The word "Tiramisu" translated from Italian means "pick me up" and these bars do just that. There are some many flavour elements going on in these bars, from the crunchy crust, to the caramel-coffee flavoured filling and the biting snap of the dark chocolate. I used a 7 inch by 7 inch pan for this recipe and cut the squares into 2 1/4 inch squares. If you have the time, make these bars the night before and freeze them. Cutting them the next day will be much easier when cutting from frozen, just use a sharp knife! I used espresso but coffee or even coffee flavoured liquor would be equally delicious.
1/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
10 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup whip cream (35% cream)
1 tsp rum (or other liquor)
1/8 cup espresso, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease your pan and line with two strips of overhanging parchment, crossed so each side is covered (allowing the parchment to overhang the sides of the pan will also allow you to pull the bars out easier).
In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, vanilla and butter. Using your fingers blend the mixture together until a coarse crumb forms. Press the crust firmly into the bottom of the pan and set aside.
Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the sugar into the cream cheese for about two minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well in between additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again. Add the vanilla, espresso, rum and whip cream. Mix well, ensuring there are no lumps.
Pour the filling over the crust and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until the filling is set (doesn't jiggle in the middle) and lightly browned.
Cut the Tiramisu bars into 2 1/4 inch squares.
In a bain marie (bowl placed over a pot of barely simmering water) melt 4 oz of dark chocolate. Spread the dark chocolate over the bars.
To serve, you can leave the bars plain or pipe a bit of whip cream on top and place a piece of chocolate lattice on top.