Tiramisu is one of my kids favorite deserts. It is also a simple one to prepare at any time of the year. I decided to give my Italian desert a bit of an African flare by adding Amarula rather than Grand Marnier to the coffee mixture in the recipe.(Amarula is a South African cream liqueur made from the marula fruit). As you will see, there are a number of different versions that can come out of my basic recipe.
3 eggs, separated
250gm Marscapone cheese
1C heavy cream
6 tbsp castor sugar
3 tbsp Amarula
100gm dark chocolate bar
Over a bain Marie, beat the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture becomes pale yellow and and thicker in consistency (3-4 minutes).
Remove from heat and add the mascarpone cheese to egg yolk mixture and beat until smooth and creamy (2 to 3 minutes).
Add 1 tbsp of Amarula to the egg mixture (or vanilla if making a berry version)
Beat the heavy cream to stiff peaks in a separate bowl.
In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.
Gently fold the mascarpone mixture into the cream until blended and smooth.
Gently fold in egg whites, a third at a time, until just blended and smooth.
In a small bowl, mix coffee with 2 tbsp of Amarula (if wanting a non-alcholic desert, disregard the Amarula)
One at a time, submerge each ladyfinger into the espresso mixture then place on the bottom of a glass or ceramic serving dish (about 6cm/2 inches deep).
Once a complete layer is formed, spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers.
Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers over the mascarpone cream, then spread the remaining mascarpone cream evenly over the top. I sometimes only do one layer if the dish is larger than the amount of ingredients. Either way it is effective.
Once one or two levels are done, dust the Tiramisù with thinly grated chocolate to create a rich, dark topping.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 1 day before serving
In the past few months, I have had the good fortune to enjoy a wide selection of berries that were all grown within a few miles from where I was staying. I decided to marry berries and tiramisu to create a light and delightful berry desert.
I followed the same recipe as above but made a couple of changes.
Rather than using coffee to dip the ladyfingers in, I used juice from the macerated berries with orange juice and strawberry liqueur.
Prepare a 4 cup mixture of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries with ¼ cup of sugar. Let the berries sit overnight so that a juice is produced.
Strain the juice from the berries (1/2 cup or so) and add ½ cup of orange juice and 1 tbsp of berry liqueur(optional). Use this juice mixture to dip the ladyfingers in.
To create the layers, begin with a layer of ladyfingers, followed by a layer of mixed berries and finish it off with a layer of the marscapone mixture.
Add shredded chocolate on top to finish off the desert.
Bon appetite, either way you eat this desert, it is a marvelous treat.