Earlier this year, at my dear friend Briony’s wedding in Mallorca, I tried my second ever, and Elix tried her first ever Tiramisu! Those who know me well, will know that I LOVE coffee and coffee flavoured things – especially cake, but after trying a terrible Tiramisu a few years ago I always avoided it; until Briony’s wedding and the Tiramisu was DELICIOUS! Elix liked it too and since then we have become somewhat a pair of Tiramisu fiends! The new meatball restaurant in Toots does a pretty good one if anyone is passing through! Anyway, I asked Elix what dessert she would like for her Birthday dinner (she turned 29 yesterday) and she requested Tiramisu.Having never made it, I researched a few recipes as I was keen to make an authentic one, bake my own sponge and ensure it wasn’t too boozy – I settled on a Rick Stein version to which I made a couple of Greedy Piglet tweaks. We all loved it at home, and despite Mum complaining that I had made too much, she never offered for us to bring the leftovers back to London when she was bombarding us with leftover ham, pork pies and potatoes from the farm – sneakily keeping the rest for them to finish today!
3 eggs – separated
75g Caster Sugar
75g Plain Flour
1/2tsp Baking Powder
375ml Strong Coffee – we used 3 espresso shots mixed with water
45ml Madeira Wine
6 eggs – separated
6tbsp Icing Sugar
600g Mascarpone Cheese
1tsp Vanilla extract
75g Dark Chocolate – grated
Pre heat the oven to 180 degs.
To start the sponge, line a baking dish with greaseproof paper – I used a rectangular one (20cm x 25cm) the same size as my eventual serving dish. Whisk the eggs whites until just turning to stiffen and set to one side. Whisk the sugar with the yolks until light, whisk in a little egg white to loosen the mixture and then start to delicately fold in the flour, baking powder and egg whites a large spoonful at a time until all incorporated and light and fluffy. Slowly and carefully pour the sponge mixture into the sponge tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and cook through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a rack.
Mix together the coffee and madeira and leave to cool to room temperature.
Now for the cream – (don’t be concerned that the mixture contains eggs which do not get cooked – make sure you use fresh eggs) whisk the egg whites until just turning to stiffen and set to one side. Whisk the egg yolks with the icing sugar until mixed and creamy, add in the mascarpone cheese and vanilla and beat until smooth. Once again, delicately fold in the egg whites keeping the mixture as light and airy as possible.
Now for the assembly.
Layer the bottom of your serving dish (I used one large one, but you could use individual glasses or bowls for each serving) with a layer of cream and a little sprinkle of grated chocolate.
Carefully slice the sponge in half so that you end up with two layers, and cut each of these into 10. One by one, dip them in the coffee mixture and lay on top of the cream. When one layer is complete, layer over more cream and sprinkle a little more chocolate. Pop on a final layer of soaked sponge and the rest of the cream. Leave to set in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight. I was in a rush when I did mine so popped in the freezer for 90 minutes and then left in the fridge to stay cool which achieved the same consistency – just make sure the tiramisu doesn’t completely freeze! Finally, when you are ready to serve sprinkle with the rest of the chocolate so that it’s completely covered with rich chocolatey flakes and devour!