limoncello tiramisu
[or even guavaberry-lingonberry tiramisu]

Separately both tiramisu and limoncello found their way across the Atlantic from Italy near the end of the twentieth century. It was only a matter of time before they would eventually meet each other in this natural pairing on both sides of the ocean. We tried it once in an area restaurant appropriately named Limoncello, but never found the occasion to experiment with our own version. Finally at the suggestion of ms_ani, the team trained its cross-hairs on the target dish and, after the mandatory Google search, decided to stick with our basic successful bad egg recipe as much as possible (no uncooked egg components) and substitute the coffee soaking liquid by a simple diluted lemon syrup. Lidia's recipe was most convincing, so we went with a slightly altered version of her lemon dunking fluid.

We performed the experiment for a Friday evening meeting of friends away from home, so there was no chance to photograph the result the first time, but the compliments of many of the guests convinced us together with our own sampling that this one is to repeat. Not as heavy as cheesecake, but it delivers the message.

ingredients

mousse
4 egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
4 T  = 1/4 c limoncello liqueur
1 lb or 500g fresh mascarpone
1 c whipping cream
lemon dunking syrup
1 c water
1/4 c sugar
2 – 4 T limoncello liqueur
juice of 5 or 6 lemons
zest of 2 lemons
dunkees
250g ladyfingers (about 30) for a 10 in round springform pan
topping
serve with optional raspberries (our first choice), strawberry pieces or blueberries arranged on top of the cake or with each portion

instructions

  1. Separate 4 egg yolks from their whites and put the yolks in the top of a double boiler pot with the sugar and beat on high speed with electric beaters until they are light yellow.
  2. Add the limoncello and place the top in the bottom half of the double boiler already boiling away. Keep beating for about 10 minutes till it thickens and an instant read thermometer reads at least 160. Then transfer this zabaglione to a cool bowl, cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the creamy mixture and put in the freezer for rapid cool-down.
  3. For the dunking syrup, bring the water, sugar, limoncello, lemon zest and lemon juice to a boil and stir around a few minutes so the sugar dissolves. Let cool slightly or even longer while you prepare the mousse.
  4. Put a medium bowl and the beaters in the freezer to chill for at least 10 minutes. Then whip the cream using the cold bowl and beaters. Then beat the mascarpone a bit by hand until soft (not too much or it might lose its smoothness) and mix in the cooled zabaglione. Fold in the whipped cream so you don't lose the fluff.
  5. Assembly time. Trace the bottom of a 10 in diameter springform pan on parchment paper, cut out the round and put in the bottom of the spring form pan, inverted so that the rim is down. This helps for removal of the finished product if necessary later.
  6. Take each ladyfinger and dip in a shallow bowl with the strained dunking syrup sufficiently cooled. Roll it around quickly twice, then remove it and place in the pan. Make one layer. Cover with half the mascarpone mousse mixture. Repeat.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator at least 24 hours but preferably 48. It takes time for the flavors to mix between the mousse and soaked ladyfingers, which really takes longer than a day. Sure it's hard to wait that long but the sacrifice is worth making.
  8. Before serving, remove from the refrigerator so that it can soften up a bit. And decorate with those raspberries or strawberries or your choice of topping appropriate for a lemon base.

notes

  1. Lidia Bastianich's limoncello tiramisu.
  2. Previous tiramisu recipes: the early version, the gold standard, a strawberry variation, a pumpkin variation.
  3. On our second rendition, we did a half-recipe without overnight flavor maturing time, only 6 hours before serving. To compensate for the lack of timne for slow flavor invasion, bob perhaps dipped those ladyfingers a bit too long to soak up more fluid, so the result was a bit more lemony than we would have liked. Experiment here.
  4. We used raspberries, but strawberries will also work, even cut pieces in the middle layer.
  5. If limoncello can jump from cheesecake to tiramisu, perhaps guavaberry-lingonberry can make the same cross-over trip, with guavaberry liqueur in the zabaglione and lingonberries over the middle mousse layer. We'll keep you informed.
  6. Illustrations available.

guavaberry-lingonberry tiramisu

Why stop here? All these flavor choices are great for cheesecakes and  gelato and so why not tiramisu? Since our guavaberry-lingonberry cheesecake  is dr bob's personal favorite, it was the next logical choice for tiramisu translation. Just substitute guavaberry liqueur (ha! try getting your hands on that!) for the limoncello in the zabaglione mousse, and for the dipping sauce, well, when we discovered our lingonberry concentrate had gone way bad from aging years in the cupboard, we just put 4 T of the guavaberry liqueur in the dunking syrup omitting the lemon juice and zest (maybe next time we will forget the sugar, since the mousse is sweet enough surrounding the ladyfingers). Once the first layer of mousse was laid down over the lower ladyfinger layer, smaller than level teaspoon quantities were dropped around evenly, say about 1/3 c altogether, just enough to give contrast without overwhelming the delicate guavaberry mousse. Then the remaining ladyfinger layer and mousse layer were laid down.

