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Beeramisu (Tiramisu with Dark Beer)

Hold on a minute, beer-a-mi-what? You heard right, a Beeramisu is a traditional Italian Tiramisu with a generous helping of dark and fruity stout or porter beer. Perfect for the beer lovers in your life! It might sound strange at first, but this light and flavoursome Italian dessert is delicious with beer added.

What could possibly improve that most classic and delicious of Italian desserts, the Tiramisu? Beer! You might not believe me, but next time you want to take your tiramisu to the next level, try adding dark stout beer to the mix.

The fruity, malty notes of the beer compliment the coffee and cream perfectly, and a Beeramisu is the ideal dessert for the beer lover in your life.

A slice of beeramisu with raspberries and a beer in the background.

About Beeramisu

Shock, horror, should we be changing around classic Italian recipes? Actually, tiramisu is just an Italian riff on an English trifle (truly!) that was only invented in the 20th century.

We’re not messing with some ancient Italian recipe passed on through generations here, and in fact, a ‘birramisu’ is super popular in Italy too!

Pouring espresso from a Moka pot into a bowl.

It may sound a little strange, but dark stout beer with molasses, chocolate and coffee notes is ideal for use in a dessert like this one.

It’s also a lot lighter than using spirits or stronger alcohol, so it’s great for wrapping up a dinner party without pushing anyone over the limit!

If you or someone you know is a fan of dark beers, it’s also great fun choosing (and tasting) just the right one for this dessert.

Main Ingredients

To make a beer tiramisu you’ll need the following main ingredients:

  • Dark beer: Here in Munich we love our dark wheat beer, so that’s what I’ve used in the photos. And dark beer is suitable here, Guinness or a chocolate stout are the obvious contenders.
  • Espresso: I’d recommend using the strongest espresso you can lay your hands on. Espresso from a machine or Moka pot is ideal.
  • Sugar: To sweeten the deal.
  • Eggs: This recipe has both cooked eggs in the beer sabayon/zabaione and raw egg whites which make the filling lovely and light and fluffy. If you have issues with raw eggs, simply use pasteurised eggs from the grocery store chiller, or leave the egg whites out altogether.
  • Mascarpone: This dense Italian cream cheese is one of the most important ingredients. If mascarpone is outrageously expensive where you live, follow my recipe for making cream cheese here, using heavy whipping cream instead of milk and omitting any salt. You’ll need at least 1 litre of cream (1 qt.) to make the mascarpone yourself.
  • Ladyfinger cookies (Savoiardi): These long sponge fingers form the base of the Beeramisu.
  • Dark cocoa powder: For the most dramatic results, use unsweetened, Dutch-process cocoa.

Equipment

You can make Beeramisu entirely by hand, though it’ll make your life easier to have a handheld mixer for beating the egg yolks, cream and egg whites.

You’ll also need a few mixing bowls (one heatproof for the double boiler) and an approximately 20 x 30 cm (8 x 12 in.) serving dish.

How to make Beeramisu

Making a tiramisu or a Beeramisu has 4 major steps:

  1. Make the dipping liquid by combining sugar, coffee and beer.
  2. Make the beer sabayon by beating egg yolks, sugar and beer in a bowl set over simmering water until light and fluffy.
  3. Combine the sabayon with mascarpone cream, whipped cream and beaten egg whites to make the light and fluffy filling.
  4. Dip the ladyfingers into the beer and coffee mixture, then layer everything up in a serving dish.

Then all you need to do is dust your Beeramisu with dark cocoa powder and chill until set.

Full instructions and ingredients are in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Beeramisu dusted with dark cocoa powder.

Baking Tips

Tiramisu needs time to set, so be sure to make it well in advance. I prefer to make mine the night before I need it. Not only does it then slice better, but all the flavours have also had time to mix.

You’ll probably end up with a little more filling than you need, depending on how deep your dish is. I consider this a treat for the chef!

Layer it up with leftover ladyfingers into serving glasses, chill and enjoy. This is also a great way of testing to make sure the filling sets properly!

Cross section of beeramisu in serving dish.

