Evil Chocolate Tiramisu...

This is my first post of the new year! I thought I'd kick off with some of the wonderful goodies I prepared over the Christmas break- and this was one of my favourites!

It's only evil because it's THAT good that you can't stop eating it and you don't realise how much you've had until you have a sore belly and feel like you're about to have a food baby... It's evilness is definitely counteracted by the fact that you can be a social hostess with this dessert, it's made the day before so you can sit back and enjoy it with your guests.

You will need..
For the cream...
3 eggs, separated
2/3 cup of caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
250ml of thickened cream
250gr soft mascarpone cheese
For the filling...
250ml strong black coffee
100ml Kahlua Coffee Liqueur (you could use Tia Maria if you prefer)
100ml Bailey's Irish Cream
1 plain chocolate sponge cake, un-filled, about 300gr worth*
1 cup thickened cream
1 cup dark chocolate for melting**
a dusting of cocoa to garnish and some strawberries to serve.

Method...
1. To make the cream filling, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites to firm peaks. Set aside in a clean bowl. Combine the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat on high for 5 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the mascarpone and beat on medium to remove any lumps, then add the cream, turn back to high and beat until the mixture stiffens to medium peaks***. Add 1/3 of the whipped egg whites using a spatula, then carefully fold in the remaining whites being careful not to knock out any air.
2. To melt the chocolate, place the cream and chocolate together in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high at 20-second intervals, removing and stirring carefully until chocolate is melted (it should only take 2-3 times in the microwave and the residual heat in the cream should melt the chocolate as you stir)
3. To layer the tiramisu, slice the cake to 1/2cm thickness and lay across the bottom of a 3Lt-capacity serving bowl or dish. Mix the coffee with the Kahlua and Bailey's and spoon half of it over the cake to ensure all the cake has absorbed the liquid.
4. Drizzle half the melted chocolate, then spoon over half the cream mixture and spread out with a spatula.
5. Make another layer of cake, drizzle the remaining coffee and booze, then chocolate again and finish with a final layer of cream. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight. To serve, dust with cocoa or drizzle with extra chocolate (as I have!) and spoon out onto shallow bowls, have a bowl of washed, cut strawberries ready to place on top :-)

*I used store bought to make life a little easier, but you're welcome to make one from scratch if you're feeling adventurous- if you don't have your own recipe here is a basic one http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2685651/chocolate-sponge-cake, make a day in advance so it has time to cool and firm up a bit before you use it.

**For tips on the best kind of chocolate to use refer to my Gluten-free Chocolate Cake recipe

***http://www.thekitchn.com/a-visual-guide-soft-peaks-firm-115557



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