Tiramisu Sundae, Tiramisu Gelato - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Tiramisu Sundae, Tiramisu Gelato
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RECIPES: Make Tiramisu Gelato & A Tiramisu Sundae

Tiramisu gelato. If you can’t find ladyfingers,
garnish with rolled wafer cookies, like
Pepperidge Farm’s Pirouettes. Photo © Studio
Gi | Fotolia.
  In 1866, as America recovered from the Civil War, William A. Breyer of Philadelphia hand-cranked his first gallon of ice cream. Most likely, he had never heard of gelato. The waves of Italian immigration to America did not begin for several more decades.

But 148 years later, Breyers is now owned by international food giant Unilever, and has launched gelato in four varieties:

  • Raspberry Cheesecake: Cheesecake gelato with raspberry sauce and graham crumble
  • Tiramisu: Mascarpone gelato with espresso sauce, ladyfinger pieces and cocoa
  • Triple Chocolate: Milk & Dark chocolate gelato with white chocolate sauce and chocolate curls
  • Vanilla Caramel: Creamy vanilla gelato with caramel sauce and crunchy “caramel curls”
    Each offers a “rich trio of textures” that includes gelato, sauce, and a topping.

    We received samples of Tiramisu and Vanilla Caramel and were inspired by the tiramisu flavor to develop today’s tip: Buy or make tiramisu gelato and create a tiramisu sundae. Any tiramisu lover will thank you for it.

    Tiramisu is an ultra-creamy Italian dessert that combines the flavors of coffee and cocoa with some texture from ladyfingers. The ladyfingers are dipped in coffee liqueur and layered with mascarpone cheese that’s been whipped with eggs and sugar and flavored with cocoa. Cocoa powder is sprinkled on top as a garnish. The history of tiramisu is below.

    This sundae recipe pays homage to the original recipe, substituting ice cream for the mascarpone.

    > Classic tiramisu recipe.

    > The history of tiramisu.

    > National Tiramisu Day is March 21st.


  • Tiramisu ice cream or gelato (recipe below)
  • Coffee or espresso liqueur
  • Ladyfingers, sponge cake or pound cake
  • Garnish: cocoa powder



  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups mascarpone
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso or instant coffee granules
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur, plus more to sprinkle on ladyfingers
  • 1/2 cup shaved bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup diced ladyfingers, sponge cake or pound cake
  • Garnish: cocoa powder, optional chocolate curls
    Don’t have an ice cream maker? Buy tiramisu gelato. Photo courtesy Breyers.

    1. COMBINE milk and vanilla in a heavy saucepan. Bring just to boiling over medium heat.

    2. WHISK egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until blended. Add milk mixture gradually, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for 7 minutes or until the custard barely coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Remove from heat. Stir in espresso granules.

    3. ADD mascarpone gradually and mix well. Chill, covered, for 2 hours.

    4. POUR cooled mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Stir in liqueur and chocolate after 20 minutes. Before placing it in the freezer, stir in the diced ladyfingers, and sprinkle the liqueur if desired (we desire it!). Freeze for 4 hours or longer before serving.

    5. DUST with cocoa powder and/or chocolate curls and garnish each serving with a ladyfinger.

    Tiramisu means “pick me up,” a reference to the caffeine from the espresso liqueur and the energy from the eggs and sugar. While there are many variations of the recipe, tiramisu is typically composed of layers of sponge cake or ladyfingers, soaked in espresso liqueur, coffee syrup, or marsala, and layered with a mascarpone cheese and custard mixture. It is dusted with cocoa or shaved chocolate.

    For what is a classic Italian dessert, tiramisu is a relatively recent creation. The origins of the dessert are highly contested, but a strong claim has been made that the recipe was invented in the 1960s at the restaurant, Alle Beccherie in Treviso, Italy by pastry chef Loly Linguanotto. The restaurant’s matriarch, Alba Campeol, got the idea for the dessert after the birth of one of her children.

    Weak in bed, she was brought a zabaglione spiked with coffee, to give her energy. When she returned to work, she and her pastry chef worked on the “pick me up” layered dessert.

    The original Becchiere recipe did not contain alcohol because it was served to children as well as adults. Today, a good tiramisu is redolent of liqueur or marsala. You can read the full story, plus competing claims to the invention by another Treviso restaurateur, Carminantonio Iannaccone, in this Washington Post article.

  • Tiramisu Cupcakes Recipe, yellow cupcakes with a tiramisu filling.
  • Cherry Tiramisu Recipe, which adds layers of cherry pie filling.

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