Change out ladyfingers with cake-sized spirals of crispy churros brushed with espresso and layered with mascarpone cream and cocoa.
For the churros:
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups vegetable oil
For the tiramisu:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
2 cups espresso, chilled
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder, sifted
Let's get Cooking...
Make the churros: In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the water, salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar and canola oil. Bring the mixture to a boil then remove it from the heat. Stir in the flour and baking powder, mixing with a wooden spoon until it forms a ball. Stir in eggs to combine. Transfer dough into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
On a sheet tray lined with a silicone mat, pipe a large 8 by 8 inch circle of churro. Repeat and place in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up. Use any remaining churro dough to make toppings for the cake.
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 375 degrees. Remove the chilled churros and fry on each side for 2 minutes, carefully avoiding any oil splatter. Place on a cooling rack and dust with remaining sugar.
Assemble the tiramisu: In a large bowl, whip cream and vanilla until medium peaks form. Combine with mascarpone and gently fold in espresso powder. Set aside.
Brush the churros with espresso and place them in a lined springform pan. Cover with mascarpone and cream mixture and sprinkle with cocoa powder. Repeat with a second layer of churros, cream and cocoa. Refrigerate tiramisu for up to 6 hours to chill and set. Remove from the refrigerator, top with mini churros and serve. Cake will keep up to 3 days refrigerated.