Tag Archives: mascarpone

Trifle of poached pear, mascarpone and pistachio

Recently I bought a tray of Corella pears and I thought I’d turn them into a trifle.  I made it first thing in the morning to serve that evening, but even better make it the night before.  You’ll serve a good crowd of a dozen or more with this. The pear brandy I used was the German Weis, which is available in most bottle shops. Any left over syrup can be stored in the fridge and drizzled over ice cream or other fruit.

Poached pears
700g caster sugar
Thinly peeled rind of 1 orange
Thinly peeled rind and juice of 1 large lemon
2 cinnamon quills
2 star anise
1 vanilla bean split and seeds scraped
100ml Vin Santo or other dessert wine
10 small Corella pears, peeled, cored and quartered
2 tablespoons pear brandy

Combine sugar, rinds, lemon juice, spices, vanilla and 1 litre of water in a large enough pot, stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add the pears, cut a round of baking paper to fit the pot, place over the pears and weigh down with a plate and gently simmer until pears are tender (25 minutes or so). Remove pears from pot and set aside in a bowl.

Strain cooking liquid from the pot into a heavy based saucepan and simmer on medium high heat for about 40-45 minutes. Turn off the heat, add Vin Santo, stir, then allow to cool. Once cool mixture will thicken and should be a golden caramel coloured syrup. Stir in the pear brandy.

Mascarpone cream
500g mascarpone
2 tablespoons sifted icing sugar
2 egg yolks
350ml thickened cream
4 tablespoons pear brandy

Using at electric mixer, beat the eggs, icing sugar, mascarpone and brandy until combined. Add the cream and beat until thickened, be careful not to over whip.

Other ingredients
Half a packet or so of savoiardi biscuits
180g of natural pistachio nuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped or whole as desired

You’re now ready to assemble

peartrifle-1

Assembly
Place a layer of savoiardi on the bottom of your trifle dish.  At the bottom of the reserved bowl of pears there should be a little juice – drizzle a couple of tablespoons over the savoiardi. Then drizzle over some of the caramel syrup. Next add a layer of pears, drizzle over a little more syrup and then sprinkle over a third of the pistachios.

peartrifle-2

Then a layer of half the cream. Then again a layer of savoiardi, pear juice from bowl, syrup, pears, syrup, pistachios, cream and sprinkle remaining pistachios on top. Cover tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

peartrifle-4peartrifle-3

Trifle of almond crumble, mascarpone and fresh figs

This is a great individual dessert I make each Summer when figs are in season, though it would probably also work well with blueberries or strawberries. You can make the almond crumble a day ahead and store it in an airtight container. The mascarpone cream can also be made in the morning, then at serving time all you have to do is assemble. The number of figs will vary depending on the size of your glasses and the size of the figs!  Makes 8-10 depending on the size of your glasses.

Ingredients
4-6 fresh figs, sliced in 3mm slices

Almond crumble
200g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
200g pure icing sugar, sifted
200g plain flour
150g almond meal
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius fan forced. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add flour, salt and almond meal and combine with a spoon until it just comes together. Spread over a baking tray, roughly break up with a fork, and bake until golden (about 15-20 minutes), mixing roughly intermittently with a fork to get a crumble effect.  Allow to cool completely then store in an airtight container until ready to use.  If you have any crumble left over, it is great sprinkled over ice cream or  yoghurt.

almondcrumble

Mascarpone cream
5 eggs, separated
5 tbsp caster sugar
500g mascarpone
50ml brandy
50ml marsala

Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick and fluffy, then add mascarpone and beat at high speed. Stir in the brandy & marsala. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff, then gently fold whites into the mascarpone mixture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  You can try this with other alcohol combinations, I’ve also done brandy and Amaretto.

Assembly
In each trifle glass, put a layer of crumble, then a layer of mascarpone cream, then a layer of figs, and repeat.

almondfigtrifle

Today’s cake – classic tiramisu

Lots of people and restaurants claim to have ‘invented’ tiramisu, and who knows who is telling the truth.  What we do know is that it was an invention of the 60’s, along with audio cassettes, the beehive hairdo, and colour television.  Fast forward fifty odd years and we still predominantly use savoiardi, or lady finger biscuits, to make it but in the modern world there have been endless versions with berries, mango, yoghurt, and in the latest trend I’ve noticed in restaurants, “hot and cold tiramisu” (the last of which I recently had a delicious version of at Sarti in Melbourne).

