Cakes & Cupcakes, Desserts

Rum Raisin Tiramisu

2 Comments 14 August 2013

When I read reviews for this one on Food Network, the very first one mentioned how tipsy a lady felt when eating this dessert. To which I mentally replied, “Sold!” Feeling the alcohol a little while eating this delicious-looking stuff wasn’t a deterrent for me. Nope! Turns out, yes, this dessert really packs a rum-fueled punch, even more than I was expecting after those reviews. To which I still say, “Sold!” Just, you know, maybe plans should be to enjoy this one at home on a relaxed evening.

Rum Raisin Tiramisu-1

Ms. Garten recommends a certain brand of rum in her recipe (below) but we’re a spiced Captain bunch round here. Everyone pause for a sec to take the captain pose….and go!

Rum Raisin Tiramisu-2

It was a little hard to get a picture of the initial creamy filling part of this recipe because it’s just eggs and sugar, whipped up in a stand mixer till light yellow and thickened. This is about what you can expect at this stage. Keeeep going. It gets infinitely better and more impressive. And more rum-y! So much more.

Rum Raisin Tiramisu-3

This is the mascarpone cheese, an Italian version of cream cheese that is very mild but slightly sweet in flavor, making it perfect for yummy Italian desserts. This recipe uses about 16 ounces of the good stuff!

Rum Raisin Tiramisu-4

Orange juice is added to…well, I think it’s to help cut the koom-POW punch of the rum a little, but if it’s doing that at all, it really is very little. It’s not going to taste like, WOW, this has orange in it, right? No, you will likely still only say, WOW RUM MUCH? Again – I have zero problems with that.

Rum Raisin Tiramisu-5

Oh OH, hey. Did we mention this has rum in it? Heehee.

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Assembly time! These crunchy, traditional style ladyfingers get a quick dunking in a mixture of, you guessed it, rum and a little orange juice.

Rum Raisin Tiramisu-7

We probably don’t have to even tell you by this point, but those raisins? Yep – soaked in rum! Just sprinkle them onto each layer of ladyfingers. Love you, boozy raisins!

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This tiramisu filling was a little more runny than a previous, more traditional tiramisu we’ve done before, but it actually sets up really well in the fridge. Notice the delectable vanilla beans, yuummmm.

Rum Raisin Tiramisu-9

And that’s a tiramisu, folks! It’s ready to get chilled and the creamy filling a lot more creamy. This one set up so much quicker in the fridge than the other kind I make. The recipe recommends possibly refrigerating overnight, but ours was set up perfectly in just five hours. This makes it a great option for same day celebrating! Make it in the morning and enjoy it the same evening.

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Obviously, you must love rum to be able to enjoy this dessert. It’s definitely possible to cut the half cup that goes into the creamy mixture if you prefer, but the husband and I loved it as is. I mean, the man stood there and giggled when he tasted it, snatched my plate out of my hands and made off with it. And then he had more for dessert later after dinner. I’ve said it before, but he’s never been a dessert person, so I feel his reaction is a pretty solid endorsement of this recipe. The creamy filling itself isn’t overly sweet and the ladyfingers I found had a slight sugar coating on the tops of them, which came through sometimes in little crisp bites here and there. It’s truly a rum-lover’s dessert come true, so enjoy this literal cocktail in your bowl.

Rum Raisin Tiramisu

from Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That? by Ina Garten; recipe link here.

Prep Time: 30 minutes    Chill Time: 6 hours to overnight    Level: Easy    Serves: 8

  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup Mount Gay dark rum, divided, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 6 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 16 to 18 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, divided (2 oranges)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons good vanilla extract
  • Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
  • 24 to 30 Italian ladyfingers, or savoiardi
  • Semisweet chocolate, shaved

Place the raisins and 2 tablespoons of rum in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Uncover and set aside to cool.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 5 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. Lower the speed to low and mix in the mascarpone until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add 1/2 cup of rum, 1/4 cup of orange juice, the vanilla extract, and the seeds from the vanilla bean. Stir until combined.

Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of rum and remaining 1/2 cup of orange juice in a shallow bowl. Dip one side of each ladyfinger quickly in the rum mixture and place them in one layer in a 9 by 11 by 2-inch rectangular or oval dish. Break the ladyfingers in smaller pieces and dip them in the rum mixture to fill the spaces. Sprinkle half the rum-soaked raisins evenly on top. Pour half the mascarpone mixture over and spread evenly. Repeat the layers of dipped ladyfingers, rum-soaked raisins, and mascarpone mixture. Smooth the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.

Before serving, sprinkle the top with the shaved chocolate and serve cold.


This tastes best the day it’s made or the day after.

We used a regular vegetable peeler to shave off pieces of chocolate from a semi-sweet bar that was very thin, hence the smaller bits of chocolate. Highly rec using the chocolate no matter how you get it on there. It really adds to it.

Be careful when nuking your raisins in the microwave. Like ovens, microwaves vary widely on how they cook, and one minute might be too long for yours if it’s a powerful one. Ours nuked in my microwave for about 45 seconds and they were perfect. As an alternative, you could also simmer them in the rum for about two or so minutes, cover and let them sit off the burner for a little while, letting them cool before using. You’ll probably notice some fumes from the alcohol if you go this route.

If you can get the harder, crisp-cookie style lady fingers, do use them. I found a brand called Alessi in our regular cookie aisle at Publix. You will need two packages, though you won’t use all of the second package.

If the idea of uncooked egg yolks is unappealing to you, here’s a recipe we’ve tried that uses a double-boiler to cook the egg and sugar mixture and is pretty divine as well.

Need further reference to make this? Food Network has a video from Ina’s show where she makes it.

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- who has written 347 posts on Full Fork Ahead.

Wife, mom, indulgent reader and Day Job Do-er, who occasionally likes to think she can cook. Sometimes she's right, sometimes she's wrong.

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Your Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Abbie says:

    Wow, this looks truly decadent. Beautiful!! 🙂

  2. Tora says:

    This is such an EXCELLENT idea, I love the combination of rum and raisins! Yumyum!

    I am not a fan of the traditional tiramisu so this is a splendid alternative 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

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