My first-ever tiramisu experience was at Macaroni Grill, circa 1992. I was eight, and completely enchanted by the fresh out of the oven foccacia dipped into that herby olive oil, the waiters who would occasionally break into operatic renditions of Happy Birthday, and the white paper tablecloths that you could color on? Forget about it. But it was that first bite of tiramisu that really got me—I’d never tasted anything quite like those layers of sponge-y ladyfingers soaked in bitter espresso combined with the creamiest mascarpone filling and chocolate shavings. It was a perfect flavor combination, and for years afterward, it became my regular birthday dinner request.
I’ve had many versions of tiramisu since then, and (sorry, but I have to say it) most have surpassed that initial MG moment. I love making the classic version at home, too, usually Jonathan Waxman’s recipe from The Barbuto Cookbook. I’ve been craving it lately, so in honor of summer, decided to put a fruit-forward twist on the recipe by adding fresh raspberries to the filling. Since chocolate is such a naturally perfect complement to raspberries, I knew it had to be good… and my instincts were right. Scroll on for a step-by-step guide to making my raspberry tiramisu (recipe card is at the bottom of this post.)
A No-Cook Summer Dessert
I’m always on the lookout for unexpected no-cook desserts for summer—by June, it’s so hot here in Texas that any recipe that doesn’t require me to turn on my oven gets major bonus points. Plus, the fact that this raspberry tiramisu can be made up to a day in advance and just hang out in the fridge, ready to go, makes it pretty near perfect for any summer party you’ve got on the books.
Double the Raspberries, Double the Fun
I wanted to really make this a raspberry tiramisu, so to amp up the flavor, I used raspberries in two ways: fresh berries between the layers, plus raspberry liqueur (Chambord) in the soaking liquid. I love the dark fruity quality that it adds, especially combined with the chocolate, cream, and espresso flavors.
How to make raspberry tiramisu (it’s easy!)
I love the process of making this raspberry tiramisu, because it almost feels more like an art project than a recipe. Here’s the basic step-by-step method:
- Dissolve your espresso powder and chambord in water.
- Beat together the mascarpone, vanilla, sugar, and cream until it’s thick.
- Dip ladyfingers quickly into espresso liquid, then layer in the pan with mascarpone, and raspberries. Repeat.
- Chill until set.
Easy! Something about the process of dipping and layering, dipping and layering is actually meditative, and the end result is so satisfying.
You must make this raspberry tiramisu and report back—I know you’re going to love it as much as we do! If you try it, don’t forget to leave a rating and comment, and tag us on Instagram so we can see yours. Also, if you have any Macaroni Grill memories to share, drop those in the comments too… tell me I’m not the only one!
- 1 1/2 cups brewed espresso (I make mine with espresso powder mixed with hot water, according to package directions)
- 1/2 cup chambord (or feel free to sub another liqueur)
- 1 cup mascarpone
- Seeds of vanilla bean, or ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- 24 ladyfingers
- 2 pints raspberries
- bittersweet chocolate shavings
- Mix espresso and chambord in a bowl.
- Put mascarpone, vanilla bean seeds, and sugar in electric mixer with whisk attachment. Add half of cream and mix until just smooth–scrape down sides, then add remaining cream and salt. Beat until thick and soft peaks form.
- Dip half of ladyfingers quickly into espresso liquid, then place in bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish. When bottom of dish is covered, spread half the mascarpone mixture over. Top with a layer of raspberries, then repeat with remaining ladyfingers and cream.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Shave bittersweet chocolate over top and cut into squares. Eat!
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