Raspberry tiramisu

By Camille Moore
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The word tiramisu means “pick me up” in Italian, and while this dessert isn’t the traditional coffee-flavoured version, it is precisely the type of mood-boosting dessert we need in the summer. My raspberry tiramisu is a fresh-tasting take on the original, with layers of whipped mascarpone and creamy raspberry filling sandwiched between layers of orange and Grand Marnier soaked Italian lady finger cookies. The raspberries add a touch of tartness and brightness to a dessert that can sometimes feel too rich to go back for seconds, and the hint of liqueur adds a certain “je ne sais quoi” which I love. Make this anytime you want an easy, make-ahead dessert to impress family and friends – 8-24 hours in the fridge is the key to the flavours marrying and the ladyfingers softening. Feel free to omit the Grand Marnier and rum if you’re serving kids, of course. 

YIELDS
1 23 X 33 CENTIMETER DISH

Ingredients

  • 350 grams fresh raspberries (or thawed and drained if using frozen)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 300 grams mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cup whipping cream, chilled
  • 400 grams Italian ladyfinger cookies (aka “savoiardi cookies”), approximately
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 1/2 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • Fresh raspberries, to garnish, as many as you’d like

Directions

  1. To a blender add the raspberries, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh sieve if you prefer not to have the raspberry seeds in your final dessert – personally, I don’t mind them one bit. Set aside.
  2. Using a bowl and electric mixer, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the mascarpone and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. While mixing, pause and scrape the bowl to make sure all is whipped. Transfer whipped mascarpone to a separate large bowl if you’re using a stand mixer because you’ll need it to whip the cream.
  3. In a large bowl or using the stand mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks. Tip: Start on low speed to get started, and gradually increase to medium in order to avoid splashing.
  4. Add half of the whipped cream to the mascarpone and fold with a rubber spatula to incorporate fully. Then add the rest and fold again. Scoop half of the mascarpone mixture back into whichever bowl you used to whip the cream, and add the raspberry puree. Use your spatula to fold and fully incorporate.'
  5. In a small bowl combine the orange zest, juice, Grand Marnier, and rum. Working quickly with the 23 x 33 centimeter dish (non-metal) ready beside you, one at a time dip each side of the ladyfinger into the juice. Be careful not to over-saturate the cookies with liquid because that’ll lead to a soggy tiramisu. Arrange the dipped cookies in the dish to make one complete layer, breaking them as needed to properly fit.
  6. Smooth the raspberry cream onto the ladyfingers – an offset spatula is your best friend for this task.
  7. Dip remaining ladyfingers in the remaining juice and arrange in another single layer on top of the raspberry cream, gently pressing to make it more compact. 
  8. Top with the rest of the mascarpon, and cover with plastic wrap before refrigerating overnight.
  9. To serve, you’ve got two options: garnish with fresh raspberries and 1) use a sharp knife to cut into squares and then extract with a spatula; or 2) place tiramisu in the centre of the table with a big serving spoon and invite everyone to scoop out what they want for a decadently rustic presentation. You choose!

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