Tiramisu with Clementine Scented Mascarpone

I’ve had tiramisu in all shapes and sizes (steady now). I’ve had delicate little slices, trays of gargantuan proportions, and most recently from Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in Glasgow, an affair with so many sponge layers and creamy filling, I thought it should have been served as a main. Having searched the highs and lows of the internet, I still cannot find the definitive answer to my main query: what actually goes in a tiramisu? I see threads bemoaning those who don’t use eggs, those who threaten others by using chocolate and the big debate of buying sponge fingers or making your own (which perhaps veers slightly on the excessive side). What I can deduce is that it is up to your own personal taste and, being one to experiment in the kitchen, I came up with a pretty little dessert that would serve you well at a dinner party, a cosy night in, or in front of BBC iPlayer watching reruns of Don’t Tell the Bride. I tell you, stick a glass of this under their nose and those crazy little brides will forget they have a dress that’s too big, shoes from Primark and a cake that was decorated by the groom himself.

The simplicity of this dish gives you plenty time to potter around making your main meal. It has a hint of Christmas, scented with the juice and zest of a clementine, with a spicy hint of warming cinnamon. I served this up after an Italian feast of lasagne, garlic pizza bread and a good glass of red. Luckily, I was only cooking for two, so afterwards it’s time to settle down with another glass of tiramisu to watch a groom make an arse out making his own invitations. I bet this is the way the Italians do it.

Serves Four

You Will Need

3 tablespoons instant coffee

1 packet sponge fingers

250g mascarpone cheese

150ml double cream

1 clementine

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons caster sugar

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

150g bar of 70% dark chocolate (you won’t use all of it)

Four short glasses to serve

Add the coffee to a small bowl and cover with boiling water to make a strong, but not thick coffee. Leave to cool

In a large bowl, add the mascarpone, cinnamon, sugar and cream. Zest in the clementine then squeeze in the juice of half the fruit. Whisk until fully incorporated. Set aside.

Arrange the glasses next to the bowl of cooled coffee, and begin dipping the sponge fingers in quickly and arranging at the bottom of the glasses. You will need to break them in half to fit. Once each glass has a layer of coffee and sponge, add a large tablespoon of the clementine cream and spread evenly. Repeat with another layer of coffee soaked sponge fingers and divide the remaining cream between the glasses. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Open the bar of chocolate and place it on the worktop right up against you. Carefully take a sharp knife and pull along the surface of the chocolate to create curls. Once you have enough, set aside.

Using a sieve, dust the tops of the tiramisus with cocoa powder and top with the chocolate curls. Serve on plates with a little extra double cream if you fancy.

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