Caramel Pistachio Tiramisu with Dumante Verdenoce Liqueur


Winning sweet recipe, submitted by Melissa Gorris of KOTO USA

Serves about 8 (in small glass tumblers or one 8×8 baking dish)

Dumante Verdenoce is a smooth, delicious pistachio liqueur handcrafted in Sicily- while it’s flavorful and simple to consume solo, Dumante is also fantastic in sweet desserts such as this version of tiramisu I’ve created.  It’s incredibly simple to make, with the caramel being the most difficult part (but well worth it!).  If in a rush or not fond of making caramel, feel free to substitute dulce de leche or store bought caramel; however, it won’t taste nearly as good.

The sweet sticky caramel complements the aromatic liqueur well, and coupled with crunchy pistachios and dreamy fresh whipped cream, this is one tasty tiramisu.  Be careful not to consume too much Dumante during assembly – it’s all too easy to have a quick taste here and there.


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream (note: a pint is 2 cups)
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and scraped (note: can substitute 1 tsp vanilla extract instead)
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Dumante Verdenoce liqueur (note: optional, will result in stronger alcoholic content)

Whipped Cream:

  • 2 pints heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Dumante Verdenoce liqueur
  • 1 package ladyfingers (approx. 28-30 cookies)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups shelled raw pistachios (whole or pieces), toasted, for layers and garnishing top
  • Additional Dumante Verdenoce liqueur for drizzling/soaking ladyfingers

Method – Caramel:

1. Pour heavy cream into a saucepan; add vanilla seeds that have been scraped out of pod (if using vanilla extract instead, wait until the end when Dumante liqueur is added).  Bring just to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally.  Set aside.

2. In another saucepan (large, low saucepan is ideal), stir together sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt.  Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally.  Once mixture has come to a boil, continue cooking without stirring until dark amber color (about 6-8 minutes).  Remove from heat.

3. Pour the cream into the cooked sugar mixture- be cautious, stand back, and watch your hands/arms as the mixture will start to boil immediately.  Wait until it settles down and whisk until smooth.  Add lemon juice.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

4. Add pieces of butter gradually and whisk until smooth.  Add Dumante liqueur (and vanilla extract if you chose to use instead of vanilla bean).

Method – Whipped Cream:

1. Pour heavy cream into mixing bowl of stand mixer.

2. Whisk using wire whisk attachment on medium high speed (can also do by hand with wire whisk or with hand mixer).

3. Just as liquid begins to gain shape (about 2 minutes), add sugar and Dumante liqueur.

4. Continue to whisk until soft whipped cream is visible (another 30 seconds to 1 minute).  Do not over whisk as this will result in firmer, clumpy whipped cream.

Assemble the tiramisu in either individual glasses or 8×8 glass dish.  Spread a layer of whipped cream, sprinkle pistachios, add a layer of ladyfingers that have been drizzled or soaked in Dumante liqueur (based on how much alcohol you want in your dessert- soaking ladyfingers will result in fairly high alcohol content; moderate would be somewhere between drizzling and soaking the ladyfingers), and drizzle with caramel.  Repeat the above steps for another layer.  Finish with whipped cream and top with pistachios.

Note about Ingredients:

  • Ladyfingers can be purchased at many groceries stores, bakeries, and some Italian food shops.  I found them at Whole Foods.  Feel free to call the store to check if they are available.
  • Shelled raw pistachios can be found at many stores, including Trader Joes and Whole Foods.

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