While this isn't a traditional tiramisu, per say, as I omitted alcohol and eggs (so that my daughter could enjoy it and any nasty salmonella issues might be thwarted), it still holds true to the core tenants of tiramisu. I opted for dried figs and ground cardamom over other options as I felt they were easiest to find for the majority of cooks.
The fig and cardamom add a nice depth and a slightly savory backdrop for the otherwise purely sweet dessert. Coupled with shavings of an excellent quality dark chocolate on top I think you'll find this both lighter and more intensely flavorful that many tiramisu recipes. - everynothingwonderful —everynothingwonderful
Test Kitchen Notes
Cardamom and figs add a delicious new twist to tiramisu in everynothingwonderful's recipe. I like my tiramisu boozy, so I made this in 2 pans and incorporated brandy (1/4 cup) into the soaking liquid for one pan. I also forgot to add the sugar to the soaking liquid, but the finished dessert was perfectly sweet to my taste this way. This tiramisu is great with or without the added brandy; the figs and spices add enough flavor complexity you don't need to rely on the booze. I did need to use more soaking liquid than the recipe suggests, so when I make this again I will increase to 1 1/2 cups strong coffee, 1/4-1/3 cup brandy, and 1/2 cup heavy cream. This tiramisu tastes rich and decadent, and it really shines after a night in the fridge. (Yes, I ate some for breakfast!) —hardlikearmour
at least 6
reserved liquid from soaking dried figs (see Instructions Step 1)
mascarpone cheese (2 8-ounce containers)
ground cardamom (plus a few dashes reserved for finishing)
Soak, Cookies and Topping
fresh-brewed espresso or strong coffee
ladyfingers aka savoiardi (hard cookie version, not soft)
As much as 24 hours prior to making tiramisu place dried figs in a heat proof container (a jar works fine). Pour boiling or very hot water over and soak for at least one hour until puffed up and rehydrated. If soaking overnight: cover and refrigerate.
Chopped soaked figs into quarters and blend in a food processor with 4 tablespoons of the liquid reserved from soaking.
For the filling: Combine pulverized figs, vanilla extract, mascarpone cheese, ground cardamom, ground cinnamon, heavy cream and confectioners sugar in a medium-large bowl. Combine well then beat (with a whisk by hand or with a blender) until stiffened - to a soft peak.
In a separate bowl: combine espresso (while hot) with heavy cream and sugar for the soak. Stir well to dissolve sugar.
Working in small batches quickly toss ladyfinger cookies in the soaking liquid. The cookies do not need to become softened or else they will quickly fall apart - simply place in the soak, roll over and then place into the bottom or a trifle or baking dish. Line the entire bottom of you dish with soaked cookies.
If you are working with a larger dish spread half of the filling over the cookies. If working with a smaller dish or trifle container, use a third of your filling.
Place another layer of soaked ladyfinger cookies over the filling. Again, spread filling over cookies. Repeat layering until complete.
Finish with a final layer of cream filling, a hearty helping of shredded chocolate*, an a few dashes of ground cardamom.
To shred chocolate if it is in a bar form: Can be accomplished with a grater, microplaner, or even a potato peeler.
Optional but recommended: Add a layer of whipped cream before shredded chocolate & cardamom. Fresh whipped is preferred (whip 1 cup cream until stiffened, add a tablespoon or so of confectioners sugar until sweetened to your taste)