I was told a few years ago by a quite mad and quite brilliant French Human Resources Vice President that the mother of innovation is hardship.
I had these words ringing in my ears when I decided to make Mrs Jamie one of her favourite deserts – Tiramisu. On some of our previous travels, she has been spoilt eating this fabulous desert in Rome and Tuscany prepared lovingly by handsome chefs in fantastic kitchens.
Unfortunately, I had neither the good looks or fabulous kitchen or even some of the key ingredients that I have used when preparing this dish before.
Ever the optimist, I picked up some great Mascarpone cheese from a deli in Lake Taupo, New Zealand and shopped for the rest of the ingrediants at the local ‘Countdown’ supermarket.
Opening up my bags in our basic holiday house kitchen, I suddenly realised I had no Ameretto or similar alcohol to go in the pud! I did have a couple of bottles of beer, but drew the line at ruining a dessert and wasting precious Montieths ale…
So, I thought adding some grated ginger would be a way to add a different flavour that would make the absence of booze not be so grave. And this time, it worked!
The finished dessert came out fantastically and the ginger kick wove in beautifully with the strong coffee and dark chocolate. Best of all, the fluffy creaminess proved to be a welcome treat in my subsequent recovery from a nasty nip from a red back spider in the washing. I vow to shake all jumpers in future before putting them on.
Around 200-250g Mascarpone cheese
1 pint of double (or heavy) cream
2 tsp good vanilla essence or contents of half a small vanilla pod
250-300ml of really good, strong coffee
Slab of madeira cake (make your own, or buy one to save some time here – just buy a really nice one)
4 Tbsp sugar
1 egg white
Around 50g of finely grated 70% cocoa dark chocolate
A pice of skinned root ginger size of half a small matchbox finely grated
- Whip cream until it holds soft peaks in a bowl
- Beat egg white until really stiff – the more air you can get in, the better.
- Beat sugar, vanilla and ginger into mascarpone.
- Fold cream into mascarpone mix.
- Fold egg white into mix gently but well.
- Cut madeira slab into thin slices
- Have coffee brewed and pour into a bowl
- Dip madeira cake into coffee and place in a layer in small loaf tin.
- Sprinkle a thin layer of grated chocolate on the cake
- Place layer of mascarpone/cream mixture on top
- Repeat steps 7-10 until all ingrediants are used and make sure you finish with a creamy layer.
- Sprinkle the rest of the chocolate on top of the dessert
- Chill for at least two hours and serve sliced on large plates.