Giada De Laurentiis’ Tiramisu Icebox Torta Is a Summer Must-Make Dessert

Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis‘ chilled tiramisu is the perfectly refreshing summer dessert. This treat gets its kick from instant espresso powder and just a handful of ingredients.

While many enjoy tiramisu as a holiday sweet, De Laurentiis’ icebox dessert can help make the dog days of summer a little more pleasant.

Here’s how to make this simple and elegant cake.

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis wears a red sleeveless dress in this photograph.
Giada De Laurentiis | Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

De Laurentiis’ dessert needs just a handful of ingredients

The chef’s recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate chips, instant espresso powder, heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, granulated sugar, sweet Marsala wine, kosher salt, chocolate wafer cookies and, for the dessert’s presentation, unsweetened cocoa powder.

“‘Tiramisu’ literally means ‘pick me up,'” De Laurentiis explains in the Food Network video, link below, for this recipe. “It’s sort of a trifle cake is really what it is.”

Get the complete recipe, video, and reviews on Food Network’s site.

Tiramisu gets more delicious the longer it chills

To start, the Simply Giada star melts the chocolate chips in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Once the chocolate is melted, she stirs the espresso powder in and sets it aside. Next, De Laurentiis whisks the mascarpone and heavy cream in a separate bowl.

“We’re going to add a third of a cup of sugar, sweeten that baby right up,” she continues, adding in the Marsala wine. “All tiramisus have Marsala in the mascarpone cream.”

Another delicious variation on tiramisu from Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis.

The mixture gets a pinch of kosher salt and it’s whisked with a hand mixer: “Start slowly because you don’t want to be covered in cream.”

De Laurentiis then stirs together “about a third” of the cream and cheese combination with the “slightly warm” melted chocolate. “If you don’t have it slightly warmed, then the chocolate and the mascarpone cream will sort of separate. You don’t want it hot but you don’t want it room temp, either.”

Now the layering begins. In a nine-inch springform pan, she layers the cookies at the base of the pan: “Instead of using lady fingers, we’re going to use these light wafer cookies, so they give this nice crunch, kind of like a graham cracker crust, but thinner.” She explains that during refrigeration, the wet ingredients make the cookies less crunchy, “so it’s actually like a cake-like texture.”

A layer of the cream goes on, followed by another layer of the cookies. At this point, a coating of melted chocolate is added, then more cookies, and finally the last layer of cream. It’s covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated for “at least six hours.”

Once the cake has been thoroughly chilled and removed from the pan, it’s completed with a dusting of cocoa powder.

Another irresistible chocolate and espresso dessert from De Laurentiis.

This simple cake wowed reviewers on Food Network’s site

Not only is De Laurentiis’ dessert fun to make, it’s super simple, as home cooks noted.

“This is so easy, but incredibly delicious!  Note: six hours in the frig [sic] is an absolute minimum – much better to let it sit overnight.  I also used a few more wafers per layer to give it a bit more substance,” one person wrote.

Another reviewer added, “My family loves this dessert. It is an easy delicious treat for tiramisu fans. I make it the day before a family gathering which takes away some stress. It always gets rave reviews.”

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