Fostered Banana Tiramisu

Fostered Banana Tiramisu with Bourbon

Culinary Arts student Drew Moore incorporates bourbon and ladyfingers into his favorite dessert.

Each week our campuses are closed as a result of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, we host a voluntary virtual market basket challenge on Instagram. This week, the must-use ingredient was bourbon and the theme was pastry. Culinary Arts student Drew Moore shares how he developed the winning dish.

Tiramisu has always been one of my favorite desserts and was the first thing I thought of when I saw mascarpone on the ingredient list. I wanted to preserve the traditional appearance of the dessert while giving a twist on the flavor and texture. I intentionally browned the bananas with caramelization, rather than allowing oxidation to change their appearance. I then used a layer of bourbon-glazed pecans to provide additional sweetness and a hint of crunch between the two layers of bourbon mascarpone cream. I finished with fresh-baked ladyfingers on the side to give them a unique place in this dish.


A post shared by Drew Moore (@dtmoore96) on


Fostered Banana Tiramisu

Yields 1 9x9 pan


For the bananas:

  • 5-6 bananas
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • ~1 tablespoon butter

For the cream:

  • 1 pint (~500 milliliters) heavy cream
  • 12 ounces mascarpone cream cheese
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 splash of bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • ~2 tablespoons cocoa powder

For the pecans:

  • 1 10-ounce bag pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ~1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ~1 tablespoon water
  • 1 splash of bourbon


  1. Peel bananas and cut into quarters (once lengthwise and once crosswise).
  2. Combine and mix even mixture of brown sugar and granulated sugar, then coat each banana piece in the sugar.
  3. Heat a stovetop pan with the butter to medium heat, then add bananas and caramelize both sides. 
  4. Remove banana pieces and allow to cool on parchment paper.
  5. Heat a stovetop pan to medium heat. Add dry ingredients directly to pan then add wet ingredients and stir. Allow the alcohol to evaporate and allow liquid to reduce and thicken slightly.
  6. Add chopped pecans to the pan and constantly stir to evenly coat until there is no more liquid and the pecans begin to harden.
  7. Remove pecans to parchment paper and allow to cool. Using spatula, poke/move pieces around to prevent large clusters from forming.
  8. Add egg yolks, sugar, and bourbon to a pot over low heat on the stovetop.
  9. Continuously whisk/stir for about 10 minutes to allow mixture to homogenize and thicken slightly. Do not let eggs solidify.
  10. Remove egg mixture from heat and add mascarpone cheese (it helps to have the mascarpone close to room temp for mixing). Whisk or beat with electric mixer until homogenous and slightly thickened.
  11. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream and vanilla powder to stiff peaks. Then fold this whipped cream into the egg mixture. Don’t be too aggressive or the whipped cream will lose its fluffiness. More whipped cream can be added if the mixture seems too runny.
  12. Add the banana pieces in a single layer across your pan. Add a layer of the cream mixture on top of the bananas and smooth the surface with a spatula. Be sure to save enough cream for a second layer. Add the glazed pecan pieces in a layer on top of the cream. Add the second layer of cream on top and smooth the surface.
  13. Using a fine mesh sieve, gently sift a thin layer of cocoa powder on top of the cream. It may help to lightly blow off any excess cocoa powder over the sink, as too much in one bite is very dry and unpleasant.
  14. Cover the pan and chill overnight in the fridge.


  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder


  1. Combine 4 egg yolks, sugar, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and vanilla in a bowl and mix thoroughly. 
  2. In a separate, very clean bowl, whip 4 egg whites until they form a meringue with stiff peaks. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar when soft peaks begin to form. Gently fold the meringue into the other mixture until evenly mixed.
  3. Transfer mixture into a pastry bag and pipe out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake immediately at 400 F for 10-15 minutes depending on size.

See more students' winning recipes and explore Pastry & Baking Arts at ICE.

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