Mascarpone is a rich, creamy cheese originating from Lodi in the Lombardy region of Italy. It has a sweetened taste and is a classic ingredient in tiramisu.
- for the custard:
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 tblsp cornflour
- 3 tblsp caster sugar
- seeds scraped from ½ vanilla pod
- 300 ml milk
- 100 ml double cream
- for the poached raspberries:
- 300 ml red wine
- 75 g caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- seeds scraped from ½ vanilla pod (pod also retained)
- 350 g raspberries (plus extra to decorate)
- cocoa powder and sprigs of mint, to decorate
- for the rest of the tiramisu:
- 150 ml double cream
- 175 g white chocolate (grated)
- 500 g mascarpone cheese (at room temperature)
- 16 sponge fingers
- To make the custard, place the egg yolks in a large bowl with the cornflour, sugar and vanilla seeds. Whisk with an electric beater for a few minutes until pale and thickened. Place the milk and cream in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Gradually whisk the hot milk and cream into the egg mixture until smooth, then pour back into the pan and place over a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool a little.
- Meanwhile, place 2 tablespoons of the double cream in a small saucepan with half of the white chocolate and stir over a low heat for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk into the cooled custard. Allow to cool completely, then place a fresh piece of cling film on the surface, again to prevent a skin from forming.
- To poach the raspberries, place the red wine in a medium-sized saucepan with the sugar, cinnamon stick and vanilla seeds and pod and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until reduced by half and slightly thickened. Place the raspberries in a heatproof bowl and pour the wine mixture over them through a fine sieve, discarding the cinnamon stick and vanilla pod. Stir to combine and allow to cool.
- Whip the remaining cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks. When the custard is cold, whisk in the mascarpone cheese until completely smooth and then fold in the remaining grated white chocolate and the whipped cream until evenly mixed.
- Spoon the poached raspberries, reserving the liquid, into the base of eight 200ml (7fl oz) martini glasses, then arrange two sponge fingers in each glass, breaking them up as necessary to fit. Pour the raspberry liquid over and then spoon the white chocolate mixture on top to cover completely. Chill for 1 hour until set.
- Dust each white chocolate tiramisu liberally with cocoa powder and serve decorated with the extra raspberries and sprigs of mint.
Neven's tip: For a sophisticated touch, I like to serve this dessert in martini glasses, but you can always just layer it up in one large glass serving dish if you prefer.