Filter Coffee Tiramisu
Filter Kaapi, a popular drip coffee decoction derived from coffee beans, chicory and peaberry ground fine with a hot pour-over in a traditional stainless steel coffee filter. A healthy dose of frothed milk and sugar define this national, bonafide trait of all South Indian homes – it’s a ritual, a religion, a warm welcome all rolled into one.
This chicory-laced coffee poured into furiously hot milk, is the lifeblood of the southern Indian states. It’s stronger than espresso, surprisingly unctuous, and, if properly poured, beautifully frothy. While honey or jaggery (an unrefined cane and date juice affair) are the traditional sweeteners, regular sugar is standard today. Personally, this is my favorite kind of coffee and a reluctant necessity on bleary Sunday mornings.
I hardly stock up on any other kind of coffee, so when it came to developing a new recipe for tiramisu – it was my default and my wild card ingredient for the espresso dip, and what a wonderful decision that was. I understand not everyone will have South Indian filter coffee at home, so alternately, you could use any espresso powder or instant coffee you have at home – but you must give this recipe a try for the creamy, light, airy tiramisu it makes. It has been a crowd favorite among our friends since I first made it.
It’s easy to tell if you’ve made a tiramisu just right. Each bite will have rich yet airy yellowish cream, a touch of alcohol, and dreamily soft, but not mushy, coffee-flavored ladyfingers. It should also have a subtle sweetness with just the right bitterness from the coffee.