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Home > Articles > Tiramisu Trends: How Chefs are Reinventing the Classic Italian Dessert

Tiramisu Trends: How Chefs are Reinventing the Classic Italian Dessert

Tiramisu is the famous Italian dessert, found on menus worldwide. Combining the much-loved flavours of coffee, chocolate, and cream, and laced with liqueur, it’s easy to make and incredibly versatile. 

In this trend article, we’ll examine the evolution of this classic dessert, from its inception in Treviso, Italy, to modern-day influences, including flavours, formats, and the power of social media in continuing to bring this humble dessert fame.

Formats

A dessert of few ingredients, tiramisu is relatively easy to turn into a variety of formats, be it served by the slab, as is tradition, or pumped inside croissants, turned into an ice cream or drink, or revamped into a Michelin star-worthy pud.

Sticking with Tradition

While many cooks and chefs prefer to add their creative stamp to tiramisu, some tend to stick to tradition, using artisanal ingredients. Think high-quality cocoa, the finest-grade espresso, and only the best mascarpone. 

Inspiration: Handmade savoiardi biscuits, premium Nandan coffee, Dairy Craft mascarpone, and finished with Callebaut Cocoa, Toast Pasta Bar, India. Abuelita’s Scratch Tiramisu: homemade ladyfingers, Kahlua mascarpone, agave chantilly, and Mexican cocoa shavings, Las Aves Taco Market, New Jersey, US.

The Tiramisu Bakery Boom

Innovation in bakery is booming and tiramisu is one of the sweet treats being reimagined inside layers of flakey pastry, soft sponge or gooey brownie. 

Inspiration: Tiramisu-flavoured croissant with pipettes of coffee to inject into the cream centre, The Whale Bakery, London, UK. Tiramisu danish, Fortitude Bakehouse, London, UK. Tiramisu profiteroles, OPSO, London, UK. Mexican coffee spiced tiramisu sundae, Sugarpine Drive-In, Oregon, US.

Piece of Cake

Tiramisu is already a kind of ‘cake’, so jazzing up this dessert and turning it into a cake format feels a fairly expected evolution, but these are even better than expected. From tiramisu balls to a Swiss roll, these formats are perfect for cafes, care homes and schools.

Inspiration: Speculoos tiramisu cake balls, @maddija, Instagram, Germany. Tiramisu cake, Little Claire Pasteleria & Café, Argentina.

Tarted Up

Pudding, pies and tarts are being revamped with the iconic flavours of tiramisu. Basque cheesecake is incredibly popular at the moment, along with laminated tarts, flans, tortes, crêpes and more.

Inspiration: Tiramisu Karpatka – a Polish cream pie, often made with choux pastry, @martaxeats, Instagram, Sweden. Tiramisu mille crêpe, Merienda, Madrid, Spain.

Not Tiramisu’

Some chefs have come under fire for labelling their tiramisu creations after the famous desserts, so they’ve boldly named them ‘Not Tiramisu’. From gels and jellies to aerated chocolate, these are far from the original in look but still feature key flavours.

Inspiration: Whipped mascarpone with Mr Black coffee liqueur-soaked sponge, coffee jelly, and Pump Street Chocolate crèmeux and aerated chocolate, Tallow, Royal Tunbridge Wells, UK. Wattleseed and mascarpone semifreddo, marsala gel, coffee-chocolate-wattlesseds syrup, and coffee and cocoa sponge cake, @rodolfomalinvernichef, Instagram, AU.

Sauced-up

Tiramisu is often deemed creamy enough not to need a pouring cream on the side. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t… These tiramisu formats are served with a side of sauce, from chocolate to miso caramel and even matcha.

Inspiration: Tiramisu French toast with tiramisu cream and a coffee miso caramel pour, Viola’s, London, UK. Poured tiramisu bombolini, Bombology, Indonesia.

The Michelin Mark

Restaurants are putting their mark on tiramisu in the way it’s served, whether that’s table side to add a little theatre or deconstructed. Some venues are literally spooning it from a bowl at the table (just like ‘nonna’), while others are pouring coffee over the top from a Bialetti.

Inspiration: Tiramisu trolley service, prepared tableside, Fish Game, London, UK. ‘Not Tiramisu’, layer cake served tableside, Onslow, NZ.

Coffee-misu

Double coffee tiramisu seems to be trending around the globe, particularly in Australia. Many are trending on Instagram, showcasing their lattes topped with piped tiramisu or espresso poured over a cup of tiramisu. 

Inspiration: Tiramisu espresso, @coffeepetitee, Instagram, Germany. A signature iced tiramisu at Wreckyn St Coffee, Melbourne, AU.

Health(ish) Tiramisu

With the flavour of tiramisu loved by so many, consumers are looking for a way to eat it as much as possible, this has led to an influx of ‘healthier’ tiramisu creations, using the classic flavours in breakfast oats or using lighter alternatives to mascarpone, like coconut cream and quark.

Inspiration: A healthier single-serve tiramisu recipe using Skyr yoghurt and maple syrup, @marina_annen. Morning tiramisu for one: espresso oat base with a latte macchiato quark yoghurt cream layer, banana slices & granola topping, @wellbeingwithjanne, Instagram, Germany.

On the Shelf

The flavours of tiramisu are finding their way into all sorts of foods, from chocolate snacks to high-protein desserts and even cheese! Over Christmas, innovative liqueurs and spirits based on the dessert were seen on the shelves, too.

