27 October 2013

Tequila Tiramisu

I know I'm in a minority here, but I love tequila. So much so that I decided it was high time I added a bottle of it to my (ever-growing) spirit collection. My shopping list looked something like this: 'baking powder, bread, carrots, TEQUILA, laundry detergent...'

Once I had bought this delightful spirit, it was time to put it to good use. I've not made Tiramisu in a good year or two, and seeing as I am basically in love with this dessert it was high time I made it again. If we went for a meal and tiramisu was on the dessert menu, I would try to fight it and try something else but nine times out of ten the tiramisu would win. That is how much I love tiramisu.

This is by no means a traditional tiramisu recipe. For starters, we have the obvious use of tequila instead of Marsala. [By the way, if you ever find yourself without Marsala (or tequila) and you're making tiramisu, Lambrusco works a treat as long as you don't mind having a slightly pink dessert.] Next, I've used madeira cake instead of ladyfingers because it always works so well for me, and I'm not left with half a pack of weird sugary biscuits that I have no other use for than to make more tiramisu with.

I had extra fun making this dish because I inadvertently planned to use whipped cream without having an electric whisk. My old one had been on the fritz for a while when it sucked up a tea towel when I was trying to make buttercream without a mess and the whisk attachments got a bit bent out of shape so I decided to part with it then and there. My only problem now is that in order to whisk anything I have to actually do it manually, so I've been trying not to plan cakes involving Swiss or French buttercreams (which would make your arm fall off if you made them manually). The whipping for the cream was hence super fun for me and my arms, but on the plus side I guess they had enough of a workout to deserve the Tequila Tiramisu?

Don't be shy with the tequila here. It might smell pungent but with the other ingredients it can take a back seat if you're not careful. Feel free to taste as you add, but remember that the flavour will mellow out somewhat so more is more!

  • 300mL Double Cream
  • 300g Philadelphia Cheese
  • 150g Icing Sugar
  • 60mL Tequila
  • 2 Packs Madeira Sponge Cake (I bought mine at the supermarket for ease)
  • 4 Tbsp Instant Coffee
  • 200mL Boiling Water
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • Whisk the double cream to soft peaks.
  • Fold/whisk in the cream cheese until smooth.
  • Sift the icing sugar into the mixture and fold in.
  • Fold in the tequila and place to one side.
  • Make up the espresso by combining the hot water with the instant coffee. 
  • Pour some of the coffee into a wide-mouthed bowl (up to approx 1cm/0.5in depth).
  • Slice the madeira sponge lengthways across the top and sides to give slices approx 1cm in depth and width. Slice the pieces in half.
  • Take a piece and place it in the coffee, then quickly turn over so the top and bottom have been dipped in coffee. Don't leave it there for more than a second or two or it will disintegrate.
  • Transfer the cake piece to a square dish.
  • Repeat with more of the cake slices until the bottom of the dish is covered with one layer of the cake slices.
  • Cover the cake slices with half of the cream cheese mixture.
  • Place the cocoa powder in a sieve and use it to dust the top of the cream cheese mixture.
  • Repeat the stage with the cake slices, then cover with the remaining cream cheese mixture, followed by the cocoa powder.
  • Cover the tiramisu and leave it in the fridge, ideally overnight to allow the flavours to meld together.


  1. It's always nice to add a bit of pep to something! I used to like tequila but then one day - like a switch flicking inside me - the smoky taste of it didn't appeal anymore.

    1. Aah no, such a shame! I know the taste doesn't appeal to everyone, especially since it can bring back memories of drunken antics and terrible hangovers...

  2. I love tiramisu and that looks gorgeous! I would never have thought of using tequila. I reckon a flavoured spirit like Chambord black raspberry liqueur would work really well too.


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