Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, so full of fluffy sweet mascarpone cheese goodness and light genoise cake. My only problem? Expresso.
This highly popular Italian dessert cake is traditionally created using several alternating layers of a light custard – mixed with the Italian cream cheese mascarpone – and layers of coffee (usually expresso) and liquor dipped cookies called ladyfingers. Unfortunately I don’t really like the taste of coffee and the amount of caffeine in a shot of expresso would have me so perky I could build a house from scratch. Using toothpicks. In an afternoon.
Tea to the rescue! If I can avoid eating the ladyfingers – they’re wonderful just dunked in a cup and light enough to go with even the subtlest white or green tea — I’ll occasionally make my own “tea-ramisu.” After hearty approvals from friends and family, I think it’s good enough to share.
This version uses a powdered chai tea mix, but any variety of tea (or “teasans”) will work. If using teabags or loose-leaf tea, simply brew according to the recommendations for that particular tea, then simmer for ten minutes to concentrate the flavor before dipping the ladyfingers.
- 4 Tablespoons (or one packet) chai tea powder mix, divided in half
- 7 ounces hot water
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
- 4 ounces nuefatel cheese (you can substitute ordinary cream cheese)
- 2 Tablespoons white, granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- 24 ladyfinger biscuit cookies
Add the seven ounces of hot water to two tablespoons of the chai mix. Stir to dissolve the powder, and then chill until completely cooled.
Cream mascarpone cheese, neufatel cheese, sugar and one tablespoon of the chai powder with two tablespoons of the cooled chai mix. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
Dip 12 ladyfingers into the cooled chai mix, one at a time, placing them in a glass baking dish to create a single layer covering the bottom of the dish. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture on top. Add another layer of twelve dipped ladyfingers. Top with the other half of cheese mixture.
Add remaining chai powder mix to an equal amount of cinnamon. Sprinkle top of layered dessert liberally with powdered mixture. Chill for at least two hours before serving. Serves six.
Check out Fazia’s blog, All About Tea, for more great posts!
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