When it comes to desserts I have great difficulty in sticking to the same recipe all the time. I need to experiment with other ingredients, change the method or sequence… some go straight in the bin, others are more successful. To change from chocolate desserts I came up with a fruit version of Tiramisu which Marina, my granddaughter calls “Children’s Tiramisu”. When making it for Marina I skip the alcohol and use whatever seasonal fresh fruits are available, so it can vary - strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or peach are my favourites. I also lighten up the cream mixture by using half mascarpone and half full fat yoghurt. To soak the lady fingers I use freshly squeezed orange juice. It comes out very light and fresh. It’s also a great do-ahead dessert that you can make as single portions or in a bigger plate. The recipe below contains Grand Marnier - skip it when making it for children. I use a squeeze bottle to pour the fruit coulis, it makes it easier to make the designs. These photos are from the Tiramisu Marina asked me for her birthday party! —Maria Teresa Jorge
lady fingers (I prefer the soft ones)
full fat plain thick yoghurt (250ml)
eggs seperated - room temperature
Grand Marnier (skip this when making for children)
Make the fresh orange juice. If it needs sweetening, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of fine sugar and dissolve well but don’t make it too sweet because the lady fingers are already sweet. Add the Grand Marnier and put it in a deep container where you can dip the lady fingers later. Set aside.
Make the coulis: Process the raspberries in a food blender with 3 tablespoons of orange juice and 2 tablespoons of fine sugar until you can’t see the seeds and it’s velvety. The coulis should be creamy and thick.
Beat the egg yolks with the fine sugar until creamy and frothy.
Add the mascarpone and the yoghurt in 2 or 3 goes and beat just enough to mix.
Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold them in very lightly in the egg and mascarpone mixture.
Assembling: Put the serving containers on a table, have the mascarpone mixture ready, the raspberry coulis, the orange juice and the lady fingers in a bowl. Start by putting a thin layer of mascarpone cream, add a soaked lady finger layer, pour a little coulis and re-start with mascarpone, lady finger coulis and end with mascarpone. Cover in plastic film and chill for 2 to 4 hours. Before serving decorate with raspberry coulis and some fresh raspberries.
With other fruits the procedure is exactly the same.
Note 1: Best eaten within 24 hours but can stand 2 days (after this time it kind of gets very soggy).
Note 2: don't soak the ladyfingers too much, just dip the bottom of the biscuit, not the whole. To make the individual portions, break the lady fingers in half and use 2 halves per layer, putting them side by side.
Note 3: If you are in a really cooking mood, make sponge cake and use it instead of lady fingers!!