Every kid has their favorites, favorite movie, favorite book, favorite TV show . I don’t recall a lot of my favorite things when I was young but I do remember my top sweet: tiramisu. I loved how the layers of coffee, cream and ladyfingers were a perfect marriage. Although it is a very heavy dessert, the light texture makes it easy to eat an entire slice (which I admit can be dangerous!). Nowadays, I rarely have tiramisu but whenever I see it on the menu, a wave of nostalgia overcomes me. Today, I wanted to indulge in this dessert but decided to incorporate some bright flavors. Here is my version of the classic Italian sweet, strawberry rosewater tiramisu.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
The basic idea of a tiramisu is still found in this dessert with layers of ladyfingers and mascarpone cream. Instead of coffee, strawberry rose water compote is spread on the delicate cookies. Fresh strawberries are added into the mix to lighten up the tiramisu.
Start by preparing the mascarpone cream layer. Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese; it is thick and creamy by itself. To lighten it up, make a custard base. Whisk together the egg yolks with sugar and milk over medium heat. If the flames are too high, the eggs can scramble resulting in a chunky custard. Make sure to keep an eye on the mixture since it can boil over. Whisking constantly, cook the eggs until the custard has thickened.
Once cool, mix in the mascarpone cream. I can take a spoon and eat this mascarpone custard by itself.
Next, make the strawberry rose water compote. If you want to take the shortcut, simply add rose water syrup to prepared strawberry jam. Berries happen to be in season right now so I chose to take full advantage of the fresh fruit. Cook the strawberries with water and sugar to make the “sauce.” You don’t want to cook the mixture too long so that the liquid dissolves. It’s the liquid that will help moisten the ladyfingers and infuse the flavors into the cookies. The strawberry rose water compote can be prepared 2-3 days in advance.
Prepare the whipped cream and now it’s time for the fun part, assembling the tiramisu. You can prepare one large strawberry rosewater tiramisu or individual ones like I did.
Start with the ladyfingers followed by the strawberry rosewater compote, mascarpone cream, whipped cream and strawberries. Repeat. Chill the dessert for at least 4 hours to allow the dessert to set.
Are you ready for this? Grab a spoon and dig all the way to the bottom to get all of the layers. This strawberry rosewater tiramisu reminded me of an elegant English trifle. The creamy mascarpone with fresh berries and ladyfingers with strawberry rosewater was a party in my mouth.
Now if someone can bring me this tray of deliciousness every morning…
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