Summer trifle, Italian stylie

 

Tiramisu was always made by my mum and aunties when all our families would come together to celebrate family birthdays and festive celebrations… On reflection a very special pudding indeed.  On a standard week and as a normal family dessert mum would always make us a trifle. Now when I say trifle I mean it very loosely speaking…. ‘Trifle in a box’.  Should I hold my head in shame when I tell you this? Absolutely not because in the mid 1980’s it was the highlight of my busy school week. In all fairness I would still as a 45-year-old woman welcome this trifle any day of the week, to grace our family dinner table. I love it so much. I walked past a box in the supermarket aisle last week and bought it as a gift for mum, hopeful it will taste as I remember. Mum would prepare the trifle in a 1970’s Pyrex dish, the one as I’m sure you’ll remember with the brown and orange flowers printed on the side, and as a bonus she would also sprinkle it with extra 100’s and 1000’s. This really makes me smile. Even now, if I close my eyes tightly and click my heels three times I could almost smell the aroma of the somewhat rich yet plastic jelly with soft sponge fingers, high-vis custard and perfectly white powdered cream on top. Food memories at their very best are just so comforting. With the cost of food accelerating is it time to embrace the boxed trifle and angel delight once again? Simple and frugal. Anyone for jelly and tinned fruit, another fav of mine?

Northampton based cook, Carmela Sereno Hayes, at Home cooking italian family meals.
Image Magazine.
Photos by Kelly Cooper

So instead of sharing the ‘trifle in a box recipe’ *sniggers, I thought I’d share with you my mamma’s recipe of tiramisu. If you fancy a pick-me up then you’ll love this dessert.  This recipe was also included in my first cookery book ‘Southern Italian Family Cooking’ released November 2014. I choose to use amaretto liquor instead of the classic ‘Tia Maria’ or ‘Vin Santo’ so feel free to change the liquor to suit your preference with Frangelico or rum also being great alternatives. If alcohol isn’t your thing then just leave it out and if coffee is a put off then just use fruit juice and berries. The only clause I will place on my recipe is for you to NEVER under any circumstance use cream and please go steady with biscuit dipping as you don’t want to end up with a dense soggy pudding. As we are approaching the start of what hopes to be an amazing summer, why not crown the top with a selection of seasonal berries. So please enjoy and I do hope that my tiramisu will feature as a centrepiece at your family gatherings or at least alongside your trifle in a box!

 

 

Amaretto Tiramisu

Serves: 6 or more depending on greed!

300ml strong black espresso coffee

3 tbsp. amaretto

3 large eggs

2 tbsp. granulated sugar

250g mascarpone

500g savoiardi biscuits (known as ladies’ fingers)

80g amaretto biscuits, crushed

20g dark chocolate

 

  1. Make the espresso coffee and allow it to cool fully. Add the amaretto and set to one side.
  2. Separate the eggs. Whites in one bowl and yolks in another. Add the sugar to the egg yolks and whisk for 2 minutes, until creamy and pale in colour.
  3. Add the mascarpone cheese to the egg yolk mixture and combine. Stir with a wooden spoon and then whisk for 1 minute to remove any lumps.
  4. Wash the whisk, then whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed.
  5. Gently fold in the egg whites to the mascarpone mixture, half the mixture at a time.

    Northampton based cook, Carmela Sereno Hayes, at Home cooking italian family meals.
    Image Magazine.
    Photos by Kelly Cooper

  6. Take your trifle dish or individual glasses and start layering up the ingredients.
  7. Dip each biscuit into the coffee liquor mixture, shake off any excess liquid and place the biccie in your dish. Do not fully bathe the biscuits, only dip and tease them. Dip and out!
  8. Complete one biscuit layer then spoon on a layer of the mascarpone cream mixture and level. Sprinkle over a little of the crushed amaretto biscuits. Then return to dipping and layering the biscuits, add the cream and amaretto biscuits.
  9. Continue until you have three sets of layers, finishing with the cream on top.
  10. Chill in the fridge for at least 2-4hours. If you use glasses or ramekins, they will only need an hour or so to chill.
  11. Serve with grated dark chocolate and a sprinkling of crushed amaretto biscuits.

 

If you’d like to try a different flavour, then give my tinned pear tiramisu a go instead.

 

Pear & lemon Tiramisu

Preparation time:20 minutes

Setting time: 4 hours

Serves: 6

200ml orange juice

3 tbsp limoncello

3 large eggs

3 tbsp granulated sugar

250g mascarpone

2 clementine zest

500g savoiardi biscuits (known as ladies fingers)

2 x cans pear halves

 

 

  1. Add the orange juice and limoncello into a bowl.
  2. Separate the eggs. Whites in one bowl and yolks in another. Add the sugar to the egg yolks and whisk for 5 minutes, until creamy.
  3. Add the mascarpone cheese to the egg yolk mixture and combine. Stir with a wooden spoon and then whisk for 1 minute to remove any lumps.
  4. Wash the whisk, then whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks are formed.
  5. Gently fold in the egg whites to the mascarpone mixture, half the mixture at a time. Add the clementine zest.
  6. Take your trifle dish or individual glasses and start layering up the ingredients.
  7. Quickly dip each biscuit into the orange liquor mixture and place in your dish.
  8. Complete one biscuit layer then spoon on a layer of the cream mixture and level. Lay the slices pears. Then return to dipping and layering the biscuits, add the cream and pears.
  9. Continue until you have three sets of layers, finishing with the cream on top.
  10. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours. If you use glasses or ramekins, they will only need an hour or so to chill.
  11. Serve with Freshly grated clementine zest.