A Bean Counter's Way

Tiramisu with Homemade Vanilla Extract


Tiramisu with Homemade Vanilla Extract

As many of you know, I embarked on the journey of vanilla extract making. The main reason for making my own vanilla was to compensate for the amount of vanilla extract I was using in cocktail making (and some baked goods). As with most things I do in life, I overindulge, and a small amount of vanilla extract becomes an accidental hobby. Five gallons (plus) of vanilla extra should and will last me a LONG time…well beyond COVID-19. This burning fire to make vanilla extract is fanned by husband, who, in his own way encourages my many pounds of vanilla bean purchases. The question I often get is – Is it cheaper to make your own extract? The simple answer is YES. However, when you start learning about vanilla beans and the varieties available, the cost starts going up. Not because the price per ounce of vanilla extract goes up, but because you may end up with gallons of different types of vanilla beans soaking in different types of alcohol. Oh…and there are the bottles. I will never look at glass bottles the same way. But, that’s another story. So how does Tiramisu play into my vanilla extract making? Very simple. I made Tiramisu with my homemade vanilla extract and it was by far THE BEST I have had.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 9 people
Cost: $10


  • 1 package of ladyfingers about 24 cookies
  • 2 cups of espresso cooled
  • 6 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract for this I like rum based vanilla extract
  • 1 lb of mascarpone cheese
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla pod scrapped or squeezed
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • Cocoa powder to dust about 2-3 tbsp
  • 4 – 6 ounces of dark chocolate shaved or finely chopped


Filling or Topping

  • In a double boiler, place 2 inches of water in the pot. Place a glass or stainless steel bowl that fits above the pot (without touching the water).
  • Add eggs to bowl and whisk.
  • Add sugar when eggs are homogeneous.
  • Continue whisking until the color becomes lighter and the eggs have become thicker. Do not stop whisking.
  • Once it becomes the consistency of hand lotion, add the vanilla extract and the seeds from a vanilla pod.
  • Remove from heat and continue whisking. You don’t want fluffy scrambled eggs.
  • Let the egg mixture cool for 5 minutes
  • add the mascarpone cheese.
  • Mix well until all combined.
  • Refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days.

Part 2 – The Ladyfingers

  • Pour espresso into a bowl that will fit the ladyfingers.
  • Dip 2 ladyfingers at a time for no more than 2 seconds (1 sec on each side) and line them up in 8in x 8in dish.
  • Use about 12 cookies for the first layer.
  • Cover ladyfingers with a layer of egg mixture.
  • Dust with cocoa powder and a thin layer of chopped/shaved chocolate. Repeat with another layer of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, another layer of egg mixture, cocoa powder.
  • Finish with more chopped or shaved chocolate.


Tip – Traditional Tiramisu calls for raw eggs whisked separately (yolk and whites). I like to play it safe and not risk salmonella. If you are a gambler, you may want to use the traditional method.
Total cost: about $10
Servings: 9 if you decide to share.
Difficulty: Medium
Time: about 20-25 minutes to assemble.
Enjoy your food while saving money that’s abeancountersway.com/to-cooking
Sticky Fingers
Tiramisu Cream Mix

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