Posts Tagged ‘Madeira’

Tiramisu Jamie style with a few tweaks

May 12, 2010


My sis, her hubby and a few mates rented a lovely wee house in the middle of nowhere for New Year. It was really rather snowy and was touch and go there for a while whether or not they were actually going to make it. On there first night Euan woke up in the wee hours of the morning to a faint hissing noise and knew immediately that there was a “problem”.

The pipes had burst and there was water pouring everywhere – yes it was that cold!

Euan (who happens to be a plumber) came to the rescue and with a torch and a shovel managed to dig his way through the snow and ice to the decking where the water shut off valve was.

Well done Euan. The next day he wove his magic and repaired the pipes.

Anyway the whole point in this story is that due to the water dramas the owners offered the crew a free weekend, how lovely.

The free weekend was last weekend and I was invited.

What an excellent excuse to cook. There were a few likes and dislikes to attend to so we settled for a simple Italian menu.

Tomato and basil Bruschetta

Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto
Watercress, Rocket, Fennel and Apple Salad


I have only made Tiramisu once before and that was for my 30th and was for 80 people….what a laugh.

My sister and I had watched Jamie Oliver’s “Venice” show during the week where he made Tiramisu so this recipe is inspired by Jamie.


1 1/2 x packets Savoiardi biscuits (sponge fingers)
500 grams Mascarpone
6 free range eggs
Approx 5 – 6 table spoons caster sugar
150 ml double cream (make sure it is not thickened cream)
Pinch of salt
Madeira wine (Pedro Ximenez sherry would also be nice)
1 cup of strong coffee (ideally freshly ground)
300 grams of good quality dark chocolate 70% cocoa solid (I like to use Green and Blacks but Lindt will do)

Finely chop 200 grams of dark chocolate, gently warm cream in a small pot – when hot but not boiling take off the heat and stir in chocolate. The chocolate should melt and create a beautiful smooth chocolate sauce. Leave off the heat to cool.

Separate eggs, yokes into one mixing bowl and whites into another. It is VERY important to make sure that the bowl for the whites is spotlessly clean – if the bowl has a hint of oil the whites will not whisk.

Egg yolks whisked with caster sugar

Add sugar slowly to egg yolks while whisking, whisk until pale yellow and creamy – this should take about 5 – 8 mins. I have said 5 – 6 table spoons of sugar because it really depends on how sweet you want this dessert to be. I like it to be sweet but not sickly. Taste as you go, you can always add more sugar but you can’t take it away. Remember the biscuits, chocolate and Madeira are all quite sweet.

In a separate bowl beat the Mascarpone with a wooden spoon until it is smooth, add in the egg yolk mix and gently stir through.

Whisking egg whites with pinch of salt

Add pinch of salt to egg whites and whisk until forms stiff peaks. Stir egg whites through egg yolk and Mascarpone mix. Taste for sweetness.

Egg yolk and Mascarpone mix being added to egg whites

Choose a low dish ideally glass but not essential, layer 1/2 the biscuits on the base. Sprinkle the 1/2 the coffee over this layer followed by a healthy slosh of the Madeira wine. Once the chocolate sauce is cooled (can be warm but not hot) pour 1/2 over the biscuits. Top with the Mascarpone/egg mix then follow with another layer.

Layering sponge fingers

Dollop the creamy Mascarpone mix on the top and then shave chocolate all over the top.

Dolloping the Mascarpone mix as a topping

Pop in the fridge and leave overnight for best results.

Eat in large quantities and try not to feel sick (like I did).

Tip: I honestly recommend that you do leave it in the fridge overnight – I know it is tempting to eat it straight away but it is so much better when it has been left for the biscuits to soften and the flavours to develop.