Tiramisu is an Italian dessert made of ladyfingers soaked in espresso and alcohol layered with an mascarpone cream mixture. Personally, I never tried it until I was an adult and making one for a friend. Despite not being a coffee lover, I found it tasty. I was already brainstorming to come up with some variation to improve it though. Like many people who don’t drink coffee, I do love tea. So naturally, a chai tiramisu came to mind as it is my favorite tea.
Tiramisu has tons of variations and recipes out there. Some use both egg whites and yolks, some only yolks, some use neither. Whipped cream in some, others claim that to be blasphemous. Honestly , I couldn’t tell which ones were authentic and which weren’t because many claim to be how Italians actually make it. I checked in my cookbook Giuseppe’s Italian Bakes by Giuseppe Dell’Anno who is Italian (and was my favorite on his season of GBBO) and he used yolks, and heavy cream. If it’s good enough for an actual Italian, good enough for me.
I chose to cook the egg yolks to eliminate the risk of salmonella, and use premade ladyfingers both to save time and for texture purposes.
If you’re looking for other bakes with chai flavor, try these:
Chai Tiramisu Key Ingredients
- Spiced Chai – There are MANY varieties of chai out there and if you’re a tea lover you probably have a favorite. Feel free to use your favorite kind whether its a mix for a latte, tea bags or loose leaf tea. I have 5 or 6 kinds in my cabinet but for this bake I used Vahdam Sweet Cinnamon Masala Chai which is a loose leaf.
- Mascarpone – Mascarpone cheese is so luxuriously creamy and rich. You’ll need 8oz which is usually one tub of it. I wouldn’t substitute anything else for it.
- Ladyfingers – At my grocery store they had soft ladyfingers in the bakery section and crisp ones in the international aisle/cookie aisle. Personally I prefer making tiramisu with the crisp variety as I think it’s easier control how much liquid they soak up. You CAN use the soft version or make your own though.
- 2 cups Water 16 oz
- 10 g Loose leaf chai 5 teabags
- 50 g Granulated sugar
- 4 large Egg Yolks
- 110 g Superfine sugar ½ cup
- 1 cup Mascarpone cheese 8 oz, room temperature
- 1 cup Heavy whipping cream 8 oz
- 1 package Ladyfinger cookies ~25 cookies
- 1 tbsp Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
- ½ tbsp Cinnamon for dusting
- Add your water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Once water is boiling, remove from heat and add tea to the water. Allow to steep for about 5 minutes.
- Remove tea bags or strain loose tea out, and let tea cool.
- Fill a saucepan with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil.
- Place your egg yolks in a glass bowl and add your superfine sugar. Granulated sugar can be used in lieu of superfine if you do not have it. Whisk together.
- Place your bowl with eggs and sugar over the pan with boiling water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk your egg yolks for 8-10 minutes. Egg yolks should reach 160°F, as well as increase in volume and lighten in color.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- While egg mixture cools, in a small bowl, add 2 tbsp of cooled chai and mascarpone cheese. Mix on low until smooth. Set aside.
- Add your mascarpone to your egg mixture and blend on low until well combined.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, add cream and 2 tbsp of cooled chai and whip cream to soft-medium peaks.
- Fold your whipped cream into egg and mascarpone until homogenous.
- Take your ladyfingers and quickly dunk them into your cooled chai, then place them into the bottom of an 8×8 pan. Each cookie should only be dipped for about 1 second. You want them to absorb tea but not be completely saturated.
- Once you have covered the bottom, spread half of your cream filling over the top of the ladyfingers and smooth into one layer.
- Repeat with the remaining ladyfingers, dipping into the tea and then covering the layer with remaining cream.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator for ideally at least 8 hours to allow the cake to set. Once it has sufficiently chilled, using a mesh strainer, sprinkle the top with cocoa cinnamon mixture before serving. Enjoy!