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!
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.
Check the bottom of this article for more crowd-pleasing holiday desserts!
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
- 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 Extract – Always 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 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!
- 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!
- Whip the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla together.
- Whip cream and mascarpone.
- Fold both together. Chill.
- Combine coffee syrup ingredients and mix.
- Spread a thin layer of mascarpone cream in baking tin.
- Dip sponge fingers in it.
- Add a layer in the baking dish.
- Add mascarpone cream and spread.
- Dust with cocoa powder.
- Add another layer of sponge fingers and spread pastry cream on top. To make the pastry cream, grab the recipe here.
- Dust with cocoa powder.
- Chill, slice and serve.
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.
Gave this a go? Don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Hungry for more? Join me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok for more great recipes!
If you loved this recipe, check these out!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @thescranline on Facebook and Instagram!
- 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
- 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
- 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]
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.