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Suggestions for a mango "tiramisu"?

I offered to bring dessert to a party tomorrow, and I am thinking of making a simple "tiramisu" with mango, chocolate, and (of course) mascarpone and lady fingers. I need you fellow hounds' suggestions and ideas on its construction.

I am choosing mango and chocolate because there are going to be almost as many young kids as adults, and I do not have time to make more than one dessert. I have plenty of perfectly ripe mangoes already which I know should be popular with the kids. I am thinking of pureeing some to put into the mascarpone mix (which should make it a beautiful yellow in addition to the egg), and maybe adding additional chunks in it.

For soaking the fingers, having to forgo the espresso-liquor combination, I had a hard time coming up with something. The best I can think of is cocoa and vanilla, in which I am tempted to sneak in some decaffeinated coffee. I will also layer and top with chocolate flakes (I know, at this point, it is far from being a tiramisu anymore).

Now, I am wondering if there are any other combinations for the soaking liquid? Also, are there any herbs or spices that I can add to make it more interesting for the adults, without offending the kids? Would something such as basil or mint work, or would it make the flavour and presentation way too "busy"?

I don't have much time left for second tries, any ideas welcome and thanks!

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  1. Why not use the mango like you would the coffee. You could easily make a mango juice.

    "Peel and chop ripe mango into pieces, place in blender with crushed ice, water and sugar OR honey OR date syrup as required. Blend to a smooth consistency and run through a sieve. Discard the left over pulp in the sieve."
    Essentially you will be substituting one ingredient for another.

    I would have a small amount of puree to swirl through the mascarpone to create a colourful and fun look. I'd use the chocolate to make it more decorative by making curls.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Musie

      Thanks for the ideas! I am still hoping to come up with something that serves as a counterpoint to the sweetness, though, although a bitter enough chocolate for the curls might be enough for that purpose.

      1. re: vil

        You could include some ginger in there somewhere, either in the mascarpone or the mango juice/puree.

    2. I would just add a layer to the tiramisu with thick slices of mango.

      So you would have the following from top to bottom:

      -Garnish of Mango chunks
      -Espresso powder dust layer
      -Mascarpone/egg cream layer
      -Mango slices
      -Soaked lady fingers
      -Mascarpone/egg cream layer
      -Soaked lady fingers

      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Thanks for the idea! I did end up doing the layers pretty much the way you suggested, except using bittersweet chocolate instead of espresso. The combo was lovely, except in retrospect, I could have used even more chocolate to allow its bitterness to balance out the sweet.

      2. What about orange or pineapple juice? Unsweetened, it would add a little tartness to the mix.

        I wouldn't add coffee of any kind...chocolate okay, but not coffee.

        Do keep in mind that fruit-based tiramisu are basically a riff on a trifle or shortcake...can make the pairings easier to work with.

        (I did a strawberry 'tiramisu' a couple of years ago, and used Grand Marnier stirred into pureed berries to moisten the cookies with. It was delicious.

        You could also do the kids' version in a smaller bowl -- then you'd be free to "doctor" the adults' dish as you wish.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sunshine842

          Great point about using tartness. I had some beautiful lemons handy, and actually ended up using a mix of lemon juice, lemon rind infusion and lemon extract to soak the fingers. I also added in some lemon juice into the mango puree and mascarpone mixture, and together with the bitterness from bittersweet chocolate, I found that the flavours balanced nicely.

        2. I agree, don't use coffee, and I would do maybe white chocolate with the mangos. Maybe soak the lady fingers in coconut cream/milk, or limeaid..

          3 Replies
          1. re: mariars

            Ooh, yes. coconut milk...how about pina colada mix?

            1. re: sunshine842

              I guess it would have worked too, except I'm not a fan of coconut-based desserts, although I love drinking coconut water straight from the shell.

              1. re: vil

                Coconut water could have been pretty wonderful, too.

          2. You could use Masala Chai (spiced Tea) for the soaking liquid. Skip the Milk and just make a sweetened spiced Black Tea (Cardamom, Ginger,Clove and Black Pepper).

            1. I do a Plum Tiramisu -- i soak my ladyfingers in amaretto. i make my own plum butter, and fold it into the egg/mascarpone layer. i generally top it with shaved white or dark chocolate.

              i make mango butter as well (basically reduce mango puree with some demarara or brown sugar, then stir in vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom at the end), so that could easily be folded into the mascarpone layer, maybe even with some basil.

              i'd consider soaking the ladyfingers in a sauvignon blanc. or just maybe a riesling or sparkling wine.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Emme

                I bet the kids, and more importantly their parents, would just love ladyfingers soaked in wine!

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  thus my suggestion upthread to divide the recipe into two dishes -- one for the kids, one for the parents.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    oh drat... i've been really tired. missed the whole "forgo the espresso-liquor combination" part... sigh.

                    Martinelli's sparking cider?

                  2. re: Emme

                    The plum tiramisu combination sounds intriguing. What kinds of plum did you use? Being an Amaretto fan, I would probably try that sometime.

                    Also, you actually reminded me that I should have been using some reduction instead of a straight puree, because otherwise the mascarpone mixture would either not taste much of the mango or it will not set properly. However I was running out of time at that time and so cheated a bit by adding some gelatin ;-)

                    1. re: vil

                      i have used cherry plums, pluots, and a couple of other varieties. i'd like to try it using the victoria. plum butter is considered jellied gold in my house.

                      smart move on the gelatin... glad it turned out well.

                  3. Thank you all for the great ideas so far! I got to start working on it now and cannot respond to every suggestion, but it looks like I will have to make more tiramisu in the near future !