Wednesday, February 7, 2001
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Posted on: Wednesday, February 7, 2001

Editor's Choice
Tropical Tiramisu dessert from Outrigger Waikiki hotel

By Joan Namkoong
Advertiser Food Editor

Several days ago I was a guest for lunch on the Sunset Terrace at the Outrigger Waikiki hotel, where Karen Molina is in charge of the beachside dining room kitchen. I had met Molina last fall when she was competing in the French Fry contest. She won for the best french fry using potatoes; her shaped french fries sprinkled with horseradish, mushroom and sun-dried tomato dusts were clever and tasty. So was her lunch the other day. Especially good was her preparation of moi atop chive mashed potatoes. And the dessert: a tropical tiramisu.

We all know tiramisu as the Italian "pick me up" treat, laced with chocolate and espresso, plus perhaps a little madeira or amaretto. Molina’s tiramisu features Island flavors: passion fruit, rum and coconut within the layers of ladyfingers and mascarpone cheese. The flavors were subtle but distinct, and you couldn’t help but enjoy the creamy, rich texture of layers that melt into one.

Molina is one of those very organized chefs who has her recipes at her fingertips. So, of course, when I asked, her Tropical Tiramisu recipe was handed right over to me.

Tropical Tiramisu

  • 1 cup passion fruit syrup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups Malibu rum
  • 1 pound mascarpone cheese
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted coconut
  • 72 ladyfingers

Mix the passion fruit syrup with the water and 1 cup of the Malibu rum. Set aside.

In a bowl, whip together the mascarpone, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla and remaining 1/2 cup of the rum until smooth and creamy.

Place some of the passion fruit and rum mixture in a shallow bowl. Dip each of the ladyfingers one at a time, rolling to soak evenly for about 5 seconds. Place a single layer of ladyfingers, about 22 pieces, in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Cover with 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture. Continue with another layer of the ladyfingers, followed by mascarpone mixture; repeat again. Refrigerate 6-8 hours. Sprinkle top of cake with toasted coconut before serving.

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