In English, Tiramisu literally means “pick me up” or “cheer me up,” and we can vouch for the fact that this delicious Italian dessert lives up to its name. Although it requires only a few elements, the simple dessert is actually harder to execute than one might think. The espresso-infused sponge needs to be moist without becoming soggy. The aroma and taste of the liqueur must be present but not overwhelming, and the mascarpone needs to be fresh and in proportion to the rest of the cake. That said, there are a few places around town that have refined their tiramisu dishes down to a fine art, and these are some of our favourites.
When it arrives at your table, you’ll likely first notice the generous portion of this dessert which is a bonus because when it comes to sweet treats, more is always more. Unlike most tiramisu, Andiamo’s rendition features an amaretto crumb for some extra crunch to contrast against the creaminess of the mascarpone and also incorporates delightfully rich Valrhona chocolate. Those who have tasted this version of the classic tiramisu will know that it’s a total game-changer.
Although Farina’s tiramisu is considered smaller in size than most, its punchy flavour and beautifully-balanced texture more than make up for any size concerns. Utilising Kahlua coffee liqueur and a generous dusting of premium cocoa powder, this treat-sized tiramisu is unbelievably rich and decadent.
Pasta & Cuore
The tiramisu at Pasta & Cuore is traditional which makes it a favourite among purists of the Italian dessert. Served in a small glass filled with layers of light mascarpone and bittersweet sponge cake, the notes of espresso are especially strong in Pasta & Cuore’s version, which makes it perfect for those who enjoy a light texture but intense flavour.
Sam’s Mediterranean Eatery & Food Store
Previously located in the Atrium on Elliot Foodcourt and known as Ubite, this Mediterranean restaurant has moved to Takapuna and taken on a new name, Sam’s Mediterranean Eatery & Food Store. Although its cuisine isn’t necessarily Italian, we can personally attest to the fact that it sure makes a beautiful, traditional tiramisu with rich hints of espresso and a particularly moist texture.
If you prefer your tiramisu sweeter, Mezze Bar’s version is the one for you. The soaked sponge cake has a strong coffee flavour and a light, boozy aroma but it’s the slightly-sweetened mascarpone that sets it firmly apart from the rest. Elevating the indulgence of the dessert, this added touch is perfect for anyone with an insatiable sweet tooth.
Struggling to come up with dish ideas for your next dinner party? Call up Catroux in Westmere and ask the culinary maestros to make their special 3-litre bowl of tiramisu. The layers of cream and sponge cake carry the perfect balance of espresso, liqueur, creaminess and cocoa. You could not fault this deep dish of decadence and is one of our favourite places to satisfy our tiramisu cravings.