Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Tirimisu with a Hint of Spice

An Italian student recently told me a story about tirimisu that went something like this: the working girls of Venice would work up such an appetite that they needed a quick-fix to satiate their hunger. In combining mascarpone, eggs and coffee they had come up with the ultimate 'pick-me-up' cake needed to continue working into the night.

Seriously? I asked. He laughed.

I very much doubt his claims but can, however, vouch for the instant lift to be had from this classic dessert.

But what would happen if I accidentally ground my coffee beans in the spice grinder, bearing in mind that it is smeared in the oils and fragrant aroma of garam masala spices? Answer, coffee with a delectable hint of spices. Warm and uplifting indeed.

If you don't have either a coffee or spice grinder at home, try adding a tsp of ground garam masala to your coffee mixture. Not been acquainted with this wonderful and aromatic spice blend yet? Read here to learn more.

I omitted the egg yolks here since I used them to make creme brulée instead. I was pleasantly surprised with the result; light, mousse-like mascarpone filling. Note to self, never add egg yolks again.

I prepared this tirimisu in glasses which make them simple to serve. No fussing with plates involved.

Tirimisu with a Hint of Spice Recipe

Makes six medium-sized glass servings:

3 large egg whites
250g Mascarpone cheese
12 Lady fingers
Dash of rum (Ron Barcelo)
2 tbsp sugar
Fresh coffee prepared with a tsp of ground garam masala spices
Cocoa for dusting

1. Prepare some hot coffee and let it cool down slightly.
2. In a bowl mix the sugar with the mascarpone and a dash of rum. Stir well but aim to keep the thick consistency of the cheese.
3. Beat the egg whites until stiff in another bowl. Fold this bit by bit into the mascarpone and sugar mixture.
4. Next break the lady fingers into small enough pieces to layer the bottom of your serving glasses or cups. Dip the pieces into the coffee for a second only. You want a wet but firm biscuit texture. Dipping for too long will leave them too soggy.
5. Layer the bottom of the glasses with the soaked ladyfingers, and top off with a layer of the mascarpone filling. Repeat step 4 until you fill the glasses (I managed four layers in my serving glasses).
6. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. Just before serving, dust the tops off with generous amount of cocoa powder.

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