Some of you know that I entered a recipe in the Food52 weekly contest. I didn't win. That's ok, I wasn't expecting to - but I did get an "editors pick" and that is as good a prize as any in my book. One note I did get was that the sugar can be reduced - and I'm all for that idea! So, lest the recipe ever get lost on the internet or otherwise, I'm publishing it here, for you to see, reference and read. If you end up making it (or any of my recipes for that matter) let me know what you loved (or didn't) - I would really like to know!
Fig and Cardamom Spiced Tiramisu
While this isn't a traditional tiramisu, per say, as I omitted alcohol and eggs (so that my daughter could enjoy it and any nasty salmonella issues might be thwarted), it still holds true to the core tenants of tiramisu. I opted for dried figs and ground cardamom over other options as I felt they were easiest to find for the majority of cooks.
The fig and cardamom add a nice depth and a slightly savory backdrop for the otherwise purely sweet dessert. Coupled with shavings of an excellent quality dark chocolate on top I think you'll find this both lighter and more intensely flavorful that many tiramisu recipes.
SERVES AT LEAST 6
- 1 cup dried figs
- 4 tablespoons reserved liquid from soaking dried figs (see Instructions Step 1)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound mascarpone cheese (2 8-ounce containers)
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom (plus a few dashes reserved for finishing)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cups confectioners/powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh-brewed espresso or strong coffee
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Cookies and Topping:
- 36-40 pieces ladyfingers aka savoiardi (hard cookie version, not soft)
- 1-2 ounce excellent quality dark/bittersweet chocolate
- Whipped cream (optional)
- As much as 24 hours prior to making tiramisu place dried figs in a heat proof container (a jar works fine). Pour boiling or very hot water over and soak for at least one hour until puffed up and rehydrated. If soaking overnight: cover and refrigerate.
- Chopped soaked figs into quarters and blend in a food processor with 4 tablespoons of the liquid reserved from soaking.
- For the filling: Combine pulverized figs, vanilla extract, mascarpone cheese, ground cardamom, ground cinnamon, heavy cream and confectioners sugar in a medium-large bowl. Combine well then beat (with a whisk by hand or with a blender) until stiffened - to a soft peak.
- In a separate bowl: combine espresso (while hot) with heavy cream and sugar for the soak. Stir well to dissolve sugar.
- Working in small batches quickly toss ladyfinger cookies in the soaking liquid. The cookies do not need to become softened or else they will quickly fall apart - simply place in the soak, roll over and then place into the bottom or a trifle or baking dish. Line the entire bottom of you dish with soaked cookies.
- If you are working with a larger dish spread half of the filling over the cookies. If working with a smaller dish or trifle container, use a third of your filling.
- Place another layer of soaked ladyfinger cookies over the filling. Again, spread filling over cookies. Repeat layering until complete.
- Finish with a final layer of cream filling, a hearty helping of shredded chocolate*, an a few dashes of ground cardamom. To shred chocolate if it is in a bar form: Can be accomplished with a grater, microplaner, or even a potato peeler. Optional but recommended: Add a layer of whipped cream before shredded chocolate & cardamom. Fresh whipped is preferred (whip 1 cup cream until stiffened, add a tablespoon or so of confectioners sugar until sweetened to your taste)
- Chill thoroughly and enjoy!