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The Unexpected Liqueur Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo Use In Their Tiramisu - Exclusive

Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo
Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo - Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

Tiramisu is that luscious confection guaranteed to be on every Italian restaurant's dessert menu. A combination traditionally made up of mascarpone, lady fingers, eggs, coffee, and cocoa powder, it's a decadent end to any meal, and a dessert we order every chance we get. The combination of coffee-soaked ladyfingers alternating with pillows of sweet mascarpone creates a dreamy dance on our tongue from the very first bite.

While we can never get enough of the classic, we're more than happy to try alternate versions like one made with pumpkin or another made with something other than coffee. Even though Kahlua is a common substitute for coffee, rum is also a frequent choice. But chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo told us in an exclusive interview that they took a completely different route with the La Colombe Tiramisu at their Jon & Vinny's restaurant. They decided to go with an amaro, the herbaceous Cynar.

If you're unfamiliar with Cynar, it's an Italian amaro made from artichokes that has a vegetal finish. Dotolo says he came up with the idea after he tasted a tiramisu that had amaro in it. "I loved it, and I thought that was a good idea to kind of try to add that in because typically it's rum for a lot of people."

Read more: 30 Types Of Cake, Explained

Cynar Wasn't Always A Part Of Jon & Vinny's Tiramisu

tiramisu on a plate
tiramisu on a plate - jonandvinnydelivery/instagram

While rum and Kahlua are often used to dip the ladyfingers, liquor doesn't have to be part of the recipe. In fact, when Shook and Dotolo first put tiramisu on the Jon & Vinny's menu, there wasn't any alcohol in it at all. "The Cynar was actually just sort of an evolution of the recipe and trying to just balance that thing out properly," Dotolo explains. But that wasn't the only change the chefs made to their dessert. Turns out it's been through several iterations. "It's been higher alcohol," he continues. "We've added more mascarpone. More egg yolks. We're just always looking to strike that balance."

Traveling all over the world and sampling various tiramisus inspires Dotolo and Shook. And just because there's Cynar in the current presentation, doesn't mean there always will be. "We've gone all over," Dotolo explains. "We've used ladyfingers. We've made our own sponge. We're always tinkering with anything." Where that tinkering will lead is anybody's guess. But if Dotolo and Shook are behind it, we're sure it'll be delicious.

You can see what else Shook & Dotolo are up to on the Jon & Vinny's Instagram page.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.