We will be doing this again after guests gave really positive feedback to confirm our own reaction to the final product. [Confirmed a second time! Yummo!] Somehow we will have to renew our supply of the guavaberry liqueur. Anyone going on vacation to St Martin from the Philly area?

Since guavaberry liqueur is definitely out of reach for most of you, just blend together 1/4 c of lingonberry preserves with 1/2 c rum to use in the mousse and dunking syrup below. Or consider substituting the raspberry liqueur Chambord for the guavaberry liqueur, and let us know how it goes. You won't regret the experiment. Maybe we'll even get around to it. One of these days.

ingredients

mousse
4 egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
4 T  = 1/4 c guavaberry liqueur [or 1/4 c rum blended with 1/8 c lingonberry preserves, or Chambord]
1 lb or 500g fresh mascarpone
1 c whipping cream
red dunking syrup
1 c water
4 T =  1/4 c guavaberry  liqueur  [or 1/4 c rum blended with 1/8 c lingonberry preserves, or Chambord]
dunkees
250g ladyfingers (about 30) for a 10 in round springform pan
lingonberries
1/3 c lingonberry preserves
topping
serve with optional raspberries (our first choice), strawberry pieces or blueberries arranged on top of the cake or with each portion

instructions

  1. Separate 4 egg yolks from their whites and put the yolks in the top of a double boiler pot with the sugar and beat on high speed with electric beaters until they are light yellow.
  2. Add the liqueur and place the top in the bottom half of the double boiler already boiling away. Keep beating for about 10 minutes till it thickens and an instant read thermometer reads at least 160. Then transfer this zabaglione to a cool bowl, cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the creamy mixture and put in the freezer for rapid cool-down.
  3. For the dunking syrup, bring the water, sugar and liqueur to a boil and stir around a few minutes so the sugar dissolves. Let cool slightly or even longer while you prepare the mousse.
  4. Put a medium bowl and the beaters in the freezer to chill for at least 10 minutes. Then whip the cream using the cold bowl and beaters. Then beat the mascarpone a bit by hand until soft (not too much or it might lose its smoothness) and mix in the cooled zabaglione. Fold in the whipped cream so you don't lose the fluff.
  5. Assembly time. Trace the bottom of a 10 in diameter springform pan on parchment paper, cut out the round and put in the bottom of the spring form pan, inverted so that the rim is down. This helps for removal of the finished product if necessary later.
  6. Take each ladyfinger and dip in a shallow bowl with the dunking syrup sufficiently cooled. Roll it around quickly twice, then remove it and place in the pan. Make one layer. Cover with half the mascarpone mousse mixture.
  7. Drop small spoonfuls (1 t) of lingonberry preserves around the surface, then marble them into the mousse slightly.
  8. Barely cover with 1/2 the remaining mousse and then sparingly drop smaller spoonfuls, say 1/3 t, around the surface and slightly marble. Then cover completely with the remaining mousse. Or just skip the lingonberries here.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the refrigerator at least 24 hours. It takes time for the flavors to mix between the mousse and soaked ladyfingers, which really takes longer than a day. Sure it's hard to wait that long but the sacrifice is worth making.
  10. Before serving, remove from the refrigerator so that it can soften up a bit. And decorate with those raspberries or strawberries or your choice of topping appropriate for a lemon base.

notes

  1. We tried this a month later in Rome but failed to get to IKEA for the lingonberry preserves. Instead we managed to find cranberry preserves from Castroni to substitute for their cousins the lingonberries. And we picked up a small bottle of some wierd overly sweet red rum mixture for pasticceria applications to substitute for the liqueur. In spite of bob's dislike for the rum product, the dessert was a smashing success. We had some excess mousse left over and so made a little plastic container full to freeze, and enjoyed it again a few weeks later. This is way better than the limoncello version, no matter how hard you try to screw it up.
  2. One of our friends came to the rescue with another bottle of guavaberry liqueur returning from a Christmas cruise, so we tried this again but in a smaller version with a 250g mascarpone but the full zabaglione recipe in an 8 inch springform pan with only 14 ladyfingers (all we had left) and 3/4 c cream, but it was a bit too sweet; we should have cut the zabaglione in half to let the nonsweet mascarpone balance it out.
  3. Illustrations available.
tiramisulmclo.htm: 23-jan-2011 [what, ME cook? 1984 dr bob enterprises]