Those of you familiar with this blog may remember my little rant on purist tiramisu and how it should not be messed with. Then you saw me backtrack in a display of hypocrisy with an Orange flower version which worked out really well. But you will think I've gone completely crackers with this festive version of the classic Italian dessert.
I'll be serving a classic steamed Christmas pudding on the big day, but with so many people not really fans of it, I think this tiramisu could be an interesting and lighter alternative. The basis of the dessert is the same, just with a few tweaks to introduce those classic Christmas flavours.
Makes a nice big dish for 6-8 people.
2 very fresh egg yolks (Can be omitted if serving to pregnant ladies or if you don't have very fresh eggs.)
3 tbsp caster sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
500g mascarpone cheese
a dash of milk if needed
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground mixed spice
0.5 tsp ground ginger
Grated zest of an orange
300ml cold espresso coffee
50ml freshly squeezed orange juice
4 tbsp brandy
200g savoiardi biscuits (about a packet and a half)
Confectionary silver balls (optional)
In a decent sized bowl, beat the egg, vanilla extract, spices and caster sugar together. Fold in the marscapone and grated orange zest 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 with a little assistance.
In another bowl, combine the coffee, orange juice and brandy. Dip each of the biscuits in the coffee liquid for a second or two and line the base of a dish. Cover with half of the marscapone mixture, then repeat the coffee and biscuit layer but this time make sure the coffee mixture does not saturate the biscuit fully. Top with the remaining marscapone then dust with cocoa powder.
Just before serving, cut out some festive shapes from paper (I simply drew round some holly shaped cookie cutters) and place on top of the tiramisu. Dust with icing sugar. Remove paper shapes and decorate with silver balls.