Inspiration: Bontà Divina Benessere High Pro Tiramisu – a refrigerated, single-serve dessert offering 10 grams of protein per portion shown at Anuga 2023, Germany. Tiramisu Wensleydale – a Christmas cheese by Morrisons, UK.

Easy

For chefs looking to incorporate the classic flavours of tiramisu into their menus with minimal effort, the Fairway Assured Tiramisu Cake offers a convenient and indulgent solution. 

Inspired by the traditional Italian dessert, this cake features a coffee-soaked sponge with a splash of brandy for a rich, aromatic base. The sponge is generously filled and layered with a delectable vanilla buttercream, creating a beautiful floral-like pattern once sliced. A final dusting of cocoa powder lends an elegant finishing touch to this delightful pre-made tiramisu-inspired treat. The Fairway Assured Tiramisu Cake provides chefs an easy way to add a beloved Italian classic to their dessert selection.

Flavours 

Purist, look away. This is where the true flavour of tiramisu meets world influences. Here, the dessert shows its true versatility, with exotic flavour combinations, spices, and more.

  1. Boozy Bite

Move over Marsala. There’s another booze in town, ready to be poured over those sponge biscuits. Kahlua, amaretto, and brandy are quite common alternatives, but tequila, sherry, bourbon, gin, and limoncello are also being used.

Inspiration: Bourbon tiramisu, Naive, Istanbul, Turkey. Pornstar martini tiramisu with passionfruit and Passoa-soaked ladyfingers, @courgetticonfetti, Instagram, Netherlands.

  1. Tea-rimasu

If you don’t like coffee, what about tea? The Brits love a brew, whether it’s Yorkshire or Earl Grey or even something a little different like Matcha. This is one flavour innovation we’re keen to try!

Inspiration: Homemade ladyfingers in The Chai Box’s cardamom and rose chai blend, layered with creamy, sweetened, vanilla-flecked mascarpone, @fikabrodbox, Instagram, US. Matcha tiramisu, Ratto Bistro, Georgia.

  1. Super Sweet

Super-charged tiramisu is trending on social media, with some of the nation’s favourite Italian confectioneries being used in ‘Instagrammable’ creations.

Inspiration: Espresso martini tiramisu brownie, @hannahmaieats, Instagram, UK. Cajeta tiramisu, La Fabbrica di Tiramisú, Mexico City, Mexico.

  1. Fruity and Floral

For those who prefer lighter, fruitier flavours in their desserts, these exotic creations may be right up your street. From berries and stone fruits to floral accents like lavender, jasmine and rose, these fruity recipes are great for all – especially as an alternative for children.

Inspiration: Cranberry tiramisu, @carolinagelen (Instagram, US). Peach sakura tiramisu using flayed white peaches with dried cherry blossoms from the Spring, @creates.by.kath Instagram, US. 

  1. Umami-kick

Miso caramel has been a firm favourite amongst chefs and foodies as it’s a great way to bring sweet and savoury flavours together. And tiramisu is the latest culprit to get this savoury hit.

Inspiration: Tiramisu revisited: puff pastry stuffed with mascarpone and miso cream, cocoa dacquoise, and coffee mousse. The chef finishes it at the table, with a hot zabaglione of marsala and sake,Vitti – Ristorante by Christian Spalvieri, Rome, Italy. Gluten-free freshly baked savoiardi with warm espresso, blueberry mascarpone mousse, truffle salted toffee, blueberry and miso tuile, mushroom cocoa powder, Madre, Warsaw, Poland.

  1. A Pinch of Spice

From infusing coffee to spiking mascarpone, global spices are being used to add a touch of modernity to this ancient dessert. Think cardamom, rose and orange blossom, chai and Thai tea, as well as pumpkin spice.

Inspiration: Tiramisu flavoured with nutmeg, orange and cocoa, COR, Bristol, UK. An Irish “not quite a tiramisu” with coffee, whiskey and chocolate and a flurry of nutmeg to give, Kicky’s, Dublin, Ireland.

  1. Go Nuts

Hazelnut and pistachio are favourites in Italy, and can be found in everything from ice creams and cakes to sweet treats. These two flavours are also dominating the new wave of tiramisu creations along with almonds and peanuts.

Inspiration: A pistachio tiramisu composed of pistachio spoon cookie, crispy pistachio praline, pistachio mascarpone cream and pistachio ganache, @pastries.land, Instagram, France. Nutella tiramisu with hazelnuts, Latira, Dubai, UAE.

  1. Cuisine Crazy 

Countries are adding their own staples to tiramisu: In Asia, matcha, chai, and black sesame are frequent players, while in Mexico, horchata, cajeta, agave, and Mexican chocolate are being used.

Inspiration: A Japanese tiramisu – mochi paste filled with creamy coffee-flavoured mascarpone and hazelnut ice cream, crumble, and dried miso, Molo47 Restaurant, Formentera, Spain. Rasmalai (an Indian dessert of chenna balls soaked in thickened sweetened milk flavoured with cardamom and saffron) tiramisu, @depinder_, Instagram, AU.

  1. Seasonal Soiree

Calendar celebrations take tiramisu innovation to the max – so much so, are they even tiramisu anymore? We’re seeing hybrids like chocolate eggs filled with tiramisu and hot cross bun sponge layers, while others have experimented with panettone or eggnog mascarpone. 

Inspiration: Pumpkin tiramisu piled high with layers of pumpkin mousse and coffee-dipped lady fingers, @foodandwine (online). Panettone tiramisu, @carolinescooking, Instagram, US.

Has this inspired you to put your own take on tiramisu? Share your creations with us!

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