Chocolate Tiramisu, French--Style

Tiramisu must be everyone’s favorite dessert – I have never met anyone who dislikes it. I have made quite a few variations and all were good, but this recipe makes my top of the top favorites list… and it is not only for chocolate lovers. When I found this recipe, I instantly loved it even before making it. Maybe it is some kind of professional instinct, but also I thought that all my friends would love me more if I made it for them. You must try to make this to believe it.



What makes this tiramisu different is the layer of chocolate ganache instead of using just cocoa powder. This gives it a richer taste, flavor and texture. And instead of ladyfinger cookies, it uses chocolate genoise (sponge cake). Truly a chocophile’s tiramisu!


Recipe adapted from Chocolate Epiphany, by Francois Payard

Serves 8-10


For Chocolate Cake:
1 cup (150 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (35 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
5 large egg yolks
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
5 large egg whites

For Chocolate Mascarpone Ganache:
8 ounces (220 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces (110 grams) mascarpone cheese at room temperature
½ cup heavy cream

For Mascarpone Mousse:
3 large egg yolks
½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
2 cups (500 grams) mascarpone at room temperature
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon (12 grams) heavy cream

For Assembly:
2/3 cup strong coffee
2 tablespoons dark rum (e.g., Myers),
3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder

Make the Cake:
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a 10×15-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder together over a bowl or a piece of wax paper. Set Aside.
Combine the egg yolks and ½ cup (100 grams) sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the mixture turns a very pale yellow, about a few minutes. Set aside. (If you have two electric mixer bowls, you can whip the yolks in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.)
Put the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on medium-high speed until the whites start holding soft peaks. Gradually sprinkle the remaining ½ cup sugar over them, and continue beating until they hold stiff peaks (meringue).
With a silicon spatula, fold the whipped yolks into the meringue, and then fold in the dry ingredients. Spread the batter into the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cake springs back when you gently press the palm of your hand on it. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool in the baking sheet on the rack

Make the Ganache:
Put chocolate and mascarpone in a medium bowl and set aside. Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the hot cream over chocolate and mascarpone. Whisk until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Transfer the ganache to a clean bowl and set aside to cool. You need the ganache pipe-able consistency.
You may make the ganache a day before and refrigerate it.

Mascarpone Mousse:
Fill a medium-size pot or saucepan one-third full of water and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Put the egg yolks and a quarter cup of sugar (50 grams) in a bowl and place it on top of the pot. Reduce the heat to low, whisk until the mixture is hot and starts to thicken, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and continue whisking until the mixture cools. Add the mascarpone to the bowl containing the egg yolk mixture and mix well. Set aside.
Put the egg whites in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whip on medium-high speed, gradually adding the remaining ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar, until the whites hold stiff peaks.
With a silicon spatula, gently fold half of the meringue into the mascarpone mixture and then the other half of the meringue.

Assemble the Tiramisu:
You will need a 2-quart glass bowl or Pyrex dish, or 8-10 individual glass cups. If you are using one large bowl, with a knife, cut 2 rounds out of the cake – one a little smaller than the base of the bowl, the other a little smaller than the widest part of the bowl.
Spoon about 1 cup of the mousse into the bowl, then place the smaller of the cake rounds over the mousse and press it down gently so that it spreads the mousse. Spoon one third of the coffee and rum evenly over the cake.
Spoon a ¼ -inch thick layer of ganache over the cake, then a ½-inch thick layer of mousse over the ganache. Press the larger cake round over the mousse, pressing it down slightly to even out all layers below it. Spoon the remaining coffee/rum evenly over the cake.
Spoon another ¼-inch-thick layer of ganache over the cake, and then spoon the remaining mousse over it. With a silicon spatula, slightly smooth the top of the mousse to make it even and flat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve – at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Remove the tiramisu from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to bring it to room temperature. This will prevent the ganache from being too firm. Sift the cocoa powder directly over the top of the tiramisu.

Suggestion: This is insanely super rich dessert. But not too sweet and it smells good. This is first class dessert, but
not for children, for mature adults. Have a small piece with a good desert wine, like Sauternes. Trader Joe’s sells pretty good one 375 ml bottle only $12.




For photographer


For everybody. Are you ready?


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