This is a mashup of two of my husbands favorite desserts. Creamy and decadent vanilla mascarpone cheesecake is layered with boozy coffee syrup soaked lady fingers. It is all topped off with coffee whipped cream and sprinkled with dutch processed cocoa powder and chocolate covered espresso beans. You get all the flavors of tiramisu with the rich texture of classic New York style cheesecake.
The boozy coffee syrup adds the perfect amount of zip without too much of an alcohol taste. Traditionally tiramisu is made using marsala wine. I am not the biggest fan of this flavor. For my syrup I combine cocoa powder, espresso, Kahlua, Amaretto and vanilla. This adds a bitter, complex, not too sweet coffee flavor. If you don't do alcohol you can use additional coffee or try mixing in some almond milk. You can customize this syrup to fit your taste. If Amaretto isn't your thing then maybe try subbing it with creme de cocoa for more chocolate flavor.
Homemade ladyfingers really sets this dessert off. Heres the recipe that I used. If you have the time to make them I definitely would recommend it. They may sound difficult but with a double boiler and a little piping you can make these crispy cake cookies. You can also make them ahead of time and store them in an airtight container until you need them.
Turning the oven off and cracking the oven door for the last 30 minutes of baking allows the cheesecake to continue to bake but also to cool down slowly as warm air escapes the oven and it cools. This will help prevent a crack from forming in the cheesecake. I prefer this method to a Bain Marie mainly because it's easier and requires no additional equipment. If your cheesecake still cracks while cooling, no worries. Its nothing that a little whipped cream can't cover! A crack may be wack but it won't effect how yummy your cheesecake will taste.
- 2 tablespoons dutch processed cocoa powder
- 2 1/2 ounces (about 1/3 cup) warm espresso or strong brewed coffee
- 1 1/2 ounces Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
- 1/2 ounce amaretto
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
Vanilla Mascarpone Cheesecake
- 4 (8 ounces) packages cream cheese
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- pinch salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- approximately 36 homemade or store-bought ladyfingers; divided
- 2 tablespoons butter; melted
Coffee Whipped Cream
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon coffee syrup (recipe above)
*cocoa powder and chocolate covered espresso beans for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl combine cocoa powder, warm espresso/coffee, kailua, amaretto, and vanilla. Set aside.
Crush approximately 15 ladyfingers and mix with 2 tablespoons melted butter and 2 tablespoons of the coffee syrup. Gently press into an 9 inch spring form pan. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool while you make the cheesecake batter.
While your crust is baking, in a large bowl whip cold cream until is begins the thicken. Then add in the one tablespoons of the coffee syrup. Continue to whip until is reaches soft peaks. Cover and refrigerate until your cheesecake is ready to be served.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and mascarpone cheese together until smooth. While continuing to mix gradually add in the sugar and vanilla bean paste until combined. Add in the eggs one at a time mixing until incorporated between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure all of the cream cheese and mascarpone has been incorporated.
Working one at a time, dip 10 ladyfingers in the coffee syrup. Let them sit for a second or 2 to soak up the syrup. Layer the soaked ladyfingers on top of the cooled crust. Then layer half of the cheesecake batter on top.
Dip the remaining ladyfingers in the coffee syrup and layer them atop the first half of cheesecake batter. Top with the remaining cheesecake batter and smooth. Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
Place in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Then, turn off the oven, crack open the oven door and continue bake for 30 more minutes. (this will allow the cheesecake to cool down slowly and will prevent a crack from forming in the cheesecake)
Let the cheesecake continue to cool on the counter and the place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.
Before serving sprinkle the top with cocoa powder and pipe or spoon on coffee whipped cream. Then, top the cream with chocolate cover espresso beans.