I made Tiramisu but the expresso was too strong. It tastes bitter. Is there anything I can do to counteract this?

  • Use less espresso or a weaker coffee, eg. by dilution? – Batman Apr 13 '17 at 23:00
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    The problem is that it is already made. – dougal 5.0.0 Apr 14 '17 at 5:43

Add salt. Sodium interacts with chemical pathways in the taste buds and affects how other flavours are perceived; one of these interactions is that it balances bitterness.

The interactions can be summarised in a chart:

Salty and bitter counteract each other, among other interactions

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    Topping with some whipped cream or a side of ice cream (sweet, but also fatty) might also help. Frozen yogurt would give some sour, too. – Joe Apr 14 '17 at 14:51
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    @Joe, I was assuming that the recipe would already include enough sugar that it wouldn't help, but now that you mention it there's probably enough variability in recipes that that's not a safe assumption. As for fat, I'd love to see an extended version of the diagram which includes oleogusto. – Peter Taylor Apr 14 '17 at 18:08
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    Good point on the sugar amount -- but it can also be what comes into contact with your tongue first. I suspect that's what the fat trick is -- coating the tongue so the others don't come through as strongly. – Joe Apr 14 '17 at 18:51
  • If I'd done this, I'd attempt to sweeten the base for an overall bittersweet flavour (I reckon that's appropriate for tiramisu but I drink espresso and am quite tolerant of bitter flavours). Depending on how far you've got with it, and how wet the bottom layer is (assuming that's the bitter layer) it might be worth heavily dusting a plate with icing sugar, and putting a portion of tiramisu on that. There are so many recipes and intended results that we can only speculate. – Chris H Apr 16 '17 at 10:04
  • hey, that's a neat graphic! There's always so much BS about the way those things work together on the tongue... that's spot-on! – ChefAndy Aug 9 '17 at 23:37

just thinking out of the box here. How about if you put an extra layer of lady fingers, soaked/slathered with some lemon curd underneath your tiramisu? I'd suggest to give it a try with a small piece first. I don't know how bitter the tiramisu is but I really like the taste combination of the sweet sour of lemon and the bitterness from coffee/chocolate. HTH

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