There is nothing that tastes more like Italy than a classic tiramisu. And no other dessert (OK, few other desserts) has inspired a range of adaptions as varied as has tiramisu. With summer fast approaching here in Europe, I am definitely looking for a version that includes a heavy dose of fresh strawberries.
The classic coffee-flavoured dessert is said to have originated in Treviso sometime around 1800. And whilst it was a long-time local favourite, the first known recipe of tiramisu printed in a book only appeared during the 1980s. However, from there is has taken off to become a favourite around the world.
I am all for a classic tiramisu. Nevertheless, overtime a large range of variations have appeared and once the temperatures are rising, I love the idea to substitute the coffee-flavoured version with a fruit-heavy version.
So with 21st of May officially being ‘strawberries and cream day’ who would I be not to whip up a fruity strawberry and coconut tiramisu? Plus it’s the perfect food to devour while planning a trip to Italy, which is definitely on top of my future travel list.
Both the original tiramisu recipe and this variation ask for mascarpone. Mascarpone is a traditional Italian soft cheese which differently to other cheeses is not directly made from milk but from cream. It is thickened by adding either vinegar, lemon juice or citrus acid. It is used particularly for desserts but also works very well with savoury dishes.
Unfortunately, Mascarpone is not easily available everywhere. In case you can’t find it where you life, there are alternatives, however. Mascarpone can be replaced with other cream cheese, fresh ricotta or heavy dessert cream.
Recipe: Strawberry-coconut tiramisu
500 g fresh strawberries
50 ml orange juice
50 ml coconut liqueur
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons coconut flakes
500 g Mascarpone
2 tablespoons sugar
juice from ½ lemon
50 g white chocolate
150 ml heavy cream
100 g ladyfinger cookies
Wash and clean strawberries. Put aside a handful for garnishing, cut the rest into small pieces.
In a blender, combine 100 g of the strawberries, orange juice and coconut liqueur. Blend until obtaining a smooth puree.
In a saucepan without oil, roast the coconut flakes until they take on a slight brownish-golden colour. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix mascarpone, vanilla extract, sugar and lemon juice until smooth.
Whip the heavy cream stiff, add the coarsely chopped white chocolate, 2 tablespoons of the coconut flakes. Add to the mascarpone mixture and lightly stir to combine. Finally, add the strawberries cut into small pieces and carefully combine.
Line a large dessert bowl or four small bowls with half of the ladyfinger cookies. Coat the cookies with half of the strawberry puree. Distribute half of the mascarpone mixture over the cookies. Top with the remaining ladyfinger cookies, coat with the remaining strawberry puree and top up with the remaining mascarpone mixture.
Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Before serving, garnish with the remaining strawberries and coconut flakes.