Recipe ideas can come from anywhere – a cookbook, website, book or movie — but my favorite source of inspiration is recreating dishes I've eaten while out; the ones that lingered and I just couldn't get out of my mind. This dessert was born from just such a situation.
After devouring a salty peanut tiramisu at Eataly, I knew I wanted to be able to make it at home, especially to share with friends the next time we entertained. Who knew peanuts, coffee, and mascarpone would make such a sensational trio?
The beauty in this dessert goes beyond the captivating combination of nutty, bitter, creamy, and sweet — the peanuts also make it particularly pleasing to chew. If there's anything classic tiramisu is lacking, it's textural contrast, and this variation eliminates this downfall with an addicting salty-sweet crunch.
This tiramisu recipe is a great candidate for entertaining because it benefits from an overnight sit in the fridge and is generous in size. Mostly, though, I love capping off a dinner party with this dish because the flavors are as impressive to my guests as the ones that drove me to create the recipe in the first place.
Salted Peanut Tiramisu
For the salted peanuts:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup salted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
For the tiramisu:
6 ounces espresso or 1 tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in 3/4 cup water
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) coffee-flavored liqueur
6 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
24 ounces (about 3 cups) mascarpone
3 large egg whites
10 1/2 ounces (60 small or 30 large) ladyfingers
Caramelize the peanuts: Line a large plate with parchment paper. Sprinkle the sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, without stirring, until melted. Remove from heat, stir in the peanuts until evenly coated, and then pour onto the parchment paper. Once full cooled, break up the peanuts into small pieces.
Make the tiramisu: Stir the coffee and liqueur together in a small bowl and set aside.
Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a double boiler set over simmering water and whisk until pale yellow, about 5 minutes. When ready, a ribbon should fall from the whisk and slowly dissolve into the rest of the mixture. Remove the bowl from the heat. Let cool 5 minutes, then fold the mascarpone into the egg yolks.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold the egg yolk-mascarpone mixture into the beaten egg whites.
Pour half the coffee mixture into a small shallow bowl. Dip a ladyfinger for 1 to 2 seconds per side in the coffee and then place in the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Continue with half of the ladyfingers, lining the entire bottom of the baking dish in a single layer.
Pour half the mascarpone and egg mixture and use a spatula to spread it evenly over the soaked ladyfingers. Sprinkle with half the peanuts. Pour the remaining coffee into the small bowl and repeat dipping and lining a second layer of ladyfingers. Spread the remaining mascarpone and egg mixture evenly over the soaked ladyfingers and sprinkle with the remaining peanuts.
Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours. Bring to room temperature before slicing and serving.
- If you're sensitive to caffeine, feel free to use decaf coffee.
- Rather than coffee-flavored liqueur, such as Kahlua, you can substitute Italian brandy, dark rum, or Irish Cream. Use what you love!
- This recipe skips the traditional dusting of cocoa powder or chocolate shavings, but if you think you'll miss the chocolate, you can add it back in.