I happen to think that tiramisu is a great summertime dessert because it require any cooking and it is served cold. It is also great for entertaining because it can – and should -be made well in advance of when you want to serve it. The only drawback to a tiramisu as a summertime dessert is that it doesn’t make use of any of the luscious berries that are at their peak in the summer. You could say why not save the berries for another day? Today, however, I decided to simply incorporate berries into a tiramisu.
Strawberry Cheesecake Tiramisu is not a typical tiramisu. It does use coffee-dipped ladyfingers, but instead of a mascarpone cream, it uses a cream cheese-based cream to glue everything together. Since cream cheese is heavier than mascarpone, this makes the whole dessert a little bit more dense. That may sound like a bad thing, but in this case it serves to hold everything together and also makes the dessert taste a bit like strawberry cheesecake!
As a little experiment, I’ve posted a video of me making this dessert on YouTube so you all can see me prepare it. I tried to be brief, so the recipe below is actually a little bit more specific than the recipe as presented in the video. Still, it was fun to make and if you all like it, I’m planning to do some more (side note: I’ll be using a different camera in the future).
This dish tastes great, particularly after it has been in the fridge overnight and everything has really come together. I used berries from my local farmer’s market and they were super sweet, so the dessert didn’t need any added sweetened. If your berries aren’t, consider adding about a 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar to the cheesecake cream. Also, you’ll notice that I only dipped the ladyfingers in the coffee mixture for a second or two in the video. Mine were very absorbent, but if yours are drier, give them an extra couple of seconds to soak up the flavor, but be sure to get them out before they get too soft.
Strawberry Cheesecake Tiramisu
8-oz Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (optional)
3 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1 cup strong coffee, cold
2 tbsp Irish Cream liquor, such as Bailey’s
approx. 3 dozen ladyfingers
4 cups fresh strawberries, diced
In a large bowl, cream together Philadelphia cream cheese, heavy cream and 2 tsp vanilla extract until smooth and creamy (beat in confectioners’ sugar if strawberries aren’t sweet enough).
In a small, shallow bowl, whisk together coffee, Bailey’s and 2 tsp vanilla extract.
Dip each ladyfinger into coffee mixture one by one, letting each soak for 2-3 seconds in the coffee mixture, and place in a single layer on the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish.
Top ladyfingers with half of the cream cheese mixture, spreading it into an even layer. Top this layer with about 2 cups of strawberries. Add another layer of soaked ladyfingers, followed with layers of the remaining strawberries and the remaining cream cheese mixture.
Chill for at least 1 hour (preferably 4-6, if you have time) until ready to serve.
Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for several days