In Italy, everyday meals usually end with seasonal fruits; dessert marks the weekend and special occasions. Therefore, when desserts are presented they are lavishly arranged, elegant and rich in taste. The aim, as with all Italian cuisine, is to provide pleasure above all else. Tiramisu (“pull me up” or “pick me up”) is no exception.
A relatively new dish, invented in the 1960s, supposedly in the region of Veneto in Italy, tiramisu is made of ladyfingers — named so because they are shaped like fingers — dipped in coffee. Ladyfingers are light and sweet sponge cakes used as the base for many Italian desserts. Known in Italy as Savoiardi, [sah voh YAHR dee] – “from Savoy,” they originated in Italy in the late 15th Century at the court of the Duchy of Savoy and were created to mark the occasion of a visit by the King of France. They’re known in the United States as “ladyfingers,” but are recognized in other regions as vanillas, sponge fingers, spoon cookies, and cat’s tongue, among others.
Frozen Smoothie Dessert Recipe
In a typical tiramisu recipe, coffee-dipped ladyfingers are layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, mascarpone cheese — often with Marsala wine — and flavored with cocoa. Countless recipe variations exist and I’ve made and eaten the dessert version, I was in search of a smoothie/frozen drink version because I’d never tried it before.
Fortunately for me, to mark the first day of spring on March 20th, Giorgio Milos, Italy-based Illy Caffe’s master barista, posted his Caffè Tiramisu recipe on Twitter and gave me permission to use it in my video and this blog.
The only changes I made were substituting two ounces of cold brewed coffee concentrate instead of a serving of espresso, and to that I added coffee beans as garnish as well. The Marsala wine is optional, but I made mine with it. I’m sure you can use rum or brandy as mentioned in the article as a substitute.
This is super easy to make and I confess I let my kids try some; I promise I drank most of it. They said it is yummy and tastes like cake! I agree, but go easy on the cocoa powder – if you don’t and you’re like me you’ll be coughing up from the cocoa going up the wrong tube as you drink this delicious drink!
2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
2-3 good quality ladyfingers
2 oz cold brewed coffee concentrate
Optional: 1 tsp of sweet Marsala (may substitute rum or brandy)
Sifted cocoa powder
Whole coffee beans
1. Place vanilla ice cream, ladyfingers, coffee concentrate, and optional sweet Marsala into a blender.
2. Blend for 30 seconds.
3. Pour into a 6 oz serving glass.
4. Finish with a dusting of cocoa powder.
5. Garnish with coffee beans.
Angela Greenberg is a Christian, a veteran — now military wife, a homeschooling mom of four, and a coffee lover. She roasts coffee as a hobby and loves learning about coffee. You can follow her on Twitter @tazzadiluna.