Ciao Bellos and Bellas! I hope you all are in that awesomely sweet festive mood; I know I am. Every Christmas, I go overboard and make a chocolate version of pretty much every dessert known to man. To continue this tradition, today I present to you one of my favourite things in the world: my chocolate cranberry tiramisu.
It’s as hot as it sounds. Actually, it is even better. Yes, I have that much cho-confidence.
If this dessert was a woman, it would be the woman of your dreams, the woman that makes you happy while you have her, but leaves you heartbroken reminiscing about the good times as soon as she is gone, and for some reason you still come back for more.
Ain’t no sunshine when tiramisu is gone …
Tiramisu is an Italian dessert whose name means: “Tire moi vers le ciel”, which is French for pull me up the the heavens.
Why didn’t I just say it in English you say? I wanted to show off the fact that I speak French. Hehehe
I don’t want to give you a history lesson, so here is how I think tiramisu was invented.
I like to think that some guy was sitting in some coffee shop in Florence, or Milan, and just said with : “Giuseppe, I wanna have a coffee but I want a little bit of creamy pillowy stuff with it’ Imagine it with a thick Italian accent and you will be just as happy as I am thinking of that scenario.
We should build a monument for the guy who invented this. Humanity owes him big time.
Think about it — soft, silky vanilla flavoured cream, with lady finger cookies dipped in perfectly brewed espresso, all of it topped with some gorgeous cocoa powder.
You get all of this in one bite !!!
Now, like many desserts, tiramisu is very open to improvisation. As long as you keep the same technique and philosophy behind this marvelous thing, you can do pretty much anything you want with it.
My twist on it:
This is a very simple twist, yet very refreshing. Here we is my logic: during the holidays, we tend to eat more chocolate than we do anything else. Yes? And chocolate loves cranberries, so I arranged a romantic affair for the two.
I’m the flavour match maker.
Check it out,
I love mascarpone, but in my tiramisu I choose to make it with Philadelphia cream cheese. A tip that was given to me by old friends, Italian friends. I adopted it immediately for two simple reasons:
- Philly gives a cheesecake kind of taste which is tops in my books.
- Mascarpone is expensive and we are broke foodies, remember? Philly often goes on sale, mascarpone rarely does.
And the bonus reason is it’s not even close to being a compromise. It’s an actual improvement on the dessert.
When you are making tiramisu, there are a few things you need to know… First step is always to cream the (cream) cheese with the sugar. You will always end up with a thick consistency and that’s when you fold in your whipped cream and some flavour extract of your choice.
Secondly, always use Italian lady finger cookies; they are perfect for this. You can dip them in any liquor/coffee (and combination thereof) of your choice.
All you have to do now is lay down a layer of your dipped cookies, cover with cream and repeat. And that’s tiramisu in a nutshell.
Nothing complicated about it, if it was hard, Italians wouldn’t not have made it. They are people who love uncomplicated stuff that tastes amazing; you can see that in their cuisine. It’s all about making the ingredients shine and not the chef.
With that in mind, I hope you will make this with your family and loved ones, and hopefully it’ll turn into a Christmas tradition, like it has become for us.
Chocolate Cranberry Tiramisu
- 1 Pack of cream cheese. Full fat baby.
- 1 Cup of heavy whipping cream.
- 1 Tsp of vanilla extract.
- ½ Cup of raw cane sugar.
- 2 heaped Tbsp of raw cacao powder
- Italian lady fingers cookies.
- 1 Cup of cold espresso.
- 1 Cup of cranberries.
- 1/2 Cup of maple syrup.
- Some extra dark 85% chocolate shavings to garnish.
- Start by making your jam. On medium-low heat, cook down the cranberries and maple syrup until it looks like jam. It should take about 10-15 minutes maximum.
- Using a spatula, cream the sugar and cheese together until you get a thick consistency.
- Add vanilla extract, cacao and mix.
- Start whipping your cream until you get stiff peaks. Don’t over whip; you will turn it into butter.
- Fold your cream into the cheese mixture.
- Dip your cookies in the espresso for about 10 to 15 seconds and line them in a brownie tray.
- Once you formed the first layer of cookies, add a layer of cream.
- Add a layer of cranberry jam.
- Top with some cocoa powder.
- Repeat until you fill up your tray.
- Cover with aluminium foil and let it set for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Garnish with some dark chocolate shavings.
- Munch munch munch