Layers of coffee and liquer-soaked ladyfingers, caramel-whipped cream and rich dulce de leche makes this easy caramel tiramisu the ultimate cheat’s dessert.
Today we are doing caramel, and we are doing it right. Because you guys, this dessert has become a staple in my repertoire. It is the dessert I take when I am asked to bring something. It’s the dessert I make in 10 minutes when I need something easy but impressive for guests. It is the dessert I make en masse over weekends to eat by the spoonful while no-one is watching. This stuff is seriously addictive.
So recently I found out that not everyone loves tiramisu. Um, say what?! I was seriously surprised because to me it is one of those old classics that I could eat and eat and eat without every getting tired of it. But then a few people told me that the soggy, soaked cookies/ladyfingers puts them off big time. But here’s the thing. Tiramisu does not have to include soggy, sad cookies. The trick is to soak the ladyfingers/sponge fingers for a brief amount of time in the liquer-infused coffee mixture. Seriously like dip, turn, dip, done. That way the inside of the ladyfingers remain a little crunchy and there’s no sogginess to speak of.
Now let’s get to the “easy” part of this easy caramel tiramisu. Classic tiramisu requires egg yolks and sugar to be whipped into oblivion before being combined with mascarpone, coffee, etc. and then layered with the soaked ladyfingers. None of that here. We whip cream slowly with icing sugar, then add the caramel (I used caramel from a can/tin but you could use dulce de leche) and whip a little more.
The trick here is to really whip the cream slower than you normally would. When you whip cream at a high speed, the air bubble form very quickly and are large which means that they fall flat easily which means that your cream will split and will become watery and gross. Slow whipping results in small air bubbles that retain their shape and the cream will stay light and fluffy. The icing sugar and caramel add to that structure and the end result is exactly the same as you can expect from a classic tiramisu, albeit a little richer due to the fat content of the cream.
This tiramisu can be made a day in advance and kept in the fridge and feel free to play around with the coffee mixture. I added chocolate liquer to this version but caramel vodka (!!!) would be awesome as would any other liquer you might fancy. Classic Kahlua will be just as good. You could even leave out the alcohol and the difference will be minimal.
- 500 ml whipping cream
- 1 heaped tablespoon icing/powdered sugar sifted
- 3 heaped tablespoons caramel/Dulce de leche
- 1 cup strong black coffee
- 2 tablespoons chocolate liqeur
- 1 teaspoon caramel essence
- 200 g lady fingers/boudoir biscuits/sponge fingers
- 3-4 tablespoons caramel/dulce de leche
- cocoa powder for dusting
Whip the cream and the icing sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until the cream has reached soft peaks.
Add the caramel/dulce de leche then whip until stiff peaks have formed (approximately 5 more minutes).
Combine the coffee, liquer and caramel essence then soak the ladyfingers briefly. Place the soaked cookies in a single layer in a serving dish of your choice.
Top with half of the caramel and spread then add half of the cream mixture.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients and finish with a dusting of cocoa powder.
Refrigerate the tiramisu for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight, before serving.