Tiramisù

I’m quite proud of my Tiramisù recipe; it’s always a winner with my family and friends and makes for an impressive finish to any dinner party. There’s no denying that Tiramisù is a rich dessert and thus I only make it once or twice per year. I use slim savoiardi biscuits so that the portions are not too large when I serve it.

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A proper Tiramisù is made with mascarpone and espresso coffee- not cream cheese and instant coffee! You also need some alcohol in the coffee mixture; I personally use marsala and French brandy but some other people use things like Tia Maria or Kahlua- the choice is up to you but I find marsala and brandy work really well together.

Tiramisù ingredients

It’s absolutely imperative that you make Tiramisù a day or two ahead of time. It tastes so much better and everything will set nicely if you do- otherwise the mascarpone mixture can be a bit runny. I like to serve Tiramisù with a couple of fresh strawberries when they’re in season.

This recipe will make one large tray of Tiramisù. I use a 35x24x5cm glass tray.

Ingredients

450ml espresso coffee

125ml marsala

50ml brandy

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

300g savoiardi biscuits (buy the slim-sized ones)

5 large free-range eggs, separated

100g caster sugar

500g mascarpone

100g dark chocolate, grated

Cocoa powder

Method

1. In a large bowl, pour in the coffee, marsala, brandy and vanilla essence and give it a stir.

2. Using an electric beater, beat the egg yolks and caster sugar in a separate bowl until light and fluffy. Then gently fold in the mascarpone using a spatula.

3. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then fold into the mascarpone mixture.

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4. Dust the base of the glass tray with some cocoa powder and then sprinkle over some of the grated dark chocolate.

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5. Now quickly dip some of the savoiardi biscuits, one by one, in the coffee mixture. Ensure that you wet both sides of each biscuit but don’t over soak them or they will crumble.

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6. After quickly dipping each biscuit in the coffee mixture arrange them neatly in the tray. You may have to break a few of the biscuits so that they fit.

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7. Now spread some of the mascarpone mixture evenly over the biscuit layer.

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8. Now dust the mascarpone layer with cocoa powder and sprinkle over some more grated dark chocolate.

9. Then add another layer of biscuits that have been dipped in the coffee mixture, then spread the remainder of the mascarpone mixture on top and then dust the top with more cocoa powder and the remaining grated dark chocolate.

10. Cover the tray tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.

*If you’d like to use this recipe, please reference this blog- thank you!

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Mulled wine with brandy

A few years ago I was lucky enough to be in Europe during winter time. Many of the major cities had the most beautiful markets dotted with stalls selling mulled wine. When temperatures drop below zero at night there’s nothing more comforting than wrapping your hands around a cup of the fragrant drink and letting it warm you up.

I think mulled wine is one of those drinks that allows you to be really creative- I like to add brandy and blood oranges rather than normal oranges. I believe you can also add other citrus fruits and there are probably other spices that would go well in this drink too. I often make this with honey instead of sugar and it tastes just as good.

It’s the perfect drink for a cosy night in or to serve at your next winter party!

Spiced mulled wine with brandy

Ingredients

Peel & juice of 2 small blood oranges

2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 star anise

1 teaspoon cinnamon

6 cloves

1 1/2 cups red wine

2 tablespoons brandy

Method

1. Put the peel and juice of the blood oranges into a small saucepan over medium heat, along with the brown sugar, star anise, cinnamon and cloves.

2. Pour in a few tablespoons of the red wine and stir until the sugar has dissolved, then allow to simmer until the mixture starts to thicken.

3. Add the remainder of the wine and the brandy, lower the heat and allow all of the flavours to blend together, for about 5 minutes. It’s important that the mixture doesn’t boil or you’ll destroy the alcohol.

4. Turn off the heat and strain into small glasses or cups. Serve immediately.

*If you like this recipe feel free to use it but please reference this blog- thank you!