matcha, white chocolate, and pistachio milk tiramisu

January 24, 2018 Portland, OR, USA


Because I've been working on classic desserts for Weeknight Baking (ya know, the stuff you crave on a weeknight — brownies, chocolate chip cookies, that sorta thing), I find myself more drawn to the more unusual and exciting flavors for my blog. Sumac creme caramel. Black sesame layer cake. This matcha and pistachio milk tiramisu.

Now, I am not a tiramisu person. I'm a baby about caffeine; if I have any after 12PM exactly, I'll be up until 5AM in the morning. It always baffles me when people have a night time coffee or espresso after dinner — how do they sleep? I get offended when I'm out to dinner and the only desserts on the menu have caffeine in them. Is the chef trying to rob me of my precious sleep or something?

So no, I've never been a tiramisu person. With one exception — in the seventh grade, I went to school with an Italian kid named Francesco Straddiotti (I wasn't joking when I said he was Italian). I've written about this before, but for special occasions, his mom would make us tiramisu from scratch. It was light as air, incredibly fresh and creamy — nothing like the heavy, overly sweet versions I'd had before. As a seventh grader, I still hadn't developed the taste for coffee, but Francesco's mom's tiramisu was so well balanced that I barely noticed the espresso. I ate bowl after bowl, and bounced off the walls all day along with the rest of my class. Because pro-tip: you probably shouldn't feed a bunch of twelve and thirteen year olds a coffee-based dessert.


Now I'm not going to lie — making it from scratch is a bit of a pain in the butt. Traditional tiramisu is frequently made with raw egg yolks, but that freaks me out a little bit so I opted for a slightly more complicated version: making a zabaglione to fold into the cream and mascarpone. Zabaglione is a type of Italian custard made primarily of egg yolks and sugar; it's gently cooked for a few minutes and thickens into wonderful creaminess.

And because I'm averse to coffee these days and getting more lactose intolerant by the second (see: old age), I swapped out the espresso traditionally used with matcha and some of the dairy used in the recipe with pistachio milk. The matcha and pistachio milk play well together, with the nutty flavor from pistachio balancing out matcha's sometimes bitter, seaweedy taste. All of those umami, savory flavors are tempered with the addition of white chocolate.


The matcha is from my friend Erica and her tea shop, Tea Bar. Erica is one of the baddest boss ladies that I know. She opened the first Tea Bar in Portland at the ripe old age of 23, and has since expanded to more locations throughout the city. Tea Bar's menu is small but mighty; Erica lovingly sources the tea from family farms around the world, curating a wonderful collection of tea and exciting drink menu. You can now try some of them with her new line for drinking Tea Bar at home — be sure to check out my Instagram account, where I'm doing a giveaway of my personal favorite flavors, including the matcha used in this recipe.

Enjoy!


A big thanks to Erica and the Tea Bar team for providing me with the matcha featured in this post and the tea for the Instagram giveaway! You can read all about Erica and Tea bar in her recent interview for Paper magazine

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Some maker's notes:
  • This recipe uses a handful of fussy ingredients, like pistachio milk and pistachio extract. Pistachio extract is easy enough to find online (specifically, I used the Watkins brand), but pistachio milk is a bit trickier. I actually used a homemade version from my friend Molly's blog, but there are a ton of recipes available online. Real talk — I've only ever seen pistachio milk at the farmer's market and I don't know if pistachio milk is available commercially. For this recipe, you can either make your own or substitute with another commercially available nut milk of your choice — almond would work particularly well, as would cashew or coconut milk. You can also just go the janky route and use regular milk with pistachio extract stirred in — it won't be the same, sure, but it sorta captures the whole spirit of the recipe anyway. Similarly, if you don't want to source pistachio extract, vanilla extract works wonderfully too. 

  • I wasn't kidding when I said that this recipe is fussy. To make the matcha mascarpone filling, you'll need to first make a white chocolate ganache, then the zabaglione, then whipped cream, then another batch of whipped cream for the topping. And that's not even counting the dipping sauce and the assembly. And pistachio milk, if you decided to make that from scratch. SORRY. You can break it up over a few days — the zabaglione and ganache keep perfectly well in the refrigerator. Just be sure to make the whipped cream the day of serving, since that's the component that tends to lose its integrity fast. 


Matcha, White Chocolate, and Pistachio Milk Tiramisu

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Ingredients

For the Pistachio and Matcha Dipping Liquid:
(makes enough for one 2-quart bowl of tiramisu)
  • 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) pistachio milk
  • 2 teaspoons matcha
  • 1/2 teaspoon pistachio extract 

For the Matcha White Chocolate Mascarpone Filling
(makes enough for one 2-quart bowl of tiramisu)
  • 2 ounces high-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pistachio milk
  • 1 tablespoon matcha
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (2.65 fluid ounces) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pistachio extract
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese

Assembly:
  • 1 recipe Matcha White Chocolate Mascarpone Filling
  • 1 recipe Pistachio and Matcha Dipping Liquid
  • 24 ladyfingers (from a 7-ounce package)
  • whipped cream
  • matcha 

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Recipe

For the Pistachio and Matcha Dipping Liquid:
  1. In a medium, heavy bottomed sauce pan, bring 1/2 cup pistachio milk to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour into a medium, shallow bowl. Whisk in 2 teaspoons matcha and 1/2 teaspoon pistachio extract and set aside as you prepare the other ingredients.

For the Matcha White Chocolate Mascarpone Filling:
  1. First, make the matcha white chocolate ganache. Places 2 ounces roughly chopped white chocolate in a medium, heatproof bowl and set aside.

  2. In a medium, heavy bottomed sauce pan, bring 3 tablespoons pistachio milk to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in 1 tablespoon matcha. Pour the mixture over the white chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, before using a heatproof rubber spatula to stir the mixture until the white chocolate is melted. Place the bowl on a wire rack to cool as you make the other components.

  3. Next, make the zabaglione. Combine 2 large egg yolks and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in a double boiler (or, make your own by placing the ingredients in a heatproof bowl and setting the bowl on top of a sauce pan with 2 inches of water inside, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl) over medium heat. Cook the mixture while whisking constantly for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the zabaglione becomes thick and reaches a temperature of 160 (F). Remove from heat and cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes while you make the next component.

  4. Next, make the whipped cream needed for the filling. In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine 1/3 cup heavy cream and 1/2 teaspoon pistachio extract. Beat on medium-high until soft peaks form; reduce the mixer speed and add 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar all at once. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.

  5. At this point, you should have all the components needed to make the filling. Transfer 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese to a large bowl. Add the cooled matcha white chocolate ganache and the cooled zabaglione to the mascarpone, whisking thoroughly to combine. Once the ganache and zabaglione have incorporated into the mascarpone, you should have a creamy, uniformly matcha green mixture. Use a rubber spatula to carefully fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture just until combined.

Assembly:
  1. Spoon a few tablespoons of the matcha white chocolate mascarpone filling onto the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Dip around 6 ladyfingers, one by one, into the pistachio and matcha dipping liquid, arranging each ladyfinger side by side so that the filling at the bottom of the baking dish is completely covered. You might need to snap some of the ladyfingers in half to cover any gaps in the filling. Once base layer of mascarpone has been covered with the cookies, spread about 1/2 cup of the mascarpone filling over the ladyfingers. Repeat layering until the baking dish is nearly full, ending with a layer of matcha white chocolate mascarpone filling.

  2. Use an offset spatula to smooth the final mascarpone layer smooth. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours, to allow the cookies to soften and soak up some of the liquids. Serve chilled, with whipped cream and a sprinkling of matcha powder. The tiramisu will keep lightly covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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2 comments

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