The one below is classic in my mind.  My Mamma Rosa has always always made it with marsala, so that’s how I make it too. My cousin Concetta on the other hand uses Amaretto, and the method below is hers; Mamma Rosa has given me a couple of versions – one with a custard and cream (if you don’t like the thought of raw eggs, or are allergic, this is the way to go) and a ricotta one.  But whatever you use, like most Italian sweets, they are never complete without a splash of alcohol somewhere.  Tiramisu is great for a dinner party, because you can serve a crowd with it easily, but also you can make it the night before, or at least give it several hours before serving – many recipes say to leave it two or three hours, but I think you need at least twelve.

Once upon a time you could only get lady finger biscuits at Italian delis, but now the supermarkets stock them too. If you’re worried about the raw egg whites, use some cream instead. You can use a square, oval, or round dish, or you can even make it in individual glasses. So easy and so good!

Ingredients
6 eggs, separated
1 cup caster sugar
250 ml espresso coffee, chilled
150 ml marsala (or other preferred alcohol)
500g mascarpone
1 400g pack Saviordi biscuits
Cocoa or grated chocolate, for topping

Making it
1. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and caster sugar until thick and pale. Add the mascarpone, and beat till combined
2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold into the yolk and mascarpone mixture
3. Combine the marsala and coffee in a small flat dish of a suitable size for dunking the savoiardi. Put each biscuit in the liquid mixture just for a few seconds so that only half the biscuit is dunked (if you put it in too long it will collapse). Place the biscuit in your serving dish with the “undunked” side on the bottom. Repeat until you have covered your serving dish.  You may need to cut your biscuits in order for the dish to be covered.

tiramisu1_marked
4. Cover the layer of biscuits with half the mascarpone mixture. Then do another layer of dunked biscuits, then the other half of the cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve. You could also do it in individually served glasses or bowls.

tiramisu2_marked
5. Just before serving, dust with the cocoa or grated chocolate.

tiramisu3_marked

Today’s cake – Torta di Verona my way

DSC02545_marked

I love the Torta di Verona dessert at Buzo.  They haven’t published a recipe, so I thought I’d make it up.  I daresay they make their own pandoro, but I’m not that ambitious and buy it.  Consequently you can only make this around Christmas time when the pandoro arrives from Italy. I made this on Christmas Day, but prepared the blueberries and almonds the day before to make it easier; it got a big wrap. You’ll need one whole pandoro – I had a 1kg pandoro and used about three quarters of it.  Its unlikely the slices will fit your chosen bowl exactly so tear off pieces as needed to fill in gaps as you create the layers. Serves 8-10.

Blueberry Compote
250g blueberries
4 tbsp. water
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Put the water, sugar and lemon juice in a small pot and stir well to combine. Add the blueberries and cook over medium to low heat, until the blueberries soften but still have some shape. Set aside and allow to cool. Seal in a container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Sugared almonds
100g slivered almonds
1 tbsp. caster sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. amaretto (Italian liquor)
Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 150 degrees. In a bowl, combine the almonds, sugar and amaretto and stir well. Spread out on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place in oven until golden, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, dust generously with icing sugar, and allow to cool. Seal in an airtight container and refrigerate until read to use.

Mascarpone cream
5 eggs, separated
5 tbsp. caster sugar
500g mascarpone cheese
50ml marsala
80ml amaretto

In a bowl, whip egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until pale, then add the mascarpone and mix at high speed. Add the marsala and amaretto, then fold in egg whites.

Assembly
Slice the pandoro into 2cm slices. Remove the outer brown crust.
In a ceramic or glass dish, place 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture, top with a layer of pandoro, another layer of cream, another layer of pandoro, then a final layer of cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Using a serving spoon, serve a portion into a bowl. Top with a spoonful of blueberries, followed by a sprinkling of the almonds.