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Danielle Kartes's Irish Cream Tiramisu Recipe Is a 'Great Make-Ahead Treat'

"I was making tiramisu, and I was out of vanilla extract. I used cream liqueur, and a star was born!’ says Kartes of this Valentine's Day recipe

<p>Jennifer Causey</p> Danielle Kartes

Jennifer Causey

Danielle Kartes's Irish Cream Tiramisu

A missing ingredient led food blogger Danielle Kartes to a delicious final product.

"A few years ago I was making tiramisu, and I was out of vanilla extract. I used cream liqueur, and a star was born!" says the author of Butter, Flour, Sugar, Joy.

The addition of the liquor and cream cheese adds "unique flavor" to the "wildly simple" dessert.

"I absolutely love how airy the cream layers are with that just barely bitter chocolate hit from the cocoa powder," says Kartes, who often appears on Kelly Clarkson's talk show. "The coffee-soaked cookies cut through the sweetness perfectly!"

Related: Nancy Silverton’s Walnut Brownies Are 'Decadent, Chocolatey and Easy to Make' for Valentine's Day

If the "big flavor" of the Valentine's Day treat doesn't draw you in, then the ease of the recipe should. "It keeps great in the fridge up to four to five days so it’s a great make-ahead treat," she explains.

Danielle Kartes’ Irish Cream Tiramisu

2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

3 cups heavy cream

⅓ cup Irish cream liqueur (such as Baileys)

½ cup, plus 2 Tbsp. packed dark brown sugar, divided

1 tsp., plus 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract, divided

¼ tsp. kosher salt, divided

3 cups strong brewed coffee or espresso

1 Tbsp. instant coffee granules

2 (7-oz.) pkg. ladyfingers

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa, divided

1. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium low, and slowly pour in heavy cream until fully combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of bowl, return mixer to medium low and slowly add Irish cream liqueur, beating until just combined, about 1 minute. Add ½ cup of the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and ⅛ teaspoon of the salt; continue to beat until fully combined and mixture is the consistency of thick whipped cream, about 45 seconds. Set aside.

2. Combine brewed coffee, instant coffee, remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a shallow mixing bowl. Quickly dunk half of the ladyfingers in coffee mixture, submerging both sides completely. Arrange soaked ladyfingers in an even layer in a 13x9-inch baking dish.

3. Using an offset spatula, spread half of the cream mixture (about 3½ cups) evenly over ladyfingers in baking dish; dust evenly with 2 tablespoons of the cocoa. Repeat with remaining ladyfingers and coffee mixture, cream mixture and cocoa powder. Chill, uncovered, for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours before serving.

Serves: 12
Active time:
 25 minutes
Total time:
 4 hours, 25 minutes, including 4 hours chilling

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