Tiramisu is a light, sweet dessert made with only a handful of ingredients, including ladyfinger cookies, egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder, mascarpone cheese and coffee. Some chefs use coffee liqueur such as Kahlua, but most use brewed coffee.
Espresso is the coffee of choice for making tiramisu.
How Important Is the Coffee in Tiramisu?
The type of coffee you use when making tiramisu is important because this is an Italian dish that is supposed to be made with espresso coffee, at the very least, espresso powder. A dark roast coffee can be used as a substitute, but most experts agree that when you’re choosing coffee for your tiramisu, espresso should be your first choice.
If you have an espresso machine, get it out and make fresh espresso. This results in the very best tiramisu. Otherwise, buy espresso powder.
What Is the Best Coffee To Use in Tiramisu?
Most experts agree that Italian espresso tastes best in tiramisu. If you’re going to use regular coffee, it has to be as dark as possible, but espresso coffee definitely tastes best. Never mind if you have no espresso machine. The truth is, you can go out and buy some espresso-type instant coffee and add that to your recipe instead. Normally, both freshly cupped espresso and instant espresso powder taste great in tiramisu, so it’s up to you which one to use.
Either way, Tiramisu requires strong coffee. If you end up using regular coffee granules instead of espresso powder, use about 50 per cent more than you would with espresso. With this dessert, stronger is better. If you do use regular coffee, look for a store that sells Italian roasts for extra-bold flavor. These are often found at gourmet coffee shops or cooking stores.
You can also use a combination of strong black coffee and espresso powder. The correct mixture would be 2.5 cups of coffee mixed with 1.5 tablespoons of powder. Make sure the coffee is very strong if you want to get the best taste.
When you dunk your ladyfingers in the coffee, do it quite quickly. You just need enough time to get them wet. They don’t need to soak in it. Remember, they will be absorbing more moisture after your tiramisu is assembled and you don’t want them to turn into a soggy mess.
Great Coffee Brands To Use in Tiramisu
Naturally, some brands of coffee are better than others when making tiramisu. Here are three brands that won’t disappoint:
Lavazza Crema E Gusto Coffee
This dark roast blend of coffee has a smooth taste but just enough kick and bold flavor to taste great in tiramisu. Slightly spicy but with a soft caramel-like finish, Lavazza Crema E Gusto can be used in either an espresso machine or in an automatic drip-type coffee maker.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters Holler Mountain Coffee
This organic blend of arabica coffee beans contains flavors such as berry jam, citrus, and caramel. Stumptown Holler Mountain is a combination of East African and Latin American coffee beans and can be brewed any way you like.
Organic French Roast Coffee by Peet’s Coffee
Peet’s Organic French Roast is a very bold, deep-roasted coffee that is perfect for tiramisu. The roast date is printed on each bag so that you always get the freshest coffee available, and it is made with 100 per cent arabica beans.
Can You Make Tiramisu Without Coffee?
Tiramisu can be made without coffee and still taste good, but keep in mind that since coffee is one of the main ingredients in this dish, it simply won’t taste the same. To get a true tiramisu flavor, it needs to be made with coffee. Coffee liqueur is next best.