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Monday, 12 August 2013

The Italian Job

The Summer school holidays are well in swing, and after a wonderful two week break in the South East of England and the Cotswolds, it's been back to earth with a huge B-U-M-P.
The past week has been very busy.
Work has been 'chocca', which is the usual pattern in the school holidays, and home life seems to have been consumed with laundry chores.
I am sure there is twice as much washing and ironing than we actually took away with us.
I think I have finally caught up with the back log, and so my attentions have turned back to the kitchen.
There was a distinct lack of baked treats in the cupboards due to being away, and even Mr. B asked where the brownies were.
So, Saturday morning was committed to replenishing the stocks.
Miss. B has just about eaten us out of house and home this week, and her passing comment as wandering through the kitchen on Saturday was,
"mmm, something smells nice mammy. How long is it going to take?"
So the tins have been filled with brownies, cookies and treats, and the baking balance has once again been restored.
I also wanted to try something new, so when I came across a pack of Italian sponge fingers last week I decided an attempt at Tiramisu would be a good idea.
Mr. B and I have always enjoyed this Italian favourite whenever we have eaten out, so trying to reproduce it seemed like the ideal choice.
It has been a dessert that I have worried a little about tackling, but it's actually not as bad as I imagined.
I think the hardest part was waiting a good few hours for it to set.
You will need :


1 heaped tsp instant coffee granules
125ml boiling water
3 tbsp. brandy - you could also use amaretto here, but seeing as how we've drunk all of ours, brandy was the other option (hic)
2 eggs
65g caster sugar
250g full fat mascarpone cheese
300ml double cream, whipped until thick
1 packet of trifle sponges
dark and white chocolate to decorate

1. line a bowl of your choice with cling film to allow you to lift the finished tiramisu out of the bowl.
You can also use individual serving bowls should you wish, in which case there is no need to line these.


2. Dissolve the coffee in the boiling water and mix in the brandy.
Pour into a shallow bowl so you can dip the sponge fingers.

3. Combine the eggs and caster sugar and whisk together until thick and light.
The mixture should leave a ribbon-like trail on the surface.

4. Put the mascarpone into a separate bowl and mix in a little of the egg mixture.
Fold in the rest of the egg mix and then fold in the double cream.

5. Take the sponge finger and dip for just a few seconds into the coffee mixture.
Be sure to dip the sugary side in and then place 'face up' in the bowl.
Repeat until you have completed the first layer.

These remind me of fish fingers
Dollop half the cream mixture onto the sponge layer and spread out evenly.

Repeat with the remaining sponges and the final layer of cream.

6. Decorate the top with the dark and white chocolate.
I grated mine.
Cover and chill for at least five hours.

This is quite a rich dessert as you can imagine, so you will only need to cut into smallish pieces if you are not using individual serving bowls.
Enjoy your day.

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