My favorite desserts (aside from cookies) fall in this order: Tiramisu, Cheesecake and Gelato. When I stumbled across this Pound Cake Tiramisu recipe from Martha Stewart, I was so curious to see if it lived up to its restaurant standard. And it was also the first time I was making my favorite dessert. The verdict: it’s delicious.
For this recipe I used Neufchâtel cheese, rather than cream cheese. You always see the two products next to each other in the dairy aisle, with Neufchâtel claiming that it has “1/3 less fat,” but what’s the difference? Ah, dear friends, TheKitchn.com explains:
- Original Neufchâtel: A French cheese dating back to the 6th century, named after a town of the same name, in Normandy. Some argue that Neufchâtel is the oldest known cheese in France. French Neufchâtel is an AOC — that is, unripened cheese, made with cow milk, and if left to ripen, it will develop a soft, bloomy rind, like brie or camembert.
- Cream Cheese: Legend has it that a French cheesemaker tried to recreate Neufchâtel in America and ended up with a product more like the cream cheese we know today. While the French version uses only milk, the American one uses milk and cream. Another point to note: Neufchâtel in France is made with raw milk, while Neufchâtel in America gets pasteurized.
The main difference is this: Cream cheese by law must contain at least 33% milk fat and not more than 55% moisture. Meanwhile, Neufchâtel weighs in with about 23% milk fat and has a slightly higher moisture content.
Is there a difference in flavor? Not really. Both are spreadable, but Neufchâtel is just slightly less creamy. Not significant in taste, so save the calories and 1/3 less fat and go French!
This tiramisu recipe is fab! And whether you use regular cream cheese or Neufchâtel, you’ll absolutely love how easy it is to make.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature (I used Neufchâtel)
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso (I made strong coffee by using 3 cups of water and 7 tablespoons of coffee grounds)
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 1 loaf marble pound cake (I used Entenmann’s Marble Loaf)
- 1/8 cup shaved semisweet chocolate
- Optional: Cocoa powder
- Using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream, cream cheese and powdered sugar until it forms peaks.
- In a small bowl, combine the strong coffee and dark rum.
- Cut the marble loaf into 1/2 inch thick slices.
- In a 9x9" baking dish, lay half of the loaf slices on the bottom (trimming to fit).
- Evenly spoon half the coffee-rum mixture onto the first layer.
- Top with half of the cream mixture. Then sprinkle half of the chocolate.
- Repeat steps 4 through 6 for the second layer.
- In addition to the chocolate on top, you can add a dusting of cocoa powder if you like.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.