Swap the coffee for tea in this less-than-traditional tiramisu. Each velvety-soft aspect of the dessert—the cream, mascarpone, and sponge—tones down the harsh, tannic hit of the tea. Extra matcha dusted on top not only amps up the flavor but gives the whole thing a bright, grassy glow.
- Make tea: Place the matcha powder in a bowl. Then pour hot water (at 175°F) into the bowl, and using a whisk (a bamboo matcha whisk if possible), whisk it vigorously until it turns frothy and the matcha powder is evenly dispersed throughout the water. Then add rum to the tea. Set this aside for later.
- Whip cream: Place the whipping cream in a mixer bowl with the whisk attachment, and whisk on high for 2–3 minutes, until it forms medium peaks. Keep the whipped cream in the refrigerator for later.
- Make a zabaglione: Ready a double boiler or steam bath (essentially a pot with an inch of water on a gentle simmer, with a separate bowl on top heated by the steam, not touching the water), and place the egg yolks and sugar in it. Whisk continuously while the bowl heats up, letting the yolks cook gently in the bowl for 6–8 minutes. The yolk will feel thicker and almost gummy as you whisk. You’ll know it’s done when you can lift the whisk and trace a figure eight using the egg yolk drippage, and the outline stays visible for 2–3 seconds before melding back with the bulk of the mixture.
- Make the cream: Add the mascarpone, vanilla extract, salt, and rum to the egg yolk zabaglione. Give it a quick whisk until the ingredients are all well combined. Then take the whipped cream out of the fridge and gently fold it into the mascarpone mixture, in 2–3 incorporations. Your cream is done!
- Assembly: Ready a deep tray to build your tiramisu. (I used a 9-by-9-inch square tray.) Then individually dunk the ladyfingers into the tea and rum (from step 1), and place them into the tray. (The biscuits can soak up a lot of liquid, so to prevent them from getting too soggy, I find that just a quick, 1-second dunk into the tea works perfectly.) Continue dunking and placing until the bottom of the tray is completely covered. Then place about half of the mascarpone cream on top of the ladyfingers, spreading it out evenly using a spoon or spatula. Then repeat the process to form another biscuit layer, and top it off with the rest of the mascarpone, making sure to spread the top out evenly.
Yi Jun Loh is a freelance writer and cook. An engineer by training, he immersed himself into the food industry right after graduating from Cambridge, learning to cook in Paris and then at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York. He is now based in Malaysia, obsessing over food culture and science through his blog Jun & Tonic.