Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Landmark 1st Dessert Post…Caramel Tiramisu Tart

First and foremost, I am not a pastry chef. I don’t really eat sweets or desserts…ever. Unless Vanilla Coke counts as a dessert then…well…I’ll leave that for another day. I grew up in a household that never finished a meal with a dessert. We ate loads of fried foods, and processed sugary cereals, but never dessert. However, I realized that I needed to teach myself to make desserts, in order to become a well-rounded cook. Luckily, my wife loves a good dessert and she happily tastes all of my wonderful creations...and wretched disasters.

Baking is an exact science. The difference between the correct measurement and eye-balling it determines whether the dish is a success. Therefore, I will be posting exact measurements and a traditional recipe format.  FINALLY, I can hear many of you say…I hear you trust me.

For the crust – ½ stick butter cut into ½ inch pieces. Allow the butter to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes for softening. 9 chocolate graham crackers.

Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 20 seconds. You want a fine crumb consistency. Add the butter. Pulse till mixed.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan with olive oil. It works! If you’re not that brave, just use more melted butter. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool at room temperature for 25 minutes.

For the chocolate layer – 1 ½ cups of heavy cream, 1 tbs corn syrup, 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips, 2 tbs unsalted butter (cubed small), 2 tbs coffee liqueur.

In a saucepan over medium heat bring the cream and syrup to a boil. Take off the heat. Add chocolate, stirring until melted. Stir in the butter and the coffee liqueur. Empty it onto the graham cracker crust. Cool entirely, and then chill.

For the Filling - 1 cup heavy cream, 1 ½ cups mascarpone cheese (30 minutes at room temperature), 3 tbs powdered sugar, 3 tbs cold espresso, 2 tbs coffee liqueur. Caramel sauce for finishing.

Whip the cream in a bowl to soft peaks. In another bowl, beat the cheese till softened, then add the powdered sugar and beat till silky and velvety. Slowly but surely, beat in the cold espresso and coffee liqueur. Now gently fold in the cream and chocolate. Spoon the filling into the graham cracker crust on top of the chocolate layer. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until ready to serve.

Run a sharp knife around the side of the pan to loosen the tart. Remove the side of the pan and slide the tart onto a plate. Dust with a generously with powdered sugar.

To Plate - Spoon caramel sauce on the center of a plate. Place a portion of the tart on top. Drizzle with some more caramel sauce.

That’s it for now…till we exchange a few words again…Peace!


  1. Seems like a great tart, and mascarpone is so unctuous it makes wonderful desserts. I rarely eats desserts either but I like to bake them!

  2. This looks really good. I've never made tiramisu, it sounds so complicated. But I bet yours was worth the effort!

  3. Mmm, sounds delicious. It reminds me of Italy ... they have so many delicious and creative desserts over there. My favorite desserts were the nutella and banana crepe and the chocolate dessert pizza! Yes, they make dessert pizzas ... I went to a place that made about 30 different types of pizzas, and they had a few dessert ones. You've inspired me to make a vegan dessert. As soon as I make one, I'll post.

  4. Lucky you (not eating desserts)! This one is certainly a good one to start your dessert apprenticeship with. I am not so lucky: I love to eat whatever I bake or make.

  5. Cooking Rookie...It's not so much complicated, as it's many small steps. So if there is anything unclear you can email me at lazarocooks@gmail.com and I will try and help. But it is worth it.

  6. Κάθαρσις...I think you maybe right, however I have so many other food vices that more than make up for not eating desserts. I made a veggie lasagna on Sunday and ate one too many pieces. Good luck with your desserts.

  7. Prima...I look forward to your Vegan dessert. I will give it a try...by the way...the cashew cream was amazing. I think you should post it. People would certainly like that! I've made some dessert pizzas before...my wife loves these little dough nuts I make from pizza dough.

  8. citronetvanille...Totally agree with you about mascarpone it is an amazing ingredient. Two of my favorites are mascarpone and creme fraiche. I've always taken pleasure in making something good, that I could give to someone else to enjoy, even if I won't eat it. Have a great day!


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