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Chocolate Tiramisu

by Nick Makrides
Published: Last Updated on

This Chocolate Tiramisu is everything you love about the classic dessert, rich mascarpone cream, coffee-soaked sponge finger biscuits (also known as ladyfinger biscuits) and the addition of silky smooth pastry cream. This is the ultimate crowd-pleasing dessert and can be made up to three days in advance. In fact making it in advance gives all the flavors to get to know each other and makes it even better!

Chocolate Tiramisu - slice on a spatula

In this recipe article I’ll give you tips and tricks on how to make this dessert, serve it and you’ll be on your way to making a show stopping dessert that can easily be transported if made in a dish with a lid.

This recipe uses my Chocolate Pastry Cream recipe which you can find here. Make it up to three days in advance. This would also pair well with my French Vanilla Pastry Cream!

Check the bottom of this article for more crowd-pleasing holiday desserts!

Chocolate Tiramisu - slice on a plate

What is Chocolate Tiramisu?

This layered dessert is so incredibly simple to make, but it’s so good! A rarity, minimal effort, big returns. Let’s break down what makes this tiramisu my new favorite dessert!

  • Lady fingers / sponge fingers – these are soft Italian sponge biscuits. When soaked in the coffee syrup, they go a little cakey and soft.
  • Coffee syrup – this is a key flavor component in tiramisu. It goes so nicely with the creamy mascarpone filling.
  • Mascarpone filling – this is made a little simpler than most recipes. It’s whipped egg yolks and sugar with mascarpone whipped cream folded into it. Once you let the layered tiramisu set, this layer kind of sets and firms up a little but remains super fluffy and delicious.
  • Chocolate pastry cream filling – I added my chocolate pastry cream as the final layer of this dessert because it’s silky smooth, pairs perfectly with the coffee and in my opinion, elevates this dessert.

Ingredients You Need To Make Chocolate Tiramisu

Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

Jump to Recipe

Chocolate Tiramisu - ingredients image

  • Eggs – I used large And yes, I used them raw in the mascarpone filling. But you can use pasteurized eggs or pasteurize your own.
  • Caster sugar – also known as superfine sugar. You can use granulated sugar if you can’t find caster sugar.
  • Vanilla ExtractAlways use good quality vanilla extract when baking, it makes a huge difference. I have a great recipe here for it if you’d like to try your own!
  • Heavy cream – this is the type of cream you use for whipping. You want to make sure your cream is cold straight out of the fridge.
  • Mascarpone – is a type of Italian cheese that is similar to sour cream. It’s a great way to stabilize whipped cream.
  • Instant coffee powder – I used the Nescafé coffee powder. You can use decaf if you wish.
  • Frangelico – traditionally tiramisu has rum in it. Specifically, dark rum, but I don’t like the flavor so I used Frangelico because it’s hazelnut flavor. You can leave out the alcohol all together.
  • Sponge finger / ladyfinger biscuits – these are soft Italian sponge biscuits that when soaked in the coffee syrup, are so delicious and go cakey.
  • Chocolate Pastry CreamI have a really good chocolate pastry cream recipe that goes perfectly with this recipe. It’s a classic French pastry cream laced with cocoa and chocolate. What you’re left with is a perfectly silky and pipeable pastry cream that can hold it’s shape as a filling in cakes, cupcakes and even this dessert!
  • Cocoa powder – I added this on top of the cream layer because it stops the coffee-soaked biscuits from making the layered dessert soggy. The coffee syrup from the biscuits melds with the cocoa and creates a bonus chocolate layer.

How to make Chocolate Tiramisu!

Chocolate Tiramisu - instructional image 01

  1. Whip the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla together.
  2. Whip cream and mascarpone.

Chocolate Tiramisu - instructional image 02

  1. Fold both together. Chill.
  2. Combine coffee syrup ingredients and mix.

Chocolate Tiramisu - instructional image 03

  1. Spread a thin layer of mascarpone cream in baking tin.
  2. Dip sponge fingers in it.

Chocolate Tiramisu - instructional image 04

  1. Add a layer in the baking dish.
  2. Add mascarpone cream and spread.

Chocolate Tiramisu - instructional image 05

  1. Dust with cocoa powder.
  2. Add another layer of sponge fingers and spread pastry cream on top. To make the pastry cream, grab the recipe here.

Chocolate Tiramisu - instructional image 06

  1. Dust with cocoa powder.
  2. Chill, slice and serve.

Chocolate Tiramisu - on a spatula with white background

Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!

  • You have better chances of serving up perfect slices of tiramisu using a flexible, silicone spatula. Making sure your tiramisu is set properly is really important too.
  • Make sure you give your tiramisu enough time to chill before serving so it’s not sliding around on your guests plates.
  • Make your chocolate pastry cream in advance to make layering up this dessert an easier process. You can make it up to three days in advance.
  • Making this in a glass Pyrex dish that has a lid makes it a really easy dessert to transport to your next get together.

Frequently Asked Questions about Chocolate Tiramisu

What does it taste like?

The classic version is creamy, soft with a strong coffee flavor and a hint of cocoa. My chocolate version has a nice hit of silky smooth chocolate pastry cream which pairs perfectly with anything coffee!

How do I store this?

This dessert can be store in an airtight container to stop it from drying out and should always be chilled. Including when it’s served.

What size pan do you use?

I used a 9 x 13 inch (22cm x 33cm) baking dish that’s 2 inches (5cm) in height. You can use something similar in size. If you use something bigger you may end up with a flatter tiramisu.

