SHF#34: Stumptown Tiramisu


This month’s Sugar High Friday challenge is hosted by The Passionate Cook and the theme is going local. So, being in the Pacific Northwest and all, I thought coffee. And the one coffee dessert I have always wanted to make but never have is Tiramisu!

So, Sunday afternoon, jwa and I walked to one of the coffeehouse closest to our house — Haven — and got 8 shots of espresso (that’s about a cup total). Woo! On the short walk home, it was very hard not to take some slurps of the espresso but I made it — all the coffee made it back for use in the dessert.

I’m not sure tiramisu counts as a local specialty — does Portland have a local dessert specialty? But, Stumptown coffee is definitely a local specialty, so hopefully that’s close enough. Besides, a dessert that requires about 8 shots of espresso? Yeah, that seems very Portlandesque to me.

The recipe that I based this on is one by Sara Moulton (minus the the hazelnuts). This rendition of tiramisu which uses both marscapone and low-fat ricotta, turned out quite well. I used two bigger than single serving glass bowls and made out 3/4’s of the recipe posted below — which made about 4 servings total.

Stumptown Tiramisu
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
3/4 cup marscapone cheese
1 tbsp dark rum
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 1/2 cups very strong espresso or good quality coffee, cooled
1 tbsp kahula
16 ladyfingers
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, for dusting
Optional: 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped for the top — this makes it extra Oregon-y!


Beat the cheeses, rum and sugar with until light and creamy and set aside.


Pour the espresso into a large shallow dish. Quickly dip one side of half the ladyfingers into the coffee and lay closely together with the dipped side down over the base of a large flat-based serving dish or smaller, single serving cups.


Spread half of the cheese mixture evenly over the ladyfingers. Dust with half the cocoa then repeat layers with coffee-dipped biscuits and cheese.


Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Dust with remaining cocoa and sprinkle with the toasted hazlenuts just before serving. I accidentally dusted with the cocoa before storing it in the fridge. You should wait and dust yours before you eat it — but mine turned out just fine dusting with the cocoa earlier.


Unfortunately, per the announcement, I don’t know any spooky stories about tiramisu or Stumptown coffee. I wish I did, that’d be really cool if I had a spooky espresso story.


Thanks again so much to The Passionate Cook for hosting this round of SHF and thanks to Portland for having such great coffee!


So, for this week I’m going to try really, really hard to post more frequently. I’m going to shoot for three posts this week. Let’s all cross our fingers.

4 Replies to “SHF#34: Stumptown Tiramisu”

  1. This is one of my favorite desserts. I love the addition of ricotta cheese and the added rum~I can’t wait to try this!

  2. the addition of hazelnuts to a tiramisu sounds like a great idea… a spoonful of smoothness plus a bit of crunch – gotta love it! thanks for your submission!

  3. have you ever tried using cold water extract coffee as opposed to espresso for this recipe? we have experimented with many chefs in the portland area and found that cold brewed coffee maintains its flavor much better than any other brew method when used to cook or bake with. espresso, by nature of its physical and chemical properties, does not taste good once it has lost its most flavorful part, the crema. you will maintain more of the naturally occurring flavors in the brewed coffee by starting with an ingredient that is more stable at room temperature: cold brewed coffee. we recommend the filtron brewer ( as it uses an all-natural, non-synthetic filter, resulting in a cleaner and more stable flavor profile. good luck.

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