Alison Thompson's Tiramisu
Serves 10 Recipe sourced from "Sweet" by Alison Thompson
"Most Italian restaurants will have their own recipe for this well-loved dessert. This is by far my favourite version, and I have made it many times at home and in restaurants. Strega is an Italian herbal liqueur, but if you can't find it just replace it with a coffee liqueur."
500 grams savoiardi (sponge finger biscuits)
100 grams 60% dark couverture chocolate, grated, plus extra to serve (optional)
20 grams freshly ground coffee
250 ml water
250 grams caster sugar
125 ml strong coffee
1 tablesoon white sambuca liqueur
1 tablespoon strega liqueur
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons caster sugar
500 grams mascarpone
3 egg whites
50 ml water
170 grams caster cugar
You will also need a sugar thermometer and 10 x 300 ml dishes or glasses or a 3 litre serving dish.
To make the coffee syrup, combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove and cool to room temperature, then stir in the coffee and liqueurs. Set aside.
For the mascarpone cream, place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk well for 2 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the mascarpone and whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until required.
To make the meringue, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Leave the mixer off for now until the sugar syrup is ready.
Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the temperature reaches 110°C. At this stage, turn the mixer on to medium speed and begin whipping the whites. Continue cooking the sugar syrup until it reaches 121°C. By then, the egg whites should be whipped to stiff peaks. Turn the mixer down to medium and slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites. Beat the meringue on high speed for 10 minutes until cool.
While the meringue is whipping, pour the coffee syrup into a large bowl or deep tray. Add a few biscuits at a time and roll them around until they are soaked through with the syrup - this can take 1-2 minutes. (It is important that the biscuits are soaked through otherwise the layers will be crunchy). Remove the biscuits from the syrup one by one, squeezing out most of the syrup so the biscuits do not become too soggy. Place them on a plate or tray and continue with the remaining biscuits.
Fold the cooled meringue into the mascarpone cream. Arrange the serving dishes (or dish) on your work surface and have the grated chocolate to hand.
Arrange one third of the soaked biscuits in the base of the serving dishes. Top with a generous sprinkling of grated chocolate then spoon or pipe over a layer of the mascarpone cream (using one third of the mixture.) Repeat the layers twice more, finishing with the mascarpone cream. Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 3 hours. The tiramisu will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Just before serving, use a fine sieve to lightly sprinkle freshly ground coffee over the tiramisu (or sprinkle with extra grated chocolate.) Enjoy with a chilled glass of Pfeiffer Rutherglen Topaque.