Last night I came back to Cumbria for the first time since moving to Manchester, and it really was wonderful to be home. Not half because the dining room table was covered in a home made version of one of my favourite ‘fast’ foods (which has been described as the ‘middle class version of kfc’- a quote I love), Nandos, complete with a very welcoming bottle of wine, and waiting in the fridge- tiramisu. And not just any tiramisu, this is the best tiramisu I’ve ever eaten. It’s the best one my mum has ever eaten, and she’s done her homework. I can’t remember where the recipe came from originally (I have a vague recollection of copying it into my phone from a book in Marks and Spencer), but it’s a good ‘un. It now lives in possibly my favourite of my mum’s cookbooks, which is more like a scrapbook full of clippings and handwritten instructions written in a shorthand that only she can interpret (and of course her own hilarious touches, like labelling the tiramisu "tiramisu rex’- a private joke). Unlike a lot of recipes I see, this one isn’t bulked out with lashings of whipped cream, it’s just a pure, creamy, coffee-y, unadulterated mountain of mascarpone pleasure. So simple to make and oh so very good to eat. Trust me on this one.
4 egg yolks, 2 egg whites,
100g caster sugar
500g mascarpone cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract175ml strong black coffee (get a triple espresso shot from a good coffee shop and top it up with water)
125ml liqueur (my mum uses Tia Maria)
24 sponge fingers
- Lay the fingers in the bottom of a dish and cover with the coffee and liqueur.
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar over hot water on the hob until pale and fluffy.
- When cool, mix in the mascarpone and vanilla and fold in the whisked egg whites.
- Layer the cheese mixture over the sponges and finish with a dusting of cocoa or grated chocolate.
- Dish out great bowl-fulls to your nearest and dearest and watch them devour it.