What do you do when you want to serve tiramisu as finger food? Normally, this Italian dessert is made with coffee-dipped ladyfingers layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, then topped with cocoa powder…it’s not really something you can eat without a spoon. Why did I want to mess with a classic, I hear you ask? Well, I was catering my daughter’s Italian-themed bridal shower (remember the Limoncello I wrote about a couple of weeks ago? That was also for the shower), and I wanted to get creative with the menu…you know, upend the expectations a little. Enter finger friendly tiramisu truffles – all the joys of tiramisu wrapped in a decadent bit of dark chocolate.
The only downside to this plan was that I’d have to temper chocolate again. I wrote about my adventures of dipping cake pops, and more recently dipping all sorts of items when I talked about tempering chocolate. Tempering chocolate is just no fun to me, but this time I had a secret weapon…my birthday was earlier this month, and my family bought me a KitchenAid Precise Heat Mixing Bowl. (what the heck is that?) I’m glad you asked, Dear Reader! It’s an attachment to the KitchenAid Stand Mixer that tempers melted chocolate, then holds that chocolate in temper as you dip. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, head over to In a temper with chocolate to get a quick refresher course. It’s ok…I’ll wait…hmmm…I need to get to the recipe soon…back with me? Great!) With this device, there’s no more standing and stirring until the temperature is just right, and you don’t need to bring your heating pad in from the bedroom. Score!
There was a learning curve involved when I flipped on the switch (i.e. having to do the procedure twice to get the chocolate properly tempered…user error), but after I figured it out it was (mostly) smooth sailing. I still needed to clean off the dipping spoon from cooled chocolate several times so that the truffles dropped onto the tray (otherwise, they just stuck to the spoon, upside down, and no amount of tapping or poking would release it). With those minor roadblocks handled, success was assured…or at least it looked promising. To the recipe, then!
I found this recipe on Haley Williams’ If you give a blonde a kitchen. As is my habit, my notes and comments are in italics below.
No Bake Tiramisu Truffles
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 36 truffles
- 24 ladyfingers (12 oz or 1 package)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 2-3 Tbsp espresso (I used 2 Tbsp Kahlua and 1 Tbsp espresso – see my Notes below)
- 2 cups (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate (I used dark chocolate as that’s my preference…you can use what you like)
- 2 tsp espresso powder, optional (I didn’t use it – again, see the Notes)
- In a food processor, blend ladyfingers (half the package at a time) until you have fine crumbs. Set aside 2 tablespoons to sprinkle on the truffles later. Transfer the remaining crumbs to a bowl. Add the sugar and whisk until combined.
- Using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) add the mascarpone cheese to the bowl and mix until fully incorporated. Add the espresso or liqueur one tablespoon at a time. You do not want a goopy consistency – it should be similar to a soft cookie dough (I needed 3 Tbsp of liquid). Transfer the mixture to a sealed container and place in the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour. (I held it overnight and it was fine)
- Line a baking sheet with Silpat, wax paper, or parchment paper. Remove the mixture from the fridge (it should be firmer now). Start to shape the mixture into 36 (1-inch) balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Freeze for 10 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate (tempering the chocolate is best) and stir in the espresso powder. Dip a cold tiramisu truffle into the melted chocolate and transfer it back to the baking sheet. Sprinkle the truffle with the crushed lady fingers you set aside earlier. Repeat for the remaining truffles.
- Place the baking sheet in the fridge for a 5 to 10 minutes for the chocolate to harden. Store tiramisu truffles in an airtight container in the fridge.
- I recommend Stella D’Oro Margherite lady fingers (I couldn’t find that brand so I went with Goya. You want the crunchy kind, not the soft ones).
- Cream cheese (3/4 cup or 6 oz) can be substituted for mascarpone.
- Strong coffee or coffee liquor can be used in place of espresso. (I went with 2 Tbsp Kahlua and 1 Tbsp espresso thinking the Kahlua would be too strong, but it didn’t end up being so and the coffee flavor was muted. Next time I’d skip the espresso and go with 3 Tbsp Kahlua, then maybe add espresso to the melted chocolate. That way the coffee flavor will really be present.)
- Balls of dough can be frozen in a closed container (or covered cookie sheet) for up to two weeks.
- Truffles last about a week and should be refrigerated. You can bring them to room temperature before serving if preferred.
These truffles were quite the hit at the shower…the tempered chocolate had the requisite snap when you bit into it, and the inside had a mild flavor of tiramisu. As I said above, next time I’ll only use Kahlua for the dough and espresso in the chocolate to up the coffee notes. All in all, tiramisu truffles are the way to go if you want a portion-controlled bit of Italian goodness…just remember to breathe when tempering the chocolate. Zen is the way to go.
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!