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Easy Tiramisu for Two

February 13, 2018
Easy Tiramisu for Two is perfect for Valentine's Day or date night dessert
Easy Tiramisu For Two is the perfect Valentine’s Day (or date night) dessert.  Or you can make individual tiramisu cups for your next shower or party.  Ditch the expensive mascarpone and use a delicious cream cheese mixture instead.    Tender, coffee-soaked ladyfinger cookies, rich custard and vanilla whipped cream piled into a decadent parfait.  Yes, please!

Easy Tiramisu for Two - make multiple batches for a shower or party

I don’t know about you, but any time I’m in a restaurant and I see tiramisu on the menu, my dessert is decided.  I love tiramisu.
Laurier and I were lucky enough to go to Europe a few years ago and in Italy I ate so much tiramisu (and, um, everything else I could get my hands on) that if we hadn’t been walking about 15 kilometers a day I wouldn’t have fit into my clothes when I came home.
Tiramisu in Italy

Tiramisu in Italy

Tiramisu is a lovely little Italian dessert (it means ‘pick me up’) made of ladyfinger cookies, mascarpone cheese, egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder and, yes, COFFEE (my fave).  Different recipes add other extra things – some have Marsala wine, some have rum, some have whipped cream, but the base is always similar.
I’ve made tiramisu a few times over the years and I really wanted to make tiramisu for two, for Valentine’s Day this year.
But there was a problem.  Where I live, mascarpone cheese is SUPER expensive.
A container of mascarpone cheese costs $12-14.
What?!?!
How the heck can anyone afford to eat this stuff, unless maybe it’s dessert for the most special occasion of their lives – like their wedding or something!
Over the last little while I’ve been wondering, what can you use in the place of mascarpone cheese?  Can you substitute cream cheese  for mascarpone cheese?
I did a little research online and a little experimenting, and I have good news.  Whether you want to make tiramisu for two (for Valentine’s Day or date night) or tiramisu for a crowd, you can do it much more cheaply than the traditional way.
You can make a substitute for mascarpone cheese with cream cheese, whipping cream and butter, and unless you grew up eating your Nonna’s tiramisu every Sunday, I bet you won’t even notice the difference in the final product.
Before we get to the recipe, don’t you just love mini desserts in individual cups?  I don’t know why, but for some reason they’re just so lovely.  Whether you’re looking for a dessert for two for date night or Valentine’s Day, or just want to make individual servings for a baby shower or wedding shower, I have to say, they just look a lot prettier than a big dish of whatever dessert you’re making.
The extra beauty of these little tiramisu cups is that you have to make them a little while ahead of time.   Perfect for an event where you don’t want to be cooking at the last minute.  They need to sit in the fridge for a bit, and make ahead recipes are just the best, aren’t they?
One other thing:  You might have noticed that this recipe is called Easy Tiramisu for Two.  Because honestly, the hardest thing you have to do in this recipe is whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a bowl.  Yes, that bowl is set on top of a pot of boiling water and technically this is a double boiler and maybe starts to sound scary and too intense.  But trust me, it’s not scary, or difficult, and you can 100% do it.
You’ve got this 🙂
Step-by-step photo instructions are below the recipe.
5 from 2 votes
Easy Tiramisu for Two is perfect for Valentine's Day or date night dessert
Easy Tiramisu For Two
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Easy Tiramisu For Two is the perfect Valentine's Day (or date night) dessert. You can even make individual tiramisu cups for your next shower or party. Ditch the expensive mascarpone and use a delicious cream cheese mixture instead. Tender, coffee-soaked ladyfinger cookies, rich custard and vanilla whipped cream piled into a decadent parfait. Yes, please!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2 -4 servings
Calories: 410 kcal
Author: Myra
Ingredients
For custard
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
For mascarpone substitute
  • 4 oz cream cheese (1/2 a block) - softened
  • 2 tbsp whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp softened butter
For whipped cream
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
For assembling
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/2 tsp rum extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract*
  • 12-14 ladyfinger cookies
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
Instructions
  1. First, make coffee and set it aside to cool.

For Custard
  1. Separate eggs and put yolks into a heatproof bowl.  Whisk in sugar (1/4 cup) and set bowl over a pot of water (make sure water isn't close to touching bowl).  Bring water to a boil, lower heat and cook, whisking, for about 5 minutes - until mixture thickens into a creamy yellow custard.  Set bowl aside so custard can cool.  Whisk it every couple of minutes so it doesn't form a skin.

