Well, now, where did the last few weeks go…? Ah yes, preparing for Christmas! With lots of people to see and be merry with, I got caught up in the festivities and left my blog to one side. This goes against the good advice of many bloggers, I know, but it doesn’t happen that often that I am both in the mood and financially able to go out with my friends and family as much as I did. While I ventured out into the world in search of happy times, I also happened to make this classic Italian dessert for dinner at a friend’s flat. They made the dinner, a lasagne and parmigiana, both hearty, belly-warming lovelies, and I brought tiramisu’ to feed 8.
So many variations on this classic, which has layers of coffee&alcohol-soaked sponge or lady fingers and an egg enriched mascarpone cream, finished with cocoa or grated chocolate. If you haven’t already made one, I’m sure you’ve eaten this somewhere on your travels. I love nothing more that taking some shortcuts, especially when it comes to handling raw food, egg in this instance, so there’s no cross-contamination, thankyouverymuch. The mascarpone cream is usually made even more unctuous and decadent with the raw egg, the beaten whites to make it light and the yolks to add richness, and, as long as you’re using the freshest of the fresh, it’s really not as dodgy as you think. Still, if you’re making this for a family do, with the children, the elderly and the pregnant, best substitute the raw egg for double cream or, even better, ready-made custard! Genius. Plus, you can add a little at a time to get the consistency you’d like. Assemble in layers and leave for several hours in the fridge to firm up. Dust with cocoa or chocolate before serving.
Alcohol creeps in, when soaking the sponge of lady fingers – Marsala, vin santo, rum brandy or a coffee liqueur would work well, but again, I don’t usually have them in the trusty cupboard, so just leave it out. There are so many recipes and variations thereof on the interweb, very much like the look of Jamie Oliver’s version with some orange zest and Georgio Locatelli’s with Gran Marnier. Curious to see if the citrus and coffee really work!