TIRAMISU DI FRAGOLE E FRAGOLINE DI BOSCO
This recipe is for a very loose and light tiramisu, and uses half/half whipped cream to mascarpone to achieve this. For this reason, it works best made in individual glass cups. Made in a big tray and sliced, the serves may not hold together overly well.
The mint and strawberry combination is not necessarily the most obvious – but unless you have an extreme mint aversion, I’d urge you to try it. The mint really works to freshen and enliven against the sweetness of the strawberries and richness of the mascarpone cream. One point worth noting though is that it is best to use only the delicate mint leaves from the tips of the stem, these have the most subtle flavour, and can be used whole in the dish. This also adds to the presentation where the whole green leaves can be glimpsed through the glass of the serving dishes.
Lastly, fragoline di bosco (wild or forest strawberries) are a pretty decoration for the tops of the tiramisu if you can find them, but not to worry if these are unavailable as a halved strawberry and little mint leaf on top will look lovely also.
- 300g fresh strawberries
- 100ml Limoncello
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Large packet of Savoiardi biscuits (or sponge/lady finger biscuits)
- 3 large eggs – separated
- 100g caster sugar
- 125g mascarpone
- 125g double cream
- Small bunch of mint – small leaves picked from the tips
- Handful of wild strawberries (fragoline di bosco) – to decorate
Prepare this dish the evening before you intend to serve
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To begin, hull the strawberries, discarding their green tops. Next, dice half of the strawberries into small cubes, sprinkle them with a little lemon juice (2 teaspoons or so), and place aside in a bowl.
Roughly chop the other half of the strawberries and then place these in a narrow container or tall beaker along with the Limoncello, and the remaining lemon juice. Using a stick blender, liquidise the strawberry and lemon mixture, until smooth, then set this aside for later use.
Next, lay out three large mixing bowls.
In the first bowl, beat the egg whites using an electric mixer until these are very aerated, and form soft peaks.
In the second bowl, whip the cream, also to soft-peak stage.
In the final bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until creamy. Then mix the mascarpone through this until fully combined.
Now, lightly fold the cream into the egg and mascarpone mixture using a rubber spatula.
Next, fold the egg whites into this mixture as well, taking care not to over-mix, so as to retain the air that was whipped in.
In a clean, shallow dish, pour in the liquidised strawberry mixture to roughly half the depth of one Savoiard biscuit.
Briefly measure up your biscuits relative to your serving glasses. If you are using a champagne coupe (as pictured), you may need to cut the Savoiardi into different lengths – one very short length to sit where the stem meets the bowl, two identical longer lengths to form the second layer, and three lengths longer still to form the widest layer at the top. Experiment a little with the first you assemble before going ahead and cutting all the biscuits. Err on the longer side and you can easily pinch off a little bit of the biscuit post-soaking if need be.
To assemble, place a small dollop of the egg, cream, and mascarpone mix, (one heaped teaspoon sized for a champagne coupe), and place this in the bottom of the glass.
Lay the short, base section of Savoiard biscuit in the strawberry liquid, leave for 30 seconds or so to soak, and then flip this over to soak the other half. I like for the biscuit to be quite wet, but not so sodden that it falls apart when you handle it. A bit of trial and error should quickly establish the right amount of soaking time for the size of the biscuits you are using.
Now, place the first, short section of biscuit at the point where the glass stem meets the bowl. Add a little bit of the egg, mascarpone, and cream mix directly on top to cover this.
Pop a couple of small mint leaves – picked from the very tip of the stem – atop the mascarpone mixture, before proceeding to soak biscuits for the next layer.
Once you have a complete second layer, cover this with another dollop of the egg, mascarpone and cream mix, along with a few more small mint leaves. Then continue on to construct the third layer, before carefully spooning a covering layer of mixture on top.
Repeat this same procedure until you have four serves, then place in the fridge to set overnight. Given that the strawberry mixture is not absorbed into the Savoiardi as readily as the traditional coffee mixture, an overnight period in during which the liquid can properly absorb in the fridge is desirable.
To serve, carefully top each coupe with a trio of wild strawberries, positioned stem-side-down (as pictured). Or, if you are unable to find these, cut a small regular strawberry in half lengthways, and use this to decorate, along with another little mint leaf.