For Whipped Cream
  1. Whip cream with vanilla (1/2 tsp) and sugar (1/4 tsp) until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.

For Mascarpone Substitute
  1. In a small bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together cream cheese, whipping cream (2 tbsp) and butter until fluffy and smooth.

  2. Use the mixer to blend the "mascarpone" into the cooled custard.  Fold in whipped cream.

To Assemble
  1. In a shallow dish, combine coffee, rum extract and vanilla extract (1/2 tsp).  Dip ladyfingers into coffee mixture one at a time.  Don't soak them - just dip for about one second, flip over and dip the other side for one second.  Then assemble in a layer in the bottom of whatever dishes you're using.**

  2. Add a layer of the creamy custard on top of the ladyfingers.  Sprinkle with a dusting of cocoa powder from a small sieve.  Continue to layer until you run out of ingredients.

  3. Chill at least 4 hours but up to 24 hours.

    Enjoy! 🙂

Recipe Notes
* If you're finding vanilla extract really expensive right now, check out our post on How to Make Vanilla Extract & Save Money on Groceries!
** This recipe can either make 2 very large tiramisu cups or 4 average size cups.  I used stemless wine glasses but you can also use ramekins or mini mason jars.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Tiramisu For Two
Amount Per Serving
Calories 410
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 Easy Tiramisu for Two – Step-by-Step Instructions

Ingredients for Easy Tiramisu for Two

 Ingredients for Easy Tiramisu for Two

Separate eggs for Easy Tiramisu for Two

 First, make some coffee.  I like to make some to drink, and an extra cup to use for the recipe.  🙂  Pour the cup for the tiramisu into a measuring cup and set it aside to cool for now.
Then, separate two eggs and put the yolks in a heat-proof bowl.

Whisk sugar and egg in double boiler for Easy Tiramisu for Two

Add 1/4 cup of sugar to the yolks and put the bowl on top of a pot of water (make sure there isn’t enough water to touch the bowl).

Whisk sugar and egg into a rich custard for Easy Tiramisu for Two

Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat and whisk until the mixture thickens and becomes a creamy yellow custard.  This will probably take around 5 minutes.  Set custard aside to cool and whisk it every couple of minutes to stop it from forming a skin.

Whip cream for Easy Tiramisu for Two

Then whip 1/2 cup of whipping cream (heavy cream) with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon of sugar until stiff peaks form.

Make your own mascarpone substitute for Easy Tiramisu for Two

In a small bowl, use a hand mixer to cream 4 oz (half a block) of softened cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of milk until smooth and creamy.  This is your mascarpone substitute!

Mix mascarpone substitute into custard for Easy Tiramisu for Two

Dump the “mascarpone” into the cooled custard and use your mixer to beat it until well combined.

Fold whipped cream into custard for Easy Tiramisu for Two

Fold in whipped cream.

Dip lady fingers in coffee mixture for Easy Tiramisu for Two

In a shallow dish, mix coffee, 1/2 teaspoon of rum extract and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Dip ladyfingers into the coffee but don’t let them soak – I’d say do a quick 1-2 count, then flip them over and do the same on the other side.  Arrange in a layer in whatever serving dishes you’re using. I used 14 ladyfingers.
This recipe will make 2 huge tiramisu cups or 3-4 normal sized ones 🙂  I used stemless wine glasses but you could also use ramekins or mini mason jars.

Sprinkle each layer with cocoa powder for Easy Tiramisu for Two

Spoon custard mixture over coffee-soaked ladyfingers, then sprinkle with cocoa powder.  This recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, but you won’t use it all – just a dusting on each layer.  Continue to layer until you run out of ingredients.
Chill for at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours.  You can sprinkle the top dusting of cocoa powder on after they’re chilled.

Easy Tiramisu for Two is delicious and cheaper than traditional tiramisu

Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

Easy Tiramisu For Two is the perfect Valentine's Day (or date night) dessert.  Or you can make individual tiramisu cups for your next shower or party.  Ditch the expensive mascarpone and use a delicious cream cheese mixture instead.    Tender, coffee-soaked ladyfinger cookies, rich custard and vanilla whipped cream piled into a decadent parfait.  Yes, please! #datenight #valentinesday #dessert #dessertfortwo

2 Comments

  • Reply Brenda March 13, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Light and creamy.

    • Reply Myra March 13, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      Thanks! 🙂

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