When I was young, one of my favorite desserts was tiramisu. I blame the Olive Garden. After feasting on their "tour of Italy" dish, I would share a tiramisu with my sister. I just couldn't resist. Nowadays, I only have the dessert once in a while but every time I do, I remember why I loved it so much. The layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers sandwiched between mascarpone and whipped cream are just irresistible. Today I wanted to create a twist on the classic tiramisu with a Mexican spin. This variation uses horchata, espresso mascarpone, spiced whipped cream and has hints of cinnamon and cayenne for the ultimate Mexican tiramisu. It's something slightly different but still utterly delicious!
- 6 large egg yolks
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup horchata
- 1 lb espresso mascarpone
- 1 ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- ½ cup strong brewed coffee room temperature
- ¼ cup Kahlua
- 6 ounces ladyfinger cookies
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp cayenne
- Beat 6 egg yolks with ½ cup sugar for about 1 minute or until well combined. Heat ⅔ cup horchata in a medium saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Slowly add the horchata to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool completely.
- Add 1 lb espresso mascarpone to the egg yolk mixture, whisking until smooth.
- Whip 1 ¼ cup heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add ¼ cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 ½ tsp cinnamon, and ¼ tsp cayenne. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
- Assemble the tiramisu. Combine ½ cup coffee with ¼ cup Kahlua. Dip the ladyfingers in the coffee mixture and let it soak in the liquid for about 10 seconds. Arrange half of the ladyfingers in the bottom of a 7x11 inch baking dish. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers followed by half of the spiced whipped cream. Repeat the layers. Cover the tiramisu and let chill for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
- Combine 2 tbsp cocoa powder with ½ tsp cinnamon and ⅛ tsp cayenne. Dust the top of the tiramisu with the spiced cocoa powder. Serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Tiramisu is probably the best summer dessert because it requires no baking. Who wants to turn on the oven when your kitchen is already 80 degrees F, am I right? There are three layers that we need to make, the mascarpone filling, the whipped cream filling, and the soaked ladyfingers.
To make the mascarpone filling, beat together 6 egg yolks with ½ cup sugar for about 1 minute. Heat horchata over the stove on medium heat until it starts to bubble, then slowly add it to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Don't add the horchata all at once or it will scramble the eggs. Heat the entire mixture over medium heat for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool completely.
Okay, so truth time. When I was buying ingredients for this Mexican tiramisu, I accidentally grabbed the espresso mascarpone. I didn't realize my mistake until it was time to make the dessert and who am I kidding, I wasn't going to go buy the plain version. Alas, this dessert got another kick of espresso but you know what? I actually loved it. If you can't find the espresso flavor, substitute with original mascarpone.
Beat the mascarpone with the egg yolk and horchata mix, whisking until smooth. And there you have the first filling.
For the whipped cream, we're going to beat heavy cream with vanilla, powdered sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne for a spiced whipped cream.
Soak the ladyfingers in strong coffee and Kahlua and arrange half of them on the bottom of a 7x11 baking dish. By the way, if you're wondering why my ladyfingers are all misshapen it's because I had to make my own. I know, not the best piping job but at least they tasted better than the packaged ones!
Spread half of the mascarpone on top of the ladyfingers followed by the spiced whipped cream. Repeat the layers one more time and chill the tiramisu overnight. Technically, you can chill the dessert for only four hours but it tastes so much better the longer it chills. This gives the layers more time to really soak in all the flavors and become the most delicious it can be.
Before serving, dust the top of the tiramisu with cocoa powder, cinnamon, and a pinch of cayenne. Yup, we're adding a little cayenne to give it a little kick just like in Mexican hot chocolate.
Cut into this beautiful Mexican tiramisu and take a big bite of that creamy deliciousness. The Mexican twists to this dessert are all subtle but present. The hints of cinnamon and cayenne pop out here and there while the espresso mascarpone adds another layer of coffee flavor. Plus, you can't ignore the Kahlua that sings throughout. All in all, a great success!
For more dessert inspiration check out this pear chocolate hazelnut tart!