The Flavor Mistake To Avoid When Making Tiramisu

Tiramisu ranks among the most popular Italian desserts — and for good reason. The Northern Italian treat dips ladyfingers, or sponge cookies, into coffee, and pairs them with sweet mascarpone and a dusting of cocoa powder. En route to that delicate balance of texture and flavor, however, you may trip up on all kinds of mistakes. Among the most significant errors? Using instant coffee, which can dull the flavor of your beloved tiramisu. 

Instant coffee, which has less caffeine than your normal coffee brew, comes with a weaker, diluted taste. So, even when you coat your ladyfingers in the liquid, you may not achieve that desired coffee flavor. Sure, the instant version works great in a pinch, and is easy for anyone new to tiramisu. However, if you have the time — and want the flavor — it's best to brew your coffee from scratch. The effort will be well worth it, though you don't have to go to great lengths for a great cup. Rather, you have a few options for making a tiramisu-worthy espresso. These choices range from the intricate to the straightforward.

For a strong tiramisu, opt for strong espresso

Because espresso is responsible for much of tiramisu's flavor, you'll want to capitalize on the strength of that drink. Generally, you'll want to make espresso — rather than standard drip coffee — to maximize the flavor potential. The stronger, the better — for which you have a few brewing options. Perhaps the most Italian of the machines, a Moka pot is known to brew a classic cup of espresso, and is an easy, accessible way to break into the drink. As such, a Moka pot is a particularly great option if you lack a fancy espresso machine, but want a technique that's quick to achieve and easy to learn. 

Of course, for any aspiring, at-home baristas, tiramisu is a great time to break out the fancy equipment, if you have it. An espresso machine — whether the full set-up or a Nespresso — guarantees a cup that's strong enough to flavor your tiramisu. Such espresso machines range; they include manual, automatic, and semi-automatic options. Although there are pros and cons to each, your tiramisu likely won't know the difference — so long as the coffee holds up. 

Once you have your espresso ready, make sure to dip, coat, and subsequently remove your ladyfingers from the liquid. You want the espresso flavor — with none of the sogginess