It's ok to break rules if you were the one to set them, isn’t it? Or does it just make you a lousy, dirty, stinking hypocrite?
I must have spent most of my adult life (probably some of my childhood too) banging on about how certain dishes should not be tampered with. Tiramisu is one of those dishes that I have seen mutilated with all manner of bonkers ingredients, flipping the switch on my fiery Italian temperament quicker than a Kwik Fit fitter.
One evening over dinner with friends, one of them casually commented that something like orange may be a nice addition to the purist and proper tiramisu I was serving. The red flush had travelled halfway up my cheeks when the onset of my narrow minded rant was interrupted with the thought that “actually, that may be quite nice”.
Recipe serves 6 handsomely
2 very fresh organic egg yolks
4 tablespoons of vanilla sugar (chuck a few used vanilla pods in a jar of sugar and let it infuse until you need it) or 4 tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
2 tbs orange flower water
500g marscapone cheese
a little milk if needed
200ml espresso coffee (cold)
100ml orange juice
40 savoiardi biscuits
6 tablespoons marsala wine
grated zest of an orange
In a decent sized bowl, beat the egg, sugar (and vanilla extract if using) together. Fold in the marscapone, orange flower water and if you need to loosen the mixture a bit (not too much!) add a splash or two of milk. The mixture should be thick but easy to spread.
In another bowl, combine the coffee, marsala and orange juice. Dip half the biscuits in the liquid for a second or two each so it saturates and line the base of a shallow dish. Cover with half of the marscapone mixture, then repeat the coffee and biscuit layer but this time, for a bit of texture, make sure the coffee mixture does not saturate the biscuit fully. Top with the remaining marscapone, dust with cocoa powder and finally grate orange zest on the top.
Being the stubborn old fool I am, I don’t like admitting when I’m wrong but yeah, I was wrong and this was absolutely delicious, giving the tiramisu another dimension and a really refreshing taste which lightens a typically heavy dessert. Perfect post dinner.
(But hell will freeze over before you catch me substituting marsala with Tia Maria and topping with dessicated coconut or anything. I haven’t come along that far!)