A homemade no-churn tiramisu ice cream with mascarpone and coffee-soaked ladyfingers.
My 10 year old was the inspiration behind this tiramisu ice cream recipe. He loves tiramisu (an alcohol-free version though) and when I made it for his birthday, I had a lot of the egg/mascarpone/cream mixture left. It was super thick and fluffy and I thought, hey I wonder how this would freeze.
Very well it turns out! It’s smooth and creamy AND it’s an ice cream made without an ice cream maker.
The original recipe I posted contained no ladyfingers and instead used a coffee syrup. I have since made it with traditional coffee-soaked ladyfingers instead and this yields better texture and flavour. If you want to make it without ladyfingers, I have left the recipe for the coffee syrup in the post.
The mascarpone ice cream base
The ice cream consists of egg yolks, sugar, mascarpone cheese and whipped cream. There’s a little bit of technical skill involved in the handling of the egg yolks and sugar, but it’s very simple really.
The egg yolks and the sugar are whisked together and heated in a Bain Marie. A Bain Marie is essentially a hot water bath in which you cook food. A saucepan of simmering water works well as the bath. Over this, you balance a bowl of whatever you’re cooking, in this case, the egg yolks and sugar.
This water bath keeps a nice even temperature and lessens the risk of burning or scrambling the eggs.
Heating the eggs
Keep whisking as the egg yolks heat up. The egg yolks will grow in volume and become thick and pale yellow. If you’ve used fine-grained sugar, like castor sugar then the sugar will dissolve.
If you’ve used regular granulated white sugar it may not, but don’t worry it will dissolve later on as it’s mixed with the other ingredients.
Once cooked, it’s left to cool for a while before room temperature mascarpone cheese is folded in. Lastly, whipped cream is folded in, and that’s the ice cream base done!
Ladyfingers are a really light and airy biscuit that you can find in your local supermarket (or find a recipe to make your own!) They don’t have heaps of flavour on their own, and they’re a bit dry to eat by themselves but they make a wonderful absorber of flavour in a tiramisu.
8-10 ladyfingers and half a cup of coffee are what will bring the classic espresso taste and texture to the tiramisu ice cream. They are layered in-between the mascarpone mixture.
When dipping the ladyfingers into the coffee, use super quick motions. They need to barely wet. Ladyfinger biscuits absorb moisture really easily so if you soak them too long they’ll simply fall apart.
A biscuit alternative
You really do need the coffee flavour in tiramisu and if you don’t have ladyfingers, you can bring the coffee taste with coffee syrup instead.
The syrup is very simple, it’s just made from 1/4 cup of strong coffee and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Simmer it over medium heat stirring regularly until the sugar has dissolved. Remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
Layering the ice cream
Line a 900g (8x4inch/21x11cm) loaf tin with parchment paper and scoop in 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture. Over this, layer 4-5 soaked ladyfingers. You might need to break them up to fit. Scoop over another 1/3 of mascarpone followed by 4-5 more ladyfingers.
Top with the last 1/3 of mascarpone ice cream.
Finish it off with a generous sprinkle of chocolate shavings. Usually, tiramisu has a dusting of dark cocoa on top, but I thought chocolate shavings would be nicer over ice cream and still give that chocolate taste that the cocoa brings.
If using coffee syrup instead of ladyfingers, drizzle the cold syrup in between the layers of mascarpone ice cream.
The ice cream needs at least 6 hours to freeze, but before serving let it sit at room temperature for 8-10 minutes to slightly soften it before scooping.
The Ice Cream
- 3 large egg yolks
- 100g (1/2 cup) white sugar
- 200 g mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 250ml heavy cream
- 8-10 ladyfingers
- 1/2 cup strong coffee
- 1 square of good quality chocolate, shaved
The Ice Cream
- Fill a saucepan with 3-4 cm of water and bring it to a simmer.
- Add the egg yolks and sugar to a heat-proof bowl and whisk them together. Place the bowl over the simmering water. Use an electric whisk, or do it by hand, and keep whisking the egg yolks and sugar for around 8 minutes until it the mixture has heated through. It should become thick and fluffy and pale yellow in colour. If you're using coarse granulated sugar it may not dissolve at this point but don't worry, it will as the rest of the ingredients get mixed in.
- Remove the bowl from the pot of water and leave it to cool for 5 minutes. Once cooled, fold through the room temperature mascarpone cheese.
- Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, then fold this through the mascarpone mixture.
- Line a 900g (8x4inch/21x11cm) loaf tin with parchment paper and scoop in ⅓ of the mascarpone mixture.
- Dip 1 ladyfinger at a time in a bowl of coffee and lay it over the mascarpone ice cream. Do this until you have 4-5 soaked ladyfingers laid out. You might need to break them up to make them fit.
- Over this, layer 4-5 soaked ladyfingers. You might need to break them up to fit. Scoop over another ⅓ of mascarpone followed by 4-5 more ladyfingers.
- Top with the last layer of mascarpone ice cream mix.
- Sprinkle over the chocolate shavings. Freeze the ice cream for at least 6 hours.
- When serving, let it sit at room temperature for around 5-10 minutes to slightly soften before scooping.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 166mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g