Matcha Tiramisu

by Jillian
Layers of matcha-infused ladyfingers and sweet mascarpone cream filling come together to make an Asian-inspired version of a classic Italian dessert!

Layers of matcha-infused ladyfingers and sweet mascarpone cream filling come together to make an Asian-inspired version of a classic Italian dessert!

Green tea is never an ingredient I would’ve ever thought of using in a dessert, but recently I’ve spotted it in all kinds of delectable sweets. From cupcakes to cookies and cheesecakes to milkshakes, green tea has become more mainstream in the dessert world. Likewise, one would think that someone with Japanese roots, like myself, would’ve pounced on this trend immediately when it appeared, but I was still quite skeptical.

Luckily, I finally came to my senses and decided to give this super trendy ingredient a try by creating this Matcha Tiramisu!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with matcha, it’s a Japanese green tea powder made from finely ground powder of dried green tea leaves. It has a slightly bitter, vegetal flavor with sweet nutty undertones. When combined with hot water, it tastes more vegetal, but when blended with honey and milk, it has a much sweeter, more decadent flavor. This is precisely the experience you get with this Matcha Tiramisu–sweet and incredibly decadent!

Now traditionally, tiramisu requires the use of egg yolks and finicky double boilers. This tiramisu, on the other hand, is super duper easy, quick, and tastes SOOO much better! In my oh-so-humble opinion, of course…

To start things off, you’ll make up the matcha syrup. Just whisk some matcha powder, sugar, and water together in a small saucepan, then heat it over the stove until it begins to simmer. Take it off the heat and allow it to cool a bit while you work on the rest of the tiramisu. Now when it comes to matcha tea, the quality can vary widely among brands. While I’m not quite an expert on teas, I can say that this brand worked fantastically in this tiramisu.

For the mascarpone filling, you’ll start by whipping up some heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Then you’ll combine some mascarpone cheese with some sugar and vanilla. Mascarpone cheese is one of the key ingredients that makes up traditional tiramisu. It’s similar to cream cheese but the flavor is much milder and it’s rather velvety in texture. You can usually find it in the fancy cheese section of your grocery store.

Once you’ve folded your whipped cream into your sweetened mascarpone cheese mixture, it’s time to assemble the tiramisu. Normally I just buy my ladyfingers from the store, but since none of the stores seemed to have any (maybe it’s out of season?), I was stuck with making my own. Thankfully, it’s not as hard as one might expect, and it requires basic ingredients most people have in their pantry. So if any of you have a hard time finding ladyfingers, I’d highly recommend this ladyfingers recipe from Easy Peasy Creative Ideas.

Ok, now we assemble! One at a time, take your ladyfingers and quickly dip them in the matcha syrup, then place them side-by-side along the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish. Depending on the size of your ladyfingers, you might have to cut them. I suggest cutting them after they’ve been dipped and allowed to sit for a minute. The syrup softens the ladyfingers, making them much easier to cut without breaking.

After you’ve got the first layer of ladyfingers down, spread half of the mascarpone cream filling evenly over the ladyfingers. Repeat the steps once more with the rest of the ladyfingers, syrup, and mascarpone filling, then chill the tiramisu in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. 

To add to the elegance of this already impressive dessert, I piped some whipped cream “kisses” on top. I would recommend waiting until you’re JUST about to serve the tiramisu to dust the surface with matcha powder. Once the powder hits the moisture from the filling, it isn’t long before the bright green color darkens. It’s still very green and pretty, but the powder looks much more vibrant when it’s dry.

For my first introduction into green tea desserts, I’d definitely say this tiramisu was a success! The matcha adds a nice whisper of green tea flavor, and it’s not overwhelmingly bitter. There’s just enough sugar in this tiramisu to bring out the natural sweetness and flavor of the green tea. Moreover, the combination of light and airy cake with creamy mascarpone filling is simply divine

Oh, and bonus! Being that green tea contains antioxidants which are known to lower blood pressure, speed up metabolism, and reduce your reduce risk of heart disease and certain cancers, you can feel less guilty about that second (or maybe third) serving you’re likely to succumb to 😉 

Layers of matcha-infused ladyfingers and sweet mascarpone cream filling come together to make an Asian-inspired version of a classic Italian dessert!

Matcha Tiramisu

Layers of matcha-infused ladyfingers and sweet mascarpone cream filling come together to make an Asian-inspired version of a classic Italian dessert!
Prep Time 1 hour
Refrigeration Time 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian, Japanese
Servings 9 Servings

Ingredients
  

Matcha Syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon matcha powder

Mascarpone Filling:

  • 1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 12 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For Assembling:

  • 1 (7 oz) package Savoiardi ladyfingers (about 24)
  • Matcha powder for dusting the surface
  • Whipped Cream optional

Instructions
 

Make the Syrup:

  • Combine the water, sugar, and matcha powder in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely.

Make the Filling:

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer whipped cream to a separate bowl, return bowl to the mixer, and replace whisk attachment with paddle attachment.
  • To the mixer, add the mascarpone cheese,  sugar, and vanilla. Beat on high until combined. Gently fold in the whipped cream until fluffy and combined.

Assemble Tiramisu:

  • One at a time, quickly dip the ladyfingers in the matcha syrup until soaked but not soggy; arrange in an even layer along the bottom of an 8-inch square dish. (Line the ladyfingers up in two straight rows of six.*) Spread with half of the the mascarpone filling. Repeat with remaining ladyfingers, syrup, and filling.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving. If desired, pipe dollops of whipped cream evenly over the entire surface of the Tiramisu. Just before serving, place matcha powder in a fine mesh sieve and shake a light dusting over the surface. Cut into squares and serve.

Notes

*You might have to cut your ladyfingers depending on their size. Cutting is easier to do after they’ve been dipped in the syrup and allowed to sit for a couple of minutes.
**Tiramisu will stay fresh tightly covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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