Whisk in the reserved ⅓ cup of sarsaparilla. Remove the bowl from the heat. Blend the mascarpone into the egg mixture.
- Whip the cream and fold into the mixture.
- Step 3-Quickly dip the lady fingers in the sarsaparilla mixture and arrange in a 9 by 13 dish or pan. Cover with cream mixture. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours to set the cream mixture and allow the flavors to blend together.
- Drizzle with caramel and cut into squares or cut and plate the tiramisu and then drizzle with caramel sauce. Garnish with berries, if desired.
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Until next time!