Getting cheesy with a pick-me-up!

This month’s Daring Cooks‘ challenge had me rubbing my hands together in glee! Sawsan of Chef in disguise challenged us to make our own cheese. La di dah! I went through all the options she had given us and decided that I wanted to try my hand at either Feta or Ricotta. But getting hold of Rennet tablets proved to be a tough task so I stuck to making Mascarpone.

Now that I was anyway going to make Mascarpone, how could I not make Tiramisu? This dessert, which translates into ‘pick me up’ in Italian, is a huge favourite with almost everyone I know. The husband in particular! So when I asked him he would like some Tiramisu for dessert on a Saturday night, he gave me the kind of look that meant, ‘Why are you even asking me such a question?’ So that was that.

Drool!

I was lucky to get my hands on some vegan ladyfinger biscuits at a shop here and as I didn’t have any Kahlua or Tia Maria at hand, I substituted this with dark rum. An aunt who was here on a holiday from Canada gave me her version of Tiramisu, which is her signature dessert, I modified that recipe a little bit, added my own touch to it and what we had for dessert was this lovely, delectable mixture of flavours that had us drooling in joy.

Tiramisu

For the Mascarpone layer:
2 cups of Mascarpone cheese (see the recipe here, I followed exactly what I’ve done before)
Mix this with 2 tsp of powdered sugar and beat until fluffy

The finished mascarpone

3 cups of vanilla flavoured custard  (I used the instant custard mix by Pillsbury to make this)
15-17 Ladyfinger biscuits
3 tbsp of coffee extract (I mixed 1 tbsp of Nescafe with 2 tsp of warm water for this and then added 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract just to flavour it)
2 tbsp of dark rum
Some cocoa powder for dusting

Beginning of something delicious

Take a clean glass bowl, if you want the layers to show, and wipe it through. Now dip the Ladyfinger biscuits one by one into the coffee extract and layer the surface of this dish. Next, spread some custard across this evenly and follow with a layer of the Mascarpone. Sprinkle some of the rum over this.

In progress

Repeat the process until you reach the rim of the dish. Finish with a layer of the Mascarpone. Now gently pour the remaining rum from along the sides of the bowl. Dust some cocoa powder over this and chill for about four to five hours before serving. Serve this dessert chilled.

Mamma mia!

* This is an eggless version of the Tiramisu. However, if you’re okay with incorporating eggs into the recipe then replace the custard with double cream that’s beaten with sugar and eggs.

* To add texture to the dessert you can add some dark chocolate chips after the Mascarpone.

* To give the dish a twist, add some Cointreau or Grand Marnier. The orange adds a lovely depth of flavour to the dessert.

Since I’m mighty pleased with this recipe I’m sending this to Cook Like a Celebrity Chef at Food Corner

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