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Red, White & Blue | Very Berry Tiramisu

I've had a jolly good time working on this recipe these past several weeks. And just in time for 4th of July! Happy Birthday USA!

And considering that the boys have had to endure several 'tastings' sigh...someone has to do the dirty work, 'nuf said! So it has the building blocks of your good ole' tiramisu - the luscious cream with mascarpone cream,  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 is a nifty little trick to getting your cream nice and thick and most importantly stable so it holds when sliced; 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.

Keep in mind, you really do need to chill the tiramisu overnight or for 12 hours.



Recipe for:

Red, White & Blue | Very Berry Tiramisu

Makes a 9" x 9" square pan

Serves 6-9

Please Note: Begin this recipe 2 days in advance to give yourself time to prepare homemade mascarpone and overnight resting required for the tiramisu.

Shopping list: 14oz. mascarpone (preferably home-made)

¾ cup strong espresso (made in your Bialetti/Nespresso machine)

1-1/4 cup hot water

3 eggs, at room temperature

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

2 tbsp. powdered sugar for egg whites

1/2 cup powdered sugar for mascarpone cream

1 packet (250 gms.) Italian imported ladies finger sponge biscuits (may need a few more if pan is slightly bigger so have a few extra handy)

1 tsp pure vanilla bean paste (not imitation)

1 tsp lemon emulsion

1 lb.+ strawberries (a few more if needed for decoration) + 1/2 tbsp. powdered confectioners’ sugar for strawberry slices only

½ cup each raspberries, blackberries & blueberries + 1 tbsp. powdered confectioners’ sugar for mixed berries

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tsp Agar Agar (all natural thickener) & 1/3 cup water

Chocolate for garnish


Follow this sequence EXACTLY:

Cream: Whip to stiff peaks in a food processor. Add the Agar Agar to the water and rapidly whisk over medium heat until thickened. Fold into the cream to stabilize it.

Eggs: Separate the eggs and set aside.

Espresso: Brew the espresso and add the hot water. Set aside so it will be cool to handle.

Strawberries: Cut ½ the strawberries into thin slices and set aside tossed with ½ tbs powdered sugar.


Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl for 5 to 6 minutes or until pale and creamy.

Fold in mascarpone and vanilla bean paste & lemon emulsion with a spatula. Once combined, fold in the whipped cream.

In a separate bowl for the electric stand mixer (or thoroughly clean and wipe the one you’ve just used), beat egg whites in a bowl with cream of tartar until soft white peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and continue to whisk until firmer white peaks form.

Do not allow to sit & fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings. Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Once time is up, add water to the espresso. Working quickly, dip half the biscuits, 1 at a time, in coffee to coat - use the 5 second rule! Place the coffee dipped fingers in a single layer, over base of 9”x 9” flat bottomed serving dish.

Spread half the mascarpone mixture over biscuits. Top with sliced strawberries only. Repeat layers with remaining biscuits, and mascarpone mixture.

Cover & refrigerate for 8-12 hours if possible overnight.

Before you serve:

Cut the remaining strawberries into quarters and toss with raspberries, blueberries and 1 tbsp. powdered sugar.

For individual servings, cut the tiramisu with a sharp knife into 9 squares. Using a metal spatula or turner, gently remove to plates. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings made by using a vegetable peeler and peeling chocolate from chocolate bar. Serve topped with berries.

Please note: Do not serve this dessert at a potluck outside in the heat since ingredients can turn. Best served for indoors event straight out of the refrigerator.



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