Tiramisu is one of my very favourite desserts – every mouthful of this creamy and ever-so-slightly naughty Italian dessert demands yet another. Nothing is left wanting if one’s tiramisu is made according to a good recipe – the coffee and rum soaked sponge fingers give it a feisty flavour and subtle texture, whilst the cream cheese, mascarpone and double cream provide copious richness. In fact, scratch my initial proposition – this is my number one dessert, not even this or any other cheesecake can touch it.
For all the perfection that is to be found in this tiramisu recipe, there is one pitfall to avoid which pertains to the soaking of the sponge fingers. One must be careful to merely show them to the coffee, an in and out encounter, for as soon as they remain too long in the liquid they are likely to become unbearably soggy. Shop bought tiramisu possess this somewhat fatal trait and, believe me, it is to be avoided rather like one might attempt to avoid the plague.
Don’t worry too much about which dish to use for your tiramisu – the creamy layer can be as thick as you like, but aim for around 1.5-2 inches. However, if you intend to use a particularly deep vessel that isn’t very wide it may be advisable to do two layers of sponge fingers and two layers of cream. Following this advice will enable you to avoid creating an overly rich and creamy dessert. It’s your call – you’ll enjoy the recipe either way.
• 250g mascarpone cheese
• 100g cream cheese
• 200ml double cream
• 50ml dark rum
• 2 heaped tbsp icing sugar
• 200ml strong instant coffee
• 20 sponge fingers
• 40g dark or plain chocolate
1. Whisk together the mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, double cream, rum and sugar until it is completely smooth and uniform.
2. Make up your coffee using two heaped teaspoons of coffee granules. Dip each sponge finger in the coffee for no more than 1-2 seconds – layer these on the base of your chosen tiramisu vessel and grate over half of the chocolate.
3. Layer the creamy mixture on top of the sponge fingers and press down until flat and level. Grate over the remaining chocolate and pop in the fridge for an hour, this will allow it to firm up and make it easier to serve.
Cost: If one invests in a large bottle of dark rum, an ingredient which can used in many different ways, this tiramisu recipe can be made for an extremely reasonable price. Indeed, assuming that you have made such an investment this entire casserole dish of tiramisu should set you back no more than £3.50 – very frugal if one considers how many it will feed!
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