So you already make a killer tiramisu, but as wonderful as it is, its getting a bit monotonous eating the same tiramisu time and again. What can you do? Give your tiramisu new life by making new variations. And so thanks to popular demand from my friends, I give you four new exotic tiramisu flavours: green tea, red bean, sesame and chestnut.
Normally one would consider tiramisu a coffee flavoured dessert. So how can you modify the taste of coffee? Well leave the coffee as a given and think of tiramisu as chocolate flavoured. Once you leave out the chocolate powder, you get room to try something else. What I did is mentally go through the flavours from Japanese ice cream, which tend to be milder, to discover what doesn’t clash with the primary taste of tiramisu. That’s how I ended up with these 4 new tiramisu dimensions.
Before you move on to the variations, you first need to know how to make the standard tiramisu. Please refer to my Tiramisu Recipe if you haven’t already. Also keep in mind that all quantities stated below assume a 8 serving size, consistant with my ‘base’ recipe. In general, the extra ingredients are added to the mascarpone cream mixture, while various amounts of sugar, honey and cocao powder and left out from the original recipe.
Sesame imparts a nice nutty flavour. As it is a tinge bitter, it goes hand in hand with the taste of coffee. To make a sesame tiramisu, you need about 250g of sesame paste (i.e. sandwhich spread). You should be able to find this in the peanut butter and jam section of a good supermarket. Its black. Don’t confuse this with the brownish chinese sesame paste, which is used for savoury dishes. Sesame paste is somewhat dry and what you need to do to make it more malleable is mix a quarter cup of expresso into the paste before folding it into your mascarpone cream mixture. The paste is also a bit sweet, so skip the honey, and also skip the two layers of cocao powder. As a final touch, sprinkle the top of your tiramisu with 2 healped T of black sesame seeds (for a bit of finese, grind the seeds using a motar and pestle first). Sesame paste is also used in my Sesame Swirl Puffs recipe.
Red Bean Flavour
Red Bean paste, also known as Azuki bean paste, is the archetypal Japanese dessert ingredient. It is made by stewing red beans in a sugar syrup. Don’t confuse these with other beans which just happen to be red in colour. Azuki usually comes in small flat cans like the one pictured here. There are two types, the mashed version, which is what you want, and the smooth version that has been sieved to remove the husks. You can tell which type it is by looking at the picture on the can. To flavour your tiramisu, you add about 300g of the paste to your mascarpone cream mixture. The paste is quite sweet, so reduce the sugar by 1T and also skip the honey completely. You should retain the top layer of cocao powder to keep you tiramisu moist, but leave out the inside layer of cocao powder.
Green Tea Flavour
Green tea is a type of tea where the leaves are steamed so that chlorophyl is not oxidized away. Consequently, green tea is less bitter than ‘normal’ tea and gives a light milky minty flavour when used in desserts. For this recipe, you need to use green tea powder, which comes in metallic pouches as shown in the photo. Green tea bags or leaves are not suitable. This flavour is probably the simplest version of the 4 given here, as you need simply add 2T of tea powder to your mascarpone cream mixture to impart the green tea flavour. Also, wherever you are supposed to sprinkle cocao powder, spinkle green tea powder instead.
Chestnut is another nice ingredient which goes well with tiramisu. The most convenient form of chestnut to use is processed (butter, sugar and sometimes kirsch added) chestnut puree, which is known in culinary circles as Vermicelles after the Swiss/Austrian dessert. It often comes in a toothpaste like tube as pictured here. For a serving size of 8, you’ll need about 200g of chestnut puree, which is the whole tube shown here. Like sesame paste, the chestnut puree is somewhat dry and you need mix some expresso into your puree to make it more liquid before folding it into your mascarpone cream mixture. You may want to skip the honey to reduce sweetness, but otherwise the rest of the standard tiramisu recipe applies.