The hubby is not a fan of coffee nor coffee flavored anything, so instead of the classic version, I whipped up a spectacular Berry Tiramisu with Grand Marnier for our Easter dessert.
Berry Tiramisu with Grand Marnier
My oldest son and I are incredibly fond, to put it mildly, of the classic tiramisu. He’s become a coffee aficionado and has espresso each morning to start the day. This love of coffee easily rolled from a morning pick me up to the dessert realm. He followed my lead. But dear old Bill would rather have an Oreo than even one bite of luscious tiramisu, so I had to get creative.
We are huge fans on no-bake berry desserts like this tempting Berry Pretzel Dessert, so why not a berry tiramisu???? So strawberry tiramisu came to mind. Layers of ladyfingers soaked in a Grand Marnier syrup were alternated with fresh, sliced strawberries and a decadent vanilla custard with mascarpone and whipped cream. Do I have your attention? I thought so!
What is in a Traditional Tiramisu?
Tiramisu is a popular layered Italian dessert composed of layered ladyfingers dipped in coffee, a mixture of mascarpone and zabaglione (an Italian custard composed of Marsala, eggs and sugar), and cocoa powder. There have been many variations developed throughout the years, like my non-traditional strawberry tiramisu.
A Non-Traditional Strawberry Tiramisu Recipe
When I first planned to make a non-coffee tiramisu, I thought of using a mix of raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. But with the sad state of the raspberries in the market before Easter, I let that idea go. Plus, my youngest, who eats almost anything, is not a fan of raspberries. Even though I had a fudge lamb for our chocolate fix, I wanted our holiday dessert to be a hit across the board. And it was.
Dipping the ladyfingers in a Grand Marnier syrup, made with my favorite orange liqueur, gave a subtle boozy undertone plus the custard mixed with whipped cream and mascarpone cream was to.die.for. I had given up dessert for Lent, and I made sure every molecule left in the mixing bowl went straight into my mouth. Sigh. It was heavenly. Plus having luscious, ripe red strawberries thrown in the mix didn’t hurt either.
Tips for Making Tiramisu
Obviously, this strawberry tiramisu is not a traditional version. But many of the same tips for making a true Italian tiramisu also apply to this dessert.
- PRO-Tip: Have your mascarpone at room temperature. It will mix into the custard more easily if not cold.
- When whisking the egg yolks in the double boiler, give them your full attention. You do not want any egg yolk bits to cook/scramble as this will prevent a smooth custard.
- Grand Marinier is an orange liqueur that works well with the strawberries. Feel free to substitute another favorite liqueur or liquor to enhance your sugar syrup if desired.
- There are two different kinds of ladyfingers available. The ones I used were soft, like sponge cake. The Italian version is hard, more like a biscuit or cookie. Either work, but the softer version will soak up liquid more quickly.
- PRO-Tip: Quickly dip the ladyfingers into the sugar syrup. One side, then the other. You do not want soggy ladyfingers or your tiramisu will not have any structure.
- Chill your strawberry tiramisu at least 2 hours before serving so that all the flavors have a chance to infuse into the dessert components. Traditional tiramisu is usually garnished with cocoa powder or finely grated chocolate. Sliced strawberries are perfect for this berry tiramisu.
How to Serve Your Berry Tiramisu
- I was awfully ambitious when I thought I could get neat squares of berry tiramisu out of the serving dish. Forget about it and just scoop up large spoonfuls onto dessert plates. Top with a few more strawberry slices and voila, an elegant, unforgettable grand finale to your meal.
- I tried to make a fancy-schmancy fruit arrangement on top—pretty, yes. Practical, no! This made cutting quite a challenge.
- I also brushed the berries with a little currant jelly to give them a sheen, but that’s totally optional. Shake up the berries as you like. I’m still thinking about a raspberry version…
More Italian Inspired Desserts:
- Italian Berries, Mascarpone and Marsala Budini from La Bella Vita Cucina
- Berry Tiramisu from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Cannoli Poke Cake from Moore or Less Cooking
- Cherry Walnut Biscotti from Pies and Plots
- Chocolate Tiramisu from Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Fiordilatte Gelato from Manu’s Menu
- Italian Cream Cheesecake from The Crumby Cupcake
- Lemoncello Tiramisu from The Redhead Baker
- Limoncello Cookies from Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries from The Chef Next Door
- Strawberry Panna Cotta from From Gate to Plate
- Tiramisu Semifreddo from Tara’s Multicultural Table
- Zabaglione Gelato from Magnolia Days
More Tiramisu Recipes You’ll Love:
- Mini Tiramisu Trifles from Life, Love and Sugar
- Classic Tiramisu from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- No-Bake Slab Tiramisu from The View from Great Island
- Homemade Mascarpone from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- How to Make Classic Tiramisu from Foodie Crush
- Kahlua Tiramisu for Two from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Berry Tiramisu with Grand Marnier
A berry twist on the classic Italian tiramisu.
- Prep Time: 45 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings
- Category: Dessert, No-Bake
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: American, Italian-American
Grand Marnier syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
- 6 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 pound mascarpone cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 3-ounce packages of ladyfingers (sponge cake variety)
- 16 ounces strawberries, hulled and sliced
- Make Grand Marnier syrup by combining sugar and water in a saucepan and heating, stirring occasionally, till sugar is dissolved. Add Grand Marnier and cool to room temperature.
- Heat egg yolks and the ¾ cup sugar in a double boiler, whisking constantly until thick and doubled in volume. Remove from heat and continue whisking for a minute or so. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the heavy cream, mascarpone, and vanilla till thick and smooth. Add the yolks and fold together till well combined. Set aside.
- Separate ladyfingers and dip, one at a time, into the syrup and lay on the bottom of a medium-sized baking dish. Layer with half the custard, then arrange about ¾ of the strawberry slices over the custard.
- Repeat with a second layer of soaked ladyfingers (you may have a few leftovers depending on the size of your dish), then top with the remaining custard. Garnish with remaining strawberries or reserve to top individual servings. Chill for 2 hours before serving.
- Scoop out spoonfuls of tiramisu to serve (I tried slicing, but it was quite a challenge!).
Total time does not include chilling time.
You might need an extra package of ladyfingers depending on the size of your serving dish.
You might like to serve this in a trifle dish in order to view the beautiful layers.