The idea for this spin on tiramisu hit me as I dipping some strawberries in some leftover mascarpone creme I had from making this Blueberry Lemon Puff Pastry Galette with Mascarpone Creme & Basil.
Let me get right to talking about the flavors and techniques here. Roasting strawberries intensifies that sweet strawberry flavor and makes this dish extra special. Roasting strawberries is a technique that can even bring a not-so-sweet batch of berries back to life, and it’s a great trick if you have berries that aren’t fresh enough to eat but haven’t yet gone bad.
After roasting, the strawberries can be refrigerated for up to 4 days and eaten on toast, oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, waffles, and whatever else you can think of! So even if you don’t make this whole recipe (although I highly recommend it), roasting the strawberries alone has a list of delicious possibilities to explore!
I still wanted a nod to the boozy element of classic tiramisu, and I wasn’t sure that the coffee flavor of authentic tiramisu would work, but I decided to try Kahlua as a combination of those two elements and it worked perfectly! Although this dessert is not authentic Italian tiramisu, I was definitely inspired by one of my all time favorite desserts and this spin on a classic is absolutely delicious!
Roasted Strawberry Tiramisu
- 1 package gluten free ladyfingers (like these)
for roasted strawberries:
- 32 oz fresh strawberries (about 4 1/2 – 5 cup quartered)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
for dipping lady fingers:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup Kahlua liqueur
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 8×8 baking dish
- electric or stand mixer
- parchment or silicon baking mat
*to help ensure sweet kitchen success, please read the entire recipe and notes before starting.
*roasting the strawberries, making the mascarpone filling, and the dipping syrup for ladyfingers can be done up to a day in advance. Keep in mind everything needs to be cooled to room temperature before assembling.
*this entire dessert can be made up to 2 days in advance as long as it is tightly covered and refrigerated.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the strawberries, gently dry on a towel, slice off tops and quarter. Place the strawberries on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicon baking mat. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons sugar. Roast on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes. If the liquid surrounding the strawberries, especially on the edges, is starting to turn brown, this is a clear sign they are finished. If you’re assembling the same day, transfer roasted strawberries to another dish to cool more quickly.
- Meanwhile, make the dipping syrup for the ladyfingers. In a small saucepan on the stovetop, place 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar. Set over medium and stir until the sugar is dissolved (about 1-2 minutes). Remove from the heat and add 1/2 cup Kahlua liqueur. Pour into a small, flat bottomed, shallow dish big enough to dip the ladyfingers. I found using a loaf pan works well.
- Make the mascarpone filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, beat 8 oz mascarpone on high speed until fluffy looking (about 30 seconds), add 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Beat on low until incorporated, then beat on high for 15 seconds. With the mixer running on medium high, pour in 1/2 cup of the heavy cream (this is half the amount you’re using) and beat another 15 seconds on high or until it looks fluffy. Add the other 1/2 cup heavy cream and beat on high for 30 more seconds. Be careful not to overbeat. If you accidentally overbeat and it’s too thick for your liking, add heavy cream 2 tablespoons at a time until it’s the consistency you’d like, being careful not to overbeat again. *Refer to notes below for helpful tips on this step.
- Assemble the dessert. Make sure the 8×8 pan you are using is nearby. After the dipping syrup and the strawberries have cooled, start assembling the dessert by dipping the ladyfingers into the Kahlua dipping syrup. Taking half of the lady fingers, one by one, lay a ladyfinger down in the syrup on one side for 1-2 seconds, then flip and soak another 2-3 seconds. Carefully transfer ladyfingers one by one to the bottom of the 8×8 baking dish in a single layer. If you need to break some to get them to fit, that’s normal. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture gently on top of the soaked ladyfingers. Top the mascarpone mixture with half of the cooled, roasted strawberries. Repeat with the other half of the ladyfingers, mascarpone, and ending with a last layer of roasted strawberries.
- Chill for 1 hour.
Beating the filling: Although it’s not necessarily a hard step, I want to be quite exhaustive in my instructions to ensure your success! Use the times I have listed as a guide and use them to your benefit. As you’re watching it whip up, think of the consistency you will ultimately want in eating this dessert and how easy it will be to spread when you assemble it. You would not want to eat a super thick and dry filling that is hard to spread, so just keep an eye on it. If you’re coming up on time and it looks like it’s getting too thick, stop the mixer, test out he consistency, and trust yourself. Refer to the recipe instructions if you accidentally overbeat.
Dipping the ladyfingers: Ladyfingers are light and airy biscuits that soak up liquid very quickly. For this reason, I have instructed to dip each side of the ladyfinger in the syrup for 2-3 seconds only. They should be soaked with the liquid, but not so much that they are starting to disintegrate or are very hard to handle. This recipe makes just enough liquid to perfectly soak each ladyfinger.