Tiramisu is the default dessert for every Italian restaurant. The name means “pick me up” (due to its caffeine content) and, when expertly crafted, it can represent one of the great ways to finish off a meal. All too often, however, you are served an indistinct creamy slop that had a brief encounter with a biscuit at some point in its lukewarm past.
Tiramisu appears in many guises including: chocolate, fruits, various types of alcohol. A real Tiramisu requires fresh eggs, rather than the whipped cream that is now so often used to sidestep the threat of salmonella in a poorly run kitchen – this is not a dish to be left sitting around in any event.
I have added a seasonal twist by incorporating a crunchy speculoos layer. Speculoos, traditionally baked for the Christmas Season, are spiced shortcrust biscuits, containing hints of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom. Rather than using the biscuits themselves, I incorporated their crunchy spread into the Tiramisu, this is both lighter and results in a tantalising texture.
Did you know
In eggs the salmonella bacteria, if present at all, are trapped in the nutrient-poor egg white and therefore unable to multiply. As the eggs age, both the yolk membrane and egg white thin, allowing the harmful bacteria access to the nutrient-rich yolk. Bacterial Nirvana! This is highly unlikely to occur in fresh produce.
serves 4 (2dl / 6.8oz glasses)
2 fresh eggs (preferably organic)
a pinch of salt
250g / 8.8oz mascarpone
1/4 lemon – zest
3 drops vanilla extract
100ml / 3.4oz espresso – cold
12-16 sugar coated sponge fingers / ladyfingers – if you use without sugar coating, add 1/2-1tbsp sugar above
8-10tsp Lotus Biscoff Spread Crunchy – Crunchy Caramelised Biscuit Spread / Speculoos Crunchy
1-2tbsp dark cocoa powder
- Separate the eggs into 2 bowls. Beat the egg white with the salt until texture like a shaving foam (egg white shouldn’t move when you turn the bowl upside down).
- Add the sugar to the egg yolk, beat until light in color and fluffy (when you take the beater out, ribbons should fall down and remain on the surface for some time).
- Add the mascarpone continuously to the egg yolk mixture until well mixed (there should be no clumps).
- Fold the egg whites carefully into the mascarpone cream with a spatula. Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract, combine.
- Pour the Amaretto and the cold espresso into a deep dish.
- Take 4 glasses. Dip 1-2 sponge fingers in the coffee mixture and put them in the bottom of each glass (I like them well soaked).
- Put a layer of Lotus Spread (1-1.5tsp) on the sponge finger layer of each glass (you might need to use slightly wet fingers to make this layer).
- Add a layer of cream to each glass (1.5-2tbsp).
- Repeat the procedure. In total you want 2 layers, ending with the cream.
- Put the glasses in the fridge for at least 6 hours, better overnight.
- Before serving, take out the tiramisu and sprinkle the cocoa powder with a fine sieve on the 4 glasses.
Tips / Variations:
- You could exchange the sponge fingers and the Lotus Spread with Lotus Caramelised Biscuits or Speculoos – this will make the whole slightly heavier.
- Do not include Amaretto if you serve to children.
- You can exchange the Amaretto with Marsala wine or a mixture of rum and sugar.
- You could make this Tiramisu in smaller glasses and serve as a sugary amuse bouche!
Print recipe here: Christmassy Tiramisu – Recipe
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Square white plate; tartan napkins; candles; crystal ornaments; Christmas decoration from Waitrose and Clintons; spoons from Covent Garden Antique Market.
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