I am always drawn to it whenever I see it on the list of desserts during a nice dinner out. Tiramisu. How true the saying, there is always room for dessert. Bruno is more of a dessert person than I am. I mean, he LOVES desserts. I don’t mind them once in a while. I can easily go without them. Face starting to twitch. Sweets don’t do it for me. I’m really neither here nor there about it. Nose beginning to grow. If I never had dessert again – ok, fine, who am I kidding. I too love desserts. I don’t think I’ve ever turned one down. Whether it’s offered to me, or teased in front of me in the shape of a nicely printed restaurant menu. My inner monologue about not having dessert is gone, evaporated.
A couple of days ago I decided to make lady fingers. Decadent cookies made from egg whites gently folded with egg yolks, sugar and vanilla, then baked until fluffy and weightless. I’m not sure why I came to think of them, but I’m certain my subconscious craving for this moist cake had something to do with it.
I have to admit we ate most of them with coffee that same afternoon. Trust me, eating just the one fresh out of the oven lady finger is nearby impossible. Not having enough cookies left for a proper cake, this is what came out of it. I replaced whipping cream with ice cream. Blended all the ingredients together and voila- the elegant flavours of tiramisu- in a glass.
8 lady fingers cookies
1 double espressos, cold (or 1/4 cup strong cold coffee)
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 tbsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp cocoa
2 cups vanilla ice cream
4 Lady Fingers for decoration
Place the lady fingers in the bottom of a bowl and pour over the espresso. Set aside to soak. Add mascarpone cheese, vanilla and cocoa to a blender and mix until smooth. Add the softened cookies and leftover liquid to the blender. Scoop the ice cream in small pieces and add as well. Pulse a couple of times, but not until completely mixed.
If you don’t want to buy lady fingers but want to make your own below is the recipe I use. It is taken from Hilaire Walden’s The Great Big Cookie Book.
2/3 cup plain flour
pinch of salt
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
icing sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 300F.
Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle with a thin layer of icing sugar.
Sift the flour and salt together twice. With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with half of the sugar until thick enough to leave a ribbon trail when the beaters are lifted.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Beat in the remaining sugar until glossy. Sift the flour over the yolks and spoon a large dollop of egg whites over the flour. Carefully fold in with a large spoon or spatula, adding the vanilla essence. Gently fold in the remaining whites.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle. Pipe 3in long lines on the parchment paper about 1in apart. Sift over a thin layer of icing sugar.