Matzah Tiramisu Recipe for Passover

Tiramisu translates to “pick me up.” And this popular Italian dessert sure lifts our mood! Here, we altered the classic by using matzah in place of traditional ladyfingers. The matzah soaks up the cream, chocolate, and rum with mouthwatering results.

This recipe is excerpted from Matzo: 35 Recipes for Passover and All Year Long, © 2017 by Michele (Mikie) Streit Heilbrun and David Kirschner. Reproduced by permission of Clarkson Potter. All rights reserved. 

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7 large egg yolks

½ cup sugar

1⁄3 cup plus 2 Tbsp sweet Marsala wine

8 oz cream cheese

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup brewed coffee or espresso

¼ cup rum

5 sheets of matzo, broken into 2-inch pieces

2 Tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder


Bring a large pot of water to a simmer over medium heat. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.

In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the yolks and sugar. Using the simmering pot as a double boiler, set the bowl on top of the pot, being sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl, and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Add the 1⁄3 cup Marsala and continue to whisk until the mixture is thick, has doubled in volume, and reads 150°F on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes. If you don’t have a thermometer, watch for the ribbon stage: The custard is ready once thick, pale-yellow ribbons form and hold their shape.

Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the cream cheese until fully incorporated. Set the bowl in the prepared ice bath, touching the water, and continue to whisk until the custard begins to cool down, 3 to 4 minutes. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Let sit in the ice bath until fully cooled, about 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 Tbsp Marsala and the coffee and rum.

In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten.

Add half the matzos to the coffee and rum mixture, and soak for 30 to 40 seconds, until they begin to soften. Arrange them in the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish, then evenly spread with half the chilled custard.

Soak the remaining matzos for 30 to 40 seconds, lay them over the first layer of custard, then top with the remaining custard.

Evenly sift the cocoa powder over the top. Wrap the tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

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