Bourbon and Caramel Tiramisu Recipe


Tiramisu is one of our family’s favorite desserts. In the past, I’ve made individual servings in cups as well as larger cakes. I’ve also played around with the flavor combinations. This time around, I prepared a tiramisu with salted caramel and Bourbon. For the cookie part of the tiramisu, I used liquor-soaked bite-sized wafers.

The result is an airy, delightful mousse with a hint of alcohol, which makes the perfect sophisticated dessert for adults.

1. Info for Bourbon and Caramel Tiramisu Recipe

  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 60 mins
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: 154

2. Ingredients for Bourbon and Caramel Tiramisu Recipe

  • 1 (8.82-ounce) package store-bought bite-sized wafers (or your favorite cookies)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 quart heavy whipping cream, cold

3. Directions:

3.1 For the caramel

In a non-stick sauce pan, melt ½ cup sugar without any water over high heat. It’s important to watch the sugar carefully; as soon as the edges of the pan start caramelizing, immediately lower the heat to medium-low. Gently jiggle the saucepan in circles. Add an additional ½ cup sugar and stir until melted. When there are only a few remaining non-caramelized pieces, lower the heat to the lowest setting. Don’t let the sugar get dark brown or you’ll have an unpleasant burnt taste. When all the sugar is an amber color, remove from the heat, pause for about a minute (be careful of splattering when cream is added), then slowly add 1½ cups cream. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until combined. Add ¼ teaspoon fleur de sel and stir well. Immediately strain the caramel while it’s still hot to remove any solids.

3.2 For the mascarpone filling

In a stainless-steel mixing bowl, using an electric handheld mixer, whisk the egg yolks with ¼ cup sugar until the texture thickens. Make a “double boiler” (a pot filled with hot water, covered with a piece of cloth) and place the bowl filled with whisked eggs on top. Whisk the eggs at full speed for about 3-4 minutes. Check the temperature of the eggs; they should feel warm to the touch. Remove from the double boiler; add the remaining salt. Add 3 tablespoons salted caramel and continue whisking at full speed for about 5 minutes. Make sure the eggs are whisked for a long time, so the mousse is light and airy. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl to remove any solids. The mixture should fall like a ribbon of sauce when you lift the whisk. Let cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

In another mixing bowl, whisk the mascarpone cheese with ¼ cup powdered sugar to soften it. Slowly add the egg mixture to the mascarpone, adding just a little egg mixture at a time.

Clean your handheld mixer in hot soapy water. Always make sure the beater blades are completely clean prior to whipping cream for optimum results. The whipping cream should also be whipped cold. Whip the remaining 2½ cups cream (at low speed) for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth. Add the rest of the powdered sugar. Increase to maximum speed and keep beating for another 2-3 minutes, until it forms soft peaks. Do not over-beat or the texture will become grainy.

Pour ⅓ of the whipped cream and 2 tablespoons Bourbon into the mascarpone cream. Mix well using a silicone spatula. Add the rest of the whipped cream and gently fold it in to get an airy mousse.

3.3 Assembly time

Dissolve ½ cup caramel, cocoa powder and 1 cup boiling water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Let the syrup cool for about 15 minutes. Add 6 tablespoons Bourbon and stir well. Transfer to a shallow large plate.

Soak each wafer in the syrup for about 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies directly into the glasses or onto a plate lifting the wafer with a fork. The cookies should absorb the syrup but should not be soggy.

Spoon the mascarpone filling into small dessert glasses. It should go ⅓ way up the side of the glass. Drizzle a thin layer of caramel and add a layer of liquor-soaked wafers; repeat the same procedure until you reach the top of the glass. Level the mascarpone filling with a spatula.

Plastic-wrap each glass and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

When you’re ready to serve, unwrap the cups and sprinkle a bit of cocoa.

Bon appétit!

4. Tips and advices:

  • I find it best to store the tiramisu for at least 4 hours so the wafers have time to soften and all the flavors of the Bourbon caramel blend into the mascarpone filling.
  • You could replace the wafers with the usually used lady fingers or your favorite wafer cookies.
  • You could substitute your favorite liquor for the Bourbon; if you want to make the dessert more kid-friendly, use concentrated fruit juice (freshly pressed fruit reduced by half on the stove).

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