Creamy tiramisu cheesecake combines the flavor of tiramisu with the texture of cheesecake. A light tiramisu custard covers the top, and a cocoa powder finish adds extra flavor.
Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts. When the Baking Bloggers chose cheesecake as this month’s theme, I had a hard time narrowing it down to just one recipe!
I finally chose to combine two of my favorite desserts: cheesecake and tiramisu. It is inspired by the Tiramisu Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. This one has a chocolate crust, two layers of coffee flavored cheesecake separated by a layer of coffee-soaked ladyfingers, then topped with a tiramisu flavored cream and a dusting of cocoa powder.
First, don’t use homemade ladyfingers. They need to be crisp, and homemade ones will be too soft (a soak in the coffee mixture will cause them to disintegrate). My grocery store sells them in the cookie aisle, in both plain packages and “combo” packages which contain both traditional and chocolate cookies. They are labeled savoiardi, which is the Italian name for ladyfingers.
If you can’t find chocolate ladyfingers, you can use chocolate wafer cookies, chocolate graham crackers, or even Oreo cookies (remove the cream center before crushing in the food processor).
Next, have ALL of your cheesecake ingredients (cream cheese, eggs, cream) at room temperature. This will help them blend more smoothly. And always beat on medium or medium-low speed. You don’t want to incorporate air into your cheesecake batter. This will help prevent cracking.
Baking in a water bath acts as an insulator, and helps the eggs set more gently, which also helps prevent cracking. And, well, if your cheesecake still cracks, you’re going to cover it in tiramisu cream anyway, so who will notice, right? It will still taste delicious!
I really prefer coffee extract over brewed coffee for the cheesecake batter, because it adds more intense coffee flavor without adding much liquid. It can be found in specialty kitchenwares stores, or online. It’s also great for making mocha buttercream, milkshakes, cookies, custards, ice cream, and more!
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If you can't find chocolate savoiardi, substitute 20 chocolate wafer cookies, chocolate graham crackers or Oreo cookies.
- 12 chocolate ladyfingers also known as savoiardi
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 24 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp coffee extract
- 12 ladyfingers also known as savoiardi
- 1 cup strongly-brewed coffee, cooled
- 1/4 cup rum, brandy, Kahlua or Irish cream liqueur
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- 1 tbsp rum, brandy, Kahlua or Irish cream liqueur
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder, for sifting over the top
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Fill a kettle with water and set over medium heat. Wrap the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan in two layers of tinfoil.
In a food processor, pulse together the chocolate savoiardi and the sugar until they form fine crumbs. Stream in the melted butter and pulse a few times to moisten the crumbs.
Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Gradually add in the sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on medium-low until fully incorporated, and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl before adding the second egg.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again. Beat in the cornstarch, then the cream and the coffee extract. Scrape half of the batter over the cooled chocolate crust.
In a shallow dish (such as a pie plate), combine the cooled coffee and the brandy (or rum, Kahlua or Irish cream). Dip each ladyfinger in the coffee mixture, then place on top of the cheesecake batter, one end at the center, and the other end at the edge of the pan. The first eight should fit whole, but the remaining four will likely need to be broken in half and placed between the first eight. Scrape the remaining cheesecake batter over the lady fingers and smooth the top.
Place the springform pan inside a 12-inch cake pan, pushing it against one edge. Place this setup in the oven with the cheesecake at the back, but don't close the door yet. Carefully pour the hot water from the kettle into the 12-inch cake pan, covering the bottom half of the springform pan, making sure no water splashes into the cheesecake batter. Center the springform pan in the cake pan.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 and bake for another 60 minutes, or until the center barely jiggles when the pan is gently shaken.
Remove the springform pan from the oven and bring to room temperature. Use a paring knife to gently release the cheesecake from the sides of the springform pan, then chill the cheesecake for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.
Beat the chilled heavy cream to soft peaks. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating to stiff peaks.
Beat the mascarpone with the rum, brandy, Kahlua or Irish cream liqueur until soft and creamy. Beat one quarter of the whipped cream into the mascarpone, then fold the rest of the whipped cream into the mascarpone.
Spread the tiramisu over the chilled cheesecake, cover with plastic wrap, and return to the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Just before serving, sift the cocoa powder over the top of the cheesecake.
Inspired by The Cheesecake Factory
Baking Bloggers Cheesecake Recipes
- Culinary Adventures with Camilla: A Literal Cake of Cheese and Handmade Crackers
- Sneha’s Recipe: Baked New York Style Cheesecake
- Trampling Rose: Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake
- Tara’s Multicultural Table: Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake
- Karen’s Kitchen: Classic New York Cheesecake
- Cookaholic Wife: Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
- A Day in the Life on the Farm: Individual Cheesecakes for 2
- Sid’s Sea Palm Cooking: Savory Salmon Cheesecake
- Palatable Pastime: Sugar Cookie Cheesecake
- The Redhead Baker: Tiramisu Cheesecake (recipe above)