And then I started thinking about the lady finger cookies that make up part of the filling. They are a very dry cookie, which works well in this dessert because they will hold up longer over time and also soften with the dessert to make that perfect, custard-y texture that tiramisu is known for. But I have to admit that the lady fingers are my least favorite part of the dessert.
So there’s that, but the second thing is that they are just kind of plain tasting. I suppose that is part of the point… so they can soak up some of the other flavors at play in this dish. But I couldn’t help but think that maybe they could get replaced with something else, and it would make the final dish all that more special.
This left me thinking about dry cookies. Hmm. Biscotti? Quite dry but fairly dense, might be too thick to really soften well in the dish. Hmm.
And then I thought, wait, what about breakfast cereal? It’s basically tiny, dry cookies, that are meant to soak up milk. And that’s how the idea for this dish was born. Well that, and obviously I was in the mood for tiramisu.
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
16 oz softened mascarpone
1 shot espresso, or one ounce very strong coffee
3 teaspoons dark rum (I used Kirk & Sweeney 12 yr, but any dark rum you enjoy sipping is fine here.)
2 1/2 cups Cinnamon Toast Crunch
1 tablespoon cinnamon
With an electric mixer, beat together the yolks and sugar for 4 to 5 minutes until the color slightly changes and the mixture becomes very well combined and thickens. Then beat in the mascarpone until smooth. Then whisk in half of the espresso and rum until just combined. You don’t necessarily need to measure so you are adding exactly half of each, but if you want to, that’s fine. The main point is that you will want to reserve some liquid for mixing with the cereal.
Assemble the tiramisu! In four little cups or wine glasses (whatever you have really is fine), add a layer of cereal, then the custard mix, then more cereal, and then another layer of custard. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but up to 8 hours.
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with