Italia! Oh I’ve been excited about this one for a while. Italy is one of my most visited EU countries, and I adore it. As an art history student I fell in love with Italy through studying the Renaissance, and then kept going back for the food and the wine, and most importantly, the gelato. I could eat gelato every day given the chance. But I’ve also eaten a lot of tiramisu in my time too. There seem to be many different versions of tiramisu, with variable amounts of cream (none, to absolutely piled on), different liquers (kahlua, amaretto, marsala wine), grated chocolate or cocoa on top, or both.
This is a super quick, pared down recipe. I like it for these reasons, but also because I now know that in Italian there is a saying ‘brutto ma buono’ which means ‘ugly but good’, which is essentially my approach to baking (thanks Carluccio). It tastes better on the day after making, and it’s much easier to eat a lot of because it doesn’t have cream in it (a bonus in my opinion).
Italy marks the halfway point in this project. I have now baked cakes from 14 different countries, which means 14 to go. I thought there might be some kind of deal on the table for Brexit by now, but it’s actually costing us £500m a week to have achieved basically nothing. So who knows what will happen over the next 6 months. We can only hope it doesn’t get more disastrous.
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
175ml strong black coffee
1 tbsp coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
10-12 Savoiardi biscuits
1-2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Put the egg, sugar and vanilla sugar in a bowl and mix gently to a creamy consistency. Add the mascarpone and fold in to obtain a cream.
Put the coffee in a bowl with the coffee liqueur. Dip the biscuits for a second or two in the coffee mixture, letting them absorb just enough to keep firm but not falling apart. Starting with biscuits, arrange in four individual dishes alternating layers of biscuit and mascarpone. Dust with cocoa powder and put into the fridge to set and chill.