Here’s a tiramisu without coffee: Earl Grey tiramisu is perfect for tea lovers. A flavour twist to classic tiramisu, this dessert celebrates the unique flavour of Earl Grey tea. Skip the cocoa powder and top it with a sprinkle of powdered tea instead. This is the ultimate Earl Grey dessert: a tea-ramisu.
I first made tiramisu with Earl Grey tea for a friend who does not drink coffee. She said she has no problem with coffee in tiramisu, but I saw it as an opportunity to try something new. Sticking with the classic recipe I topped it with cocoa powder. While it obviously lacked the coffee flavour, still the cocoa powder was overshadowing the flavour of the tea. So the next time I went cocoa-free as well and the result was fantastic!
Can you make tiramisu without coffee?
Tiramisu is one of those desserts that can be highly customized. Very classic tiramisu is made with ladyfinger biscuits dipped in espresso and topped with powdered cocoa to give it a bitter finish. But what makes tiramisu special is its unique egg and mascarpone cream. And that pairs divinely also with other flavours. So while coffee is standard, it’s not your only option.
Tea – Earl Grey in this case – is just one option. As unusual as it may sound, you can actually be served tiramisu with tea even in espresso-loving Italy. Black tea is usually preferred being closest to coffee, but green tea tiramisu is a thing, too, especially with matcha. Another summer favourite is a mixture of strawberry juice and limoncello to make strawberry limoncello tiramisu.
What’s key is that ladyfinger biscuits are dipped in some flavourful liquid. This is beneficial in two ways: it gives tiramisu its distinctive flavour and it moistens the biscuits so they will be soft and not crunchy in the final product. Coffee – despite being the traditional thing – is just one of your options.
Earl Grey tiramisu ingredients
For exact quantities please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post. The standard quantities in this recipe work with a casserole dish measuring 12*18 cm (5*7 inches).
I have used loose leaf tea in this recipe but you can of course also use a teabag. The tea needs to be prepared in advance as you don’t want to be adding it hot. Since we want a strong Earl Grey flavour you can let the tea steep for 20 minutes. In this time it will also cool to room temperature, so when ready to use it will be properly strong.
How to make Earl Grey tiramisu
- Separate the egg yolks from the whites into two separate bowls. Add half of the sugar to the whites and beat to hard peaks; set aside. In the other bowl beat the yolks with the rest of the sugar until fluffy and light in colour. Add the mascarpone and mix well until homogeneous. Set mixer aside and fold in the egg whites.
- Spread a thin layer of cream over the bottom of a casserole dish. Quickly dip the ladyfinger biscuits in the sweetened tea on both sides, then place over mascarpone cream. Repeat creating a layer of dipped biscuits.
- Add another layer of mascarpone cream, then proceed to create a second layer of dipped biscuits. Spread a final layer of mascarpone cream on top.
- Cover the tea tiramisu with cling film. Place in the fridge and let rest for 2 hours or overnight. Serve with a sprinkle of powdered tea on top or some dried cornflower petals.
How to get the perfect texture
Tiramisu should always be soft throughout and never have a crunchy bite. The cream should be light and almost mousse-like. To ensure your tiramisu has the perfect texture there are a few simple tricks that always land you the perfect tiramisu. The biscuits need to be dipped very quickly and the assembled tiramisu needs at least a couple of hours of resting time.
Never get tempted to soak the crunchy ladyfingers too long in your tea (or coffee). A very quick dip on both sides is all you need. This way the ladyfingers will not be soaked to the core, so technically they’re still crunchy when they go into the tiramisu. This is why resting time is key: the biscuits will absorb moisture from the cream, getting soft throughout without excessive soaking.
Overly soaked biscuits do not absorb any moisture from the cream. On the contrary, they would add to that. Excessive moisture weighs the cream down, ruining the airy and fluffy texture given by the whipped egg whites. The result is a soupy and watery tiramisu, which is as wrong as one with crunchy biscuits.
How to store
Tiramisu is extremely sensitive to high temperatures, being made with raw eggs and a fresh cheese like mascarpone. For this reason, always store tiramisu refrigerated and only take it out when it’s time to serve it. Chilled tiramisu tastes best and ensures the product will not spoil.
You can cover tiramisu leftovers with cling film and store them refrigerated for up to 3 days. Freezing is not recommended, as it will lose its texture and may separate upon thawing.
Remember that resting time is mandatory, and this quality makes tiramisu an excellent make-ahead dessert. Make your tiramisu the day before you have to serve it and you will be sure it has rested long enough to have the perfect texture.
You may also like
- Small tiramisu cake for two
- Single-serve tiramisu in a glass
- Strawberry limoncello tiramisu
- London Fog ice cream
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Earl Grey Tea Tiramisu
Tiramisu made with Earl Grey tea instead of coffee and a sprinkle of powdered tea leaves and cornflower petals instead of cocoa as topping.
- 250 g mascarpone
- 2 eggs
- 50 g sugar +2 tsp
- 100 g savoiardi ladyfinger biscuits
- 2 tsp loose leaf Earl Grey tea
- 160 ml water
Add the tea and sugar to freshly-boiled water. Stir to dissolve the sugar and steep for 20 minutes, then pour through a strainer and discard tea leaves.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites and add to two separate bowls. Add half of the sugar to the whites and beat to hard peaks.
Beat the yolks with the rest of the sugar until fluffy and light in colour. Add the mascarpone and mix well until homogeneous. Set mixer aside and fold in the egg whites.
Spread a thin layer of cream over the bottom of a casserole dish. Quickly dip the ladyfinger biscuits in the sweetened tea on both sides, then place over mascarpone cream. Repeat creating a layer of dipped biscuits. See notes for further info.
Add another layer of mascarpone cream, then proceed to create a second layer of dipped biscuits. Spread a final layer of mascarpone cream on top.
Cover the tea tiramisu with cling film. Place it in the fridge and let it rest for 2 hours or overnight. Serve with a sprinkle of powdered tea on top or some dried cornflower petals.
- Ladyfinger biscuits need to be dipped really quickly in the tea in order to avoid them being completely soaked. Overly soaked biscuits will cause a soggy and watery tiramisu.
- Tiramisu needs about 2 hours of resting time to ensure the biscuits will absorb moisture and get soft to the core. Proper tiramisu should not have a crunchy texture from the biscuits. Since you cannot over-soak them, you need to give them time to absorb moisture from the cream.
- The standard quantities in this recipe work with a casserole dish measuring 12*18 cm (5*7 inches).
The nutritional information provided is only an estimate from an online calculator.