Are the eggs cooked?

Not in my recipe. They’re generally safe to use raw. But if you’re not all about that raw egg life, you can use pasteurized eggs or pasteurize your own.

Why don’t you use the egg whites in the mascarpone cream filling?

I actually don’t think it needs it. You still get super fluffy mascarpone filling.

Chocolate Tiramisu - close up of bite taken out

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Chocolate Tiramisu - pinterest image

Chocolate Tiramisu - slice on a spatula

Chocolate Tiramisu

This Chocolate Tiramisu is a decadent layered dessert made up of luscious mascarpone cream, smooth chocolate pastry cream and coffee soaked biscuits.

Serves 12

5 from 3 votes
Author: Nick Makrides
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep: 20 mins
Cool: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Calories: 373kcal
Author: Nick Makrides

Ingredients

Mascarpone Cream

  • 3 egg yolks (video shows 5)
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) heavy cream cold
  • 1 cup (225 g) mascarpone cold

Coffee Syrup

  • 4 tbsp instant coffee powder (see notes)
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) boiling water
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) Frangelico or rum (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) milk

To Assemble

  • 40 sponge finger biscuits also known as ladyfingers (see notes)
  • 1 batch Chocolate Pastry Cream (see notes)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder to dust

Learn How To Make it! [VIDEO]


Instructions

A note on the Chocolate Pastry Cream

  • You can find my Chocolate Pastry Cream recipe here. It’s silky smooth and pairs so perfectly with this classic dessert. You should make it a day in advance, up to three days to give it time to set and chill before layering.

Mascarpone Cream

  • Add the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract into a large mixing bowl and whisk on high-speed using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or electric hand mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. It will fall off the beaters in a ribbon.
  • In a separate bowl, add the heavy cream and mascarpone and whip until you reach stiff peaks. Set aside in the fridge.

Coffee Syrup

  • Add the instant coffee powder and sugar in a large jug and mix using a spoon. Add the boiling water and mix until well combined and everything is dissolved. Add the Frangelico or rum (optional) and milk, and mix until well combined. You’ll dip the sponge finger biscuits in this.

Assembly

  • I used a 9 x 13 inch (22cm x 33cm) baking dish that’s 2 inches (5cm) in height.
  • Spread a thin layer of the mascarpone cream on the bottom of the dish.
  • Dip the sponge finger biscuits in the coffee syrup, one by one, and place in the baking dish sugar side down. Place them next to each other and pack them as tight as you can. If you need to, cut some extra biscuits to fill in any gaps you can do that.
  • Add all the mascarpone cream on top and spread evenly. Dust with cocoa powder.
  • Add another layer of coffee-soaked sponge finger biscuits on top. Add the chocolate pastry cream and spread as evenly as you can. Dust with a final layer of cocoa powder. Chill in the fridge, covered for 2 hours, overnight is ideal. Slice and serve.

Notes

Instant Coffee powder - I used Nescafé instant coffee powder. You can use less if you like, but a strong coffee flavor really makes this dessert iconic. You can use decaf if you like.
Sponge finger biscuits - These are found at specialty Italian delis or at most supermarkets in the biscuit/cookie isle. Each packet usually has 30 cookies. You’ll need 40 to make this recipe using the baking dish I used.
Chocolate Pastry Cream - I have a really good chocolate pastry cream recipe that goes perfectly with this recipe. It’s a classic French pastry cream laced with cocoa and chocolate. What you’re left with is a perfectly silky and pipeable pastry cream that can hold it’s shape as a filling in cakes, cupcakes and even this dessert! Make this up to three days in advance to let it chill and make the layering process easier.
Vanilla extract - for this recipe, you want to use an alcohol-free vanilla extract otherwise you risk your eggs never whipping.
Eggs - you want to make sure your eggs are at room temperature for this recipe. If you live in a country where it is not safe to eat raw eggs, use pasteurized eggs in place of regular store-bought eggs.
Eating raw eggs - Generally, eating fresh eggs in their raw state is safe in most countries. But I understand that for some, the mere thought makes them feel anxious or afraid of salmonella poisoning. To Pasteurize and make your eggs safe to eat raw, place them in a large saucepan and cover them with water. You’ll need a thermometer to help you bring the water up to 140F / 60C. Once you reach that temperature, keep it there for 3 minutes by carefully monitoring the temperature with the thermometer. Remove the eggs from the water and rinse with cold water to help bring down the temperature. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to use them. Pasteurizing your eggs will help get rid of any nasties that can make you ill.
Storage - Tiramisu can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days. 
Nutrition - is based on per serving. There are 12 servings in this recipe.
A note on measurements - all ingredients in this recipe are offered in Australian cup measurements and weight measurements. Weight measurements are created by me, in my kitchen here in Melbourne Australia. The best way to get recipe success is to measure ingredients by weight, using kitchen scales. To access weight measurements, click on the ‘metric’ button in the recipe card located under the list of ingredients.

Nutrition

Calories : 373kcal
Carbonhydrates: 27g
Protein: 7g
Fat: 24g
Saturated Fat: 14g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
Monounsaturated Fat : 5g
Cholesterol: 183mg
Sodium: 80mg
Potassium : 153mg
Fiber: 0.4g
Sugar : 4g
Vitamin A: 985IU
Vitamin C: 0.2mg
Calcium: 85mg
Iron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclosure
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