Since we’re having an early Summer, the last thing I wanted to do is crank up my oven and add to the heat. Seeing as it’s strawberry season in all its glory, I did have quite a load of them on hand and I wanted to use them up to make dessert for our Sunday dinner.
My go-to no-bake dessert is usually Tiramisu, the classic recipe. But this time I thought about giving it a Summer make-over. And since coffee doesn’t really go well with strawberries, I made the ladyfinger dip with an orange infusion blended with a bit of cognac. For the cream, I used the classic ingredients and then everything got topped with strawberries.
This is quite a light and airy dessert: it’s neither very sweet, nor heavy. And since it’s a chilled dessert, it’s perfect for cooling off after a hot Summer day. The recipe is fairly easy, you just need to be patient while you refrigerate the Tiramisu for at least two hours before serving and either wolfing down or slowly savouring every bite.
150g/¾ cup organic granulated sugar or any type of sugar
6 free-range eggs, separated
300ml/1½ cup whipping cream (full-fat, made from milk)
500g/1lb 2oz mascarpone
Zest and juice from 1 orange
3 tbsp cognac (Armagnac or Grand Marnier work well too)
36 Savoiardi biscuits (ladyfingers)
1 kg/2 lb strawberries, halved OR 500g/1 lb strawberries, sliced
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with the aid of a hand-held mixer, beat the egg yolks with 50g/¼ cup sugar until fluffy and doubled in volume, for about 4 minutes. Add the mascarpone and blend. Transfer this mixture to a very large bowl and thoroughly clean the mixer bowl. Beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks, then incorporate slowly in the mascarpone mixture with the aid of a metal spoon, using ample moves, starting from the bottom of the bowl and moving upwards. Clean your mixing bowl very well and beat the whipping cream until it holds. Incorporate this into the mascarpone mixture. Put in the fridge until assembling the Tiramisu.
Next, make the dip for the ladyfingers. In a saucepan set over medium heat, mix the remaining sugar (100g/½ cup) with the orange zest, orange juice and water and mix with a wooden spoon until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the cognac and mix well. Transfer to a shallow dish.
Next, start assembling your Tiramisu. Spoon a third of the mascarpone, egg and cream mixture into a large dish of about 23cm x 33cm (9in x 13in). Dip half of the lady-fingers into the orange and cognac syrup, then lay them on top of the mascarpone and cream mixture in the dish. Arrange half of your your strawberries on top of this, then repeat the soaking and layering and finish with the second half of strawberries. Refrigerate for at least two hours and dust with icing sugar before serving. Or don’t, it tastes just as good without it!