Sometimes when I am flipping through a cooking magazine or shopping at the deli, I become delusional. I have ideas of grandeur. The all empowering feeling of absolute surety that “Yes! I can bake that 8 layer specialty cake and cater for 20 people in half a day, no problem!” or “Today I feel my cooking bug stirring. Sure I’ll make a lasagne, in fact several and a decadent dessert and a chutney and some pesto and a beautiful light salad and maybe even cook something and freeze for the weekend!” It is this totally unfounded, impossible notion that I can do all that in a heartbeat just because I feel like it, that is my bane.
So the savoiardi biscuits I bought in a moment of madness many months ago got pushed back to the dark recesses of the pantry. This happened when reality set in just after I had dragged the shopping bag from the deli in through the door, all weary from walking around, pledging to never cook again. It was this packet of moth eaten savoiardi biscuits I found many months later in a pantry cleaning and organising session that inspired me. I keep telling you I am weird, but you don’t believe me!
Now ideas of grandeur and inspiration are two very different things. Thankfully, I understand the difference very well. I act on inspiration not on ideas of grandeur. So I decided to make Tiramisu. Relax! I didn’t use the moth eaten packet. I called Nick at the soccer field and asked him to pick up a packet of Italian sponge fingers or “S-A-V-O-I-A-R-D-I” biscuits I yelled into the phone. After telling him exactly which aisle and shelf to find them I realised two things simultaneously. I need to find him a picture book of unusual ingredients so he can learn and I spend way too much time at the supermarket, if I know exactly where each item is stacked.
By the way Savoiardi are a sponge-like cookie originally from the Aosta Valley of Italy in the Alps, once known as the Duchy of Savoy. Once dipped in some yummy liquid like liqueur spiked juice, it swells and becomes sponge cake. Yep, magical little things!
For a coffee fanatic, lover of all things Italian and a dairy champion; Tiramisu has to be my favourite dessert. I can see you all shaking your heads in unison. You all love Tiramisu too, don’t you? There are only two Tiramisu recipes I follow. One is the Express Espresso Tia Maria Tiramisu
and the other is this. One is a fast version and the other is a labour of love and patience. Today’s special occasion calls for a labour of love. This is my 200th post! Yessss!! My ramblings and shenanigans have spanned 200 articles on this blog and what better way to celebrate than with my favourite dessert.
I want to thank you all for reading what I write, for commenting, for writing in and showing your support. Seriously, that is what keeps me going .. delusional or not!
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Preparation Time - 30 minutes
Chilling Time - 2 to 4 hours
Serves - 12
500g Sponge Fingers (Italian Savoiardi Biscuits)
500g mascarpone cheese
300ml pouring cream
1 cup strong espresso coffee
1 cup marsala or any strong, sweet liqueur
good quality cocoa powder for dusting
vanilla sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat oven to 200C. Just Kidding!! Don't do it. There is no baking required people. Doesn't this recipe just keep getting better?
To assemble the Tiramisu, you will need a 20cm long rectangular baking dish. In a large bowl whip together the mascarpone and pouring cream for a few minutes until fluffy and light. In a shallow large dish, combine the coffee and marsala. Mix well. (I made the coffee in a French press, 3-4 scoops in about 1 cup of water. Alternatively mix 3-4 teaspoons instant coffee in 1 cup of hot water)
Dip half the sponge fingers quickly in the coffee liquid and lay them at the bottom of the baking dish. Spoon half the cream mixture on top and level and smooth it. Dust with cocoa and vanilla sugar (if using).
Repeat by laying another layer of coffee mixture soaked sponge fingers on top of the cream. Cover and level with remaining cream. Dust with vanilla sugar and cocoa. Cover with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.