makeshift wannabe tiramisu

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We are on the Italian road again… you know: Omnes viae Romam ducunt! (So now you know that I learnt some Latin at school… in the spirit of my food blog it’s simply: go to Rome resp. Italy & you’ll learn about the best desserts ever!)

Tiramisu: Imagine a (big!) rectangular casserole filled w/ ladyfingers soaked w/ espresso & fine liquor, covered w/ mascarpone cream finished by a thick layer of cocoa. You may indulge in sweetness, softness, creaminess… this large clean cut piece on your plate just in front of you!

Alas – we are dealing today only w/ a “makeshift wannabe tiramisu“, however, as delicious & sumptuous as the original version.

What is a “makeshift wannabe tiramisu“?



Starting w/ the „makeshift“ issue…
I didn’t use a big casserole, but only small glasses – therefore the tiramisu rations are rather small. (Nevertheless it’s like its big brother – if you need more reward for whatever-you-think just fish for a 2nd glass!)
Additionally the tiramisu isn’t so densely packed as you are used to… It’s just the idea of tiramisu created by throwing together the main ingredients w/o filling the gaps.

Then the „wannabe“ issue…
Originally it’s amaretto – I didn’t find any amaretto in my pantry so Italian brandy made it.
Originally it’s mascarpone w/ fresh eggs (i. e. egg yolks) – it’s hot at the moment so that I decided to mix mascarpone w/ whipped cream instead.
Originally… – well, I decided to add some soft jam to some of the glasses to get an additional fruity kick.

Therefore there are some changes to the original recipe, but let’s just try it…

What do we need?



I assembled on my kitchen workplace:

  • lots of crispy Italian made ladyfingers
  • cold Italian espresso
  • Italian brandy
  • Italian mascarpone
  • whipping cream
  • vanilla sugar
  • soft jams: mango-passion fruit & raspberry (both store bought)
  • fine cocoa.

Then we start w/ whipping the liquid whipping cream w/ the vanilla sugar w/ our helpful handheld electric mixer until nicely stiff. We add the mascarpone & mix until everything is smooth. We pour the espresso to the brandy & fold in about 2 tsp of it for flavoring the mascarpone cream.

I thought about 6 glasses so I assembled 6 glasses in front of me.


Beginning w/ a small dollop of mascarpone cream on the bottom we break the ladyfingers up & add about 1,5 ladyfingers to each glass. Then the ladyfingers will be soaked w/ espresso-brandy mix (about 2 tsp per glass).

A big dollop of mascarpone cream follows swiftly.

Now it’s time for the soft jam: I added about 2 tsp of each kind to each of 2 glasses & covered it w/ broken ladyfingers which were soaked w/ espresso-brandy mix once again.

Then there is the final dollop of mascarpone cream & lots of fine cocoa… generously spread!



…& immediately in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours!





makeshift wannabe tiramisu
Dreaming of tiramisu: a big rectangular casserole filled with soft espresso drunken ladyfingers, creamy mascarpone filling... topped with cocoa... Today we’re restricting ourselves to small glasses filled with broken ladyfingers mingling with mascarpone and whipped cream... and brandy... and cocoa!
Prep Time30 minutes
  • 15 ladyfingers about 125 g
  • 80 ml cold espresso
  • 50-60 ml brandy
  • 2 tbsp vanilla sugar heaped
  • 200 ml whipped cream
  • 250 g mascarpone
  • 2 tsp mango-passion fruit jam per glass
  • 2 tsp raspberry jam per glass
  • about 2-3 tbsp cocoa
how to:
  • Make espresso & let it cool.
  • Whip the whipping cream with the vanilla sugar until stiff.
  • Mix whipped cream & mascarpone until smooth.
  • Pour espresso into brandy (or vice versa).
  • Add about 2 tbsp espresso-brandy mix to the mascarpone cream & mix.
  • Take 6 glasses & start w/ a small dollop of mascarpone cream in each glass.
  • Add 1,5 broken ladyfingers.
  • Add 2-3 tsp espresso-brandy mix on top of the ladyfingers.
  • Add a big dollop of mascarpone cream.
  • Add 2 tsp jam to each glasses you like w/ additional fruity kick.
  • Add another broken ladyfinger to each glass.
  • Add another 2-3 tsp espresso-brandy mix on top of the ladyfingers.
  • Add the final layer of mascarpone cream.
  • Add generously cocoa.
  • a handheld electric mixer
Prep Time: This doesn’t include the chilling time in the fridge (Recommendation: at least 1-2 h).
Each glass had 400 ml.
Per glass you’ll need at least 2,5 ladyfingers.
Brandy: You may substitute brandy with amaretto, orange liqueur, limoncello, marsala...
You may store the tiramisu glasses in the fridge for up to 3 days.
During storage in the fridge the tiramisu will get a little more packed. The ladyfingers will get soft. (My idea of an even better dessert!)


(information on equipment)


While in the fridge there are 2 processes working on their own:

  • The ladyfingers will soak up the liquid & get soft, but not sodden. Overall you shouldn’t be too generous w/ the espresso-brandy mix!
    (If you start eating the tiramisu filled glasses at once – w/o the fridge session – the ladyfingers will be somewhat crispy… while the mascarpone cream will be really …soft!)
  • The jam should be really pure jam i. e. no bits, no pits etc. (it’s also called jelly sometimes…) – it should be totally creamy & it should have an distinctive fruity flavour of its own.
    (So you may substitute mango-passion fruit & raspberry w/ other fruity flavours you – maybe – like more – or which happen to linger in your fridge!)



I broke each ladyfinger into 2 pieces – you may also break it into 4 or 6 pieces if you like to pack your glass more densely.

Instead of amaretto I used brandy: if you like you may also substitute amaretto with orange liqueur or limoncello or marsala.



The businesswoman w/ too many office hours thinks

It was really nice little dessert treat!

There is only a minor point which I’d like to mention: I used these really nice glasses w/ their sleek design. However, the glasses are rather narrow at the mouth… so I had some trouble when filling in the ingredients… Better taking glasses w/ a wide mouth next time! (I’m sure there will be more than a „single” next time!)











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keep it simple. be flexible. always.