Tirami su (Italian “pick me up”)
One of my favourite desserts to trot out for company is tiramisu; most people love it, it’s make ahead easy, and there’s usually enough left in the bowl to lick clean so I don’t have to wait for dinner for a taste.
A twist on the typical espresso-soaked ladyfingers is to use the lemony Italian liqueur Limoncello, with grated lemon rind on top. For individual presentation, I spoon the mascarpone cream into glasses, and stick a couple of the ladyfingers upright in the glass. An added benefit of this presentation is less cake, more cream.
Here’s how I make it:
For 6 portions:
500 g mascarpone cheese (most mascarpone is sold in 500g containers, easy!)
4 tablespoons sugar
1 cup Limoncello
2 lemons, zested
Drag out your stand mixer. Separate eggs, and place the whites in the bowl of the mixer. I like to beat the whites first, because any trace of fat can prevent them from whipping nicely. Whip them into fluffy peaky firmness, then scrape them into a large bowl.
In the mixer bowl go your egg yolks, with 3 tbsp sugar. Beat this until pale yellow, then add the mascarpone cheese until smooth. Now’s the only tricky part of the whole business–incorporating the mascarpone mix into the whites, keeping it fluffy and not letting the whites break down. Do it with a large rubber spatula, carefully, CAREFULLY folding it all together. Once it’s folded successfully, you can relax and reward yourself for a job well done by eating a couple of spoonfuls. Yummy, right?
Now, pour out the Limoncello into a shallow container and carefully dip your ladyfingers in it, one at a time. You want them to absorb a little but not get soggy. Soggy fingers are not good.
Line up your glasses (I use cocktail glasses. It’s amazing how haute cuisine you can appear by using different dishes and glasses. It’s been fooling guests for years.)
Divide the cream evenly among the glasses, then stick the ladyfingers in the mix. Sprinkle the lemon zest over the top and poof! You’re set!
Let stand a couple of hours for best flavours.
I know, I know, the picture is of regular, big bowl tiramisu with chocolate shavings. We ate the lemon ones too quick to get a pic.