Calling all South Africans who happen to be cheesecake lovers too – this one is for you! If you love to spoil yourself with creamy treats, Tiramisu cheesecake is a perfect choice. Before we present you with our mouthwatering recipe, let’s briefly look at the origins of Tiramisu.
Something that we find quite sweet about the Tiramisu, besides its flavour, is the fact that its name actually means “Pick me up” or “Cheer me up” in Italian. Traditionally, it is a coffee-flavoured dessert that’s made from ladyfingers dipped in coffee and then layered with a mixture of whipped eggs, sugar, mascarpone cheese, and further flavoured with cocoa. Over the years, the recipe has been adapted to take on various forms.
Naturally, South African style Tiramisu is our favourite because it includes a surprise ingredient: South African rusks! By now, you know that rusks are unique to South Africa, so the inclusion of them in a Tiramisu recipe is what gives this delicious dessert a genuine Saffa twist. Once you’ve whipped up this dessert, you’ll be hooked.
Before you reach for your regular coffee and rusks, give this recipe a try – South African desserts and rusks will never be the same to you again!
South African Tiramisu recipe
It’s time to whip up South African treats that wow your taste buds and your guests (if they’re lucky enough to have you share your treats with them, that is). Let’s gather the ingredients.
What you need
- 2 cups of cream
- ½ cup of sugar
- 2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
- 500 g of soft cream cheese (usually about 2 tubs)
- 2 cups of strong black coffee
- 500 g of plain sliced rusks (we like the Ouma Rusks)
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
What to do
Creating Tiramisu is easier than you think. Once you have all the ingredients ready, roll up your sleeves and get to work following these simple instructions.
- Chill a bowl in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before you get started. This will be used for whipping the cream – it’s best to ensure that the cream doesn’t get warm and melt.
- Grease a medium-sized square baking dish or pan and set it to one side. This is the dish that your dessert will be made in.
- Using the chilled bowl, whip the cream, vanilla essence, and sugar until it forms soft peaks. An electric beater works best, but you can also use a whisky and put in a bit of elbow grease.
- Add the soft cream cheese to the same bowl and continue to whip the mixture until the peaks formed are stiff. Once again, if you’re not using an electric beater, you may have to put quite a bit of effort into the whipping process.
- Pour the 2 cups of hot coffee into a separate wide dish (not the dish for the dessert) and dip the South African rusks into the liquid for about 30 seconds. It’s essential to turn the rusks every few seconds to ensure that the rusks evenly soak up the coffee.
- Now, place half of the rusks in rows in the baking dish/pan.
- Using a butter knife, spread half of the cream cheese mixture over the top of the rusk layer and then lay the second layer of rusks on top.
- Spread the rest of the cream cheese mixture on the top again, and then dust the top layer generously with cocoa powder.
- Simply pop the dessert into the fridge and chill overnight. If you need to serve on the same day, aim to chill the dessert for at least 4 hours.
This Tiramisu cheesecake is best enjoyed with a cup of coffee or frothy hot chocolate.
How to dress up Tiramisu
While we feel this Tiramisu rusk recipe is a taste experience all on its own, you may want to dress it up if you’re serving it to guests. After all, you want to blow their minds with a Saffa taste sensation that looks gourmet too, don’t you? Most people dress up this South African dessert with a dollop of whipped cream either on top or just located to the side. Placing a cherry into the cream also has an appealing effect.
Another great option is to grate chocolate and sprinkle the shavings on top. Then simply layer chocolate-coated strawberries or other fruit and nuts around the dessert, which looks as good as it tastes. Last but not least, a sprinkle of cinnamon on top can enhance both appearance and flavour.
Once you’ve dressed up your Tiramisu, there’s only one thing left to do: enjoy!
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