Chocolate and cherry tiramisu

Back in the 80’s, Other Half and I used to frequent the Trattoria Alla Scala in the town centre, and it was here that I first discovered tiramisu.  I still love a classic tiramisu, but it’s fun to play around with other flavours.  For Valentine’s weekend, here’s a cross between a black forest gateau and a tiramisu – a match made in heaven.    

Serves 2

  • 100g frozen dark sweet cherries
  • 125g mascarpone
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 25g dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoon cherry liqueur – or any other fruity liqueur, or orange juice
  • 8 sponge fingers 

A few hours before making the dessert, put the cherries in a small dish to defrost.  Once defrosted, remove the cherries to another dish and mix the liqueur (or orange juice) with the juices.  

Put the chocolate into a mini-processor and whizz until it’s broken into very small pieces or use a box grater to grate the chocolate into small flakes.   

Whip up the egg white with an electric whisk until it forms stiff peaks, then in a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolk and sugar until the colour lightens and it’s nice and airy.  Stir the mascarpone vigorously with a fork until softened, then add to the egg yolk and sugar, and give it a good whisk again until combined. 

With a lot of care and patience (you can’t hurry love*), fold the egg whites into the yolk and mascarpone mix until smooth.  

Dunk four of the sponge fingers into the liqueur and break them into pieces.  Place these into two small dishes or cups (I’ve used small coffee cups) and divide half the cherries to go on top.  Top these with half of the mascarpone mixture and sprinkle over most of the chopped chocolate, saving a little chocolate for the garnish on top of the cups. 

Dip the remaining four sponge fingers in the liqueur and put these and the rest of the cherries into the dishes, then finish with the rest of the mascarpone mixture.  Smooth the tops, then use the remaining chocolate to decorate the tops.

Place in the fridge to chill for three to four hours to set.  

Present with pride to your loved one, or better still, be greedy and enjoy them both yourself. 

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

*you just have to wait

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