I've had a jolly good time working on this recipe these past two weeks. And just in time for 4th of July!
And considering that the boys have had to endure several 'tastings' sigh...someone has to do the dirty work, enough said!
So it has the building blocks of your good ole' tiramisu - the luscious cream with homemade mascarpone (preferably), Italian imported sponge finger biscuits and also the espresso.
But herein lies the deviation, to keep the flavors quite summery and not strong on the coffee, I've diluted the espresso with water just for a hint of flavor. The cream is as is traditionally made by whipping egg yolks and sugar into thick creamy ribbons. To which is added the mascarpone and whipped cream. I've also added lemon emulsion which I'm always raving about and is key to getting that light summery flavor which pairs perfectly with the berries.
The egg whites are whisked with a touch of cream of tartar to soft snow white peaks and folded at the very end to the mascarpone cream.
So here's how you assemble; 1st the coffee dipped biscuits, then the mascarpone cream, layer of sliced macerated strawberries (only), remaining biscuits, remaining cream and into the refrigerator to chill for 12 hours.
Macerated mixed berries at the very end served directly onto individual servings to avoid the berries bleeding onto the delicate cream.
As always, use the best quality ingredients (eg use vanilla bean paste not imitation extract) and I think you'll really enjoy this for the holidays!
I cannot emphasize just how delicious this turns out. It is delicate, luscious and just plain old fabulous!
However, not the best choice for outdoor events where it will be sitting in the hot sun. Best served refrigerator to plate!
Here are some troubleshooting tips:
So what do you do if your cream is runny?
For peace of mind, I add agar agar to water and whisk on the stove until just thick and syrupy. I then dump this into the mascarpone cream and whisk like mad so streaks don't form. After which you just assemble as usual.
Agar Agar by the way, is an age old vegetarian thickener from algae that has been used for hundreds of years in Asian cooking.
You really do need to chill the tiramisu overnight or for 12 hours.
So what if you do not have 12 hours (and have only 6 hours)?
Avoid adding the egg whites at the end (since they are composed mainly of water & will thin the cream down) and definitely do the agar agar syrup into the cream.