Variations

  • Alcohol-free: Simply leave the alcohol out of the recipe for a classic non-alcoholic tiramisu. I like to scatter a few raspberries between the layers to give it a pop of flavour.
  • Egg-free: You can simply leave the eggs out, though you’ll end up with less filling. Stir the sugar through the mascarpone instead and omit the additional beer from the sabayon, it will make the dessert too runny.

What to serve with Beeramisu?

Definitely a small glass of stout or dark beer or an espresso coffee. I like toserve a bowl of raspberries alongside as well.

A slice of beeramisu with raspberries and a beer in the background.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why are there raw egg whites in this recipe?

This is a question I get all the time. In the United States eggs are washed before going on sale. This strips them of their natural protective coating and allows bacteria to get in through the porous surface of the shell. This is also why eggs are kept in the chiller in the US.

In Europe, Australia and New Zealand raw eggs are generally considered safe to eat. If you have any worries, simply use pasteurised egg whites from the supermarket chiller section.

How long does tiramisu or Beeramisu keep?

Several days in the fridge, though it’s best consumed within 3 days.

Can I freeze tiramisu?

I find tiramisu or Beeramisu freezes well, though it can change the texture of the mascarpone, depending on the brand that you use.

A slice of beeramisu with dark beer.

Looking for more Italian Recipes?

Click here to see some of my favourites!

Beeramisu Recipe

A slice of beeramisu with raspberries and a beer in the background.

Beeramisu (Tiramisu with Dark Beer)

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes

Hold on a minute, beer-a-mi-what? You heard right, a Beeramisu is a traditional Italian Tiramisu with a generous helping of dark and fruity stout or porter beer. Perfect for the beer lovers in your life!

It might sound strange at first, but this light and flavoursome Italian dessert is delicious with beer added.

Ingredients

  • 250ml (1 cup) dark beer
  • 250ml (1 cup) strong espresso
  • 225g ( 1 cup + 2 Tbsp) sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated (see notes)
  • 500g (1 lb) Mascarpone cheese
  • 250ml (1 cup) heavy whipping cream (35-40% fat content)
  • 200g (7 oz.) ladyfingers (Savoiardi sponge fingers)
  • 5 Tbsp dutch processed dark cocoa powder

Instructions

  1. MAKE DIPPING LIQUID: Mix together two-thirds of the beer, the espresso and 2 Tbsp of the sugar in a small shallow bowl until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  2. HEAT EGG YOLKS: Set a heat-proof mixing bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (ensure the base of the bowl is not touching the water). Add the egg yolks and remaining sugar and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, around 5 minutes. Stir through the remaining beer, heat another minute, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  3. BEAT MASCARPONE: Stir the Mascarpone and a splash of the cream together in a large bowl until smooth. When the egg mixture has cooled to room temperature, fold it under the mascarpone using a silicone spatula.
  4. BEAT EGGS AND CREAM: In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold them under the mascarpone cheese mixture (see notes). Using the same bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff and fold the whipped cream gently under the mascarpone mixture.
  5. DIP AND LAYER: Dip the ladyfingers into the prepared coffee and beer mixture and arrange in a tight single layer in a 20x30 cm ( 8x12 in.) dish. Spoon over half of the mascarpone mixture, top with another layer of soaked ladyfingers and finish with another layer of mascarpone. (If you have any leftovers, layer into glasses with broken ladyfingers for a chef treat.)
  6. DUST WITH COCOA AND CHILL: Smooth the top, then dust generously with cocoa powder. Chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Serve cold.

Notes

In Europe and Australia it is considered perfectly safe to consume raw eggs. Due to industrial processes in the United States, many people may prefer to use pasteurised egg whites in this dish. They are readily available in the supermarket chiller. The egg yolks are cooked in the water bath.

Imperial and cup measurements are approximate. For the best and most accurate results, I use and recommend a digital kitchen scale like the one below.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 94mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 8g

Nutrition is calculated automatically and may not always be accurate.

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Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author and food photographer. Jay is the author of two cookbooks: 'Tasty' (2017) and 'Simply Summer' (2019). Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

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