Amaretto Almond Tiramisu

Inspiration: We don’t make desserts around our place often (I would eat them, but when we do, I like to make sure that they’re rich and indulgent and worth it. I would guess Brandon’s favorite desserts to be brownies, tiramisu, and baklava, and one of his very favorite flavorings is almond. He’s been lobbying for this tiramisu ever since I made it a year or two back, so I figured that his birthday this year would be the perfect time to make it again. Happy 27th B :)

What we Loved: Everything? Ever since I first made this recipe, I’ve been disappointed in any other piece of tiramisu that I’ve had. Regular tiramisu just isn’t as good anymore as a piece of tiramisu with a fabulous added almond flavor. I mix almond extract in with the mascarpone and Amaretto in with the coffee (hazelnut coffee, at that!), and the result is an over-the-top nutty almond flavor that we both just love. It’s creamy and cakey, with rich and indulgent almond-chocolate-coffee flavors. What’s not to love?

Helpful Hints: I have four pieces of advice for this recipe. The first is to follow it exactly. The first time that I made this, I decided to use about half as many ladyfingers, because I wanted the tiramisu to be extra creamy. I also used a deep, oddly shaped casserole dish, and I didn’t beat the cream long enough. The result was a delicious dessert, but it never even came close to setting. So it was a delicious, creamy, somewhat soupy dessert :) Followed exactly, though, the consistency is perfect.

My second piece of advice is not to skimp on the almond flavorings, even if the amounts seem outrageous. I use an entire bottle of extract in the cream mixture, but I really think that every drop is needed. One of my pet peeves is recipes that claim to be almond or blueberry or whatever flavor that they claim to be, then only have a trace aftertaste of that ingredient. This recipe is almond through and through. You can even taste the delicious amaretto in the ladyfingers.

Thirdly, make sure to use a mesh sieve for sprinkling the cocoa. I’ve tried by hand, and it really doesn’t work.

And lastly, I would recommend chilling this overnight. Some tiramisu recipes call for as little as 5-6 hours in the fridge, but I’ve really found that overnight is best.

Amaretto Almond Tiramisu
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, originally from Cook’s Illustrated

Here’s the recipe as I made it.

2 1/1 cups brewed coffee, room temperature (I used hazelnut)
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso granules
5 tablespoons Amaretto (I used Disaronno)
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds mascarpone
1 fluid oz almond extract (I used one McCormick bottle)
3/4 cup cold heavy cream
14 ounces (42-60, depending on size) dried ladyfingers
3 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1. Stir the coffee, espresso, and 5 tablespoons of Amaretto in a wide bowl until the espresso dissolves.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the yolks at low speed until just combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula once or twice. Add the mascarpone, and beat at medium speed until no lumps remain, 30 to 45 seconds, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Add the bottle of almond extract, and beat for 30 more seconds. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

3. In the now-empty mixer bowl (no need to clean the bowl), beat the cream at medium speed until frothy, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Increase the speed to high, and continue to beat until the cream holds stiff peaks, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes longer. Using a spatula, fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture to lighten, then gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain.

4. Working one at a time, drop a ladyfinger into the coffee mixture, roll, remove, and transfer to a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish. Do not submerge the ladyfingers in the coffee mixture. The entire process should take just a few seconds for each cookie.

5. Arrange the soaked cookies in a single layer in the baking dish, breaking or trimming the ladyfingers as needed to fit neatly into the dish.

5. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Use a spatula to spread the mixture to the sides and into the corners of the dish and to smooth the surface.

6. Place 2 tablespoons of cocoa in a fine-mesh strainer, and dust the cocoa over the mascarpone.

7. Repeat steps 4-6 with the remaining ingredients.

8. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Serve chilled.


10 thoughts on “Amaretto Almond Tiramisu

  1. Brian and I both love Tiramisu and we are eager to try it. Although, we have a few questions about the ingredients. What size (ounces) bottle did you use for the almond extract? What kind (brand) of amaretto did you use? Was it a liquor or like a flavoring oil?

    • Brian and Dayna – We really hope that you like it if you try it! For the amaretto, I used Disaronno. I really don’t prefer the cheaper kinds to drink, so I like to use Disaronno since there will be lots leftover. If you like another brand, though, I’m sure that it’d be fine in this recipe. And even more than 5 T in the coffee mixture wouldn’t be a bad thing, if you’re willing to give up that much good alcohol :) If you end up using a flavoring oil, let me know…I’d be interested to see if it makes the Amaretto flavor really prominent. And good call on the size of the extract bottle – I need to add that to the recipe. I just used a standard McCormick bottle….when I get home I’ll check the size on the box and let you know.

  2. Ours is cooling in the fridge right now! It was actually pretty easy to make. The only downside is the high price of the ingredients…but hopefully it will last a while – at least a day or two ;)

  3. Brian and I made the Tiramisu. We were a little disappointed because the lady fingers were a little too soggy and the 1oz of almond extract was very overwhelming for us. We ended up using a organic extract so we’re unsure if that could have made a difference in the flavor. Next time we make it I think we are going to nix the almond extract and double the almond liquor and possibly put cocoa powder on top of the ladyfingers before the mascarpone cheese to hopefully cut down on he moisture that the ladyfingers absorb. Overall, recipe has a solid base. We just have to tweak it to our taste buds. :-)

  4. Brian and Dayna – aww, bummer that you didn’t love it as much as we do! We love the almond flavor, but then we did use McCormick, which is probably pretty crappy compared to an organic kind. So maybe that was it, but who knows. We might just be weirdos with how much we like almond :) With the ladyfingers…I think the problem is probably dipping them into the coffee mixture for too long. I just barely set them in there, roll them as quickly as I can, and then take them out right away. I think the first time that I made tiramisu I kind of set them in there for a little bit per side and I ended up with the same problem. So you might try removing them from the coffee as quickly as you can, if you think that might have been the problem.

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