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WanderSups: Nothing says I love you like tiramisu

“Isn’t that what Valentine’s is all about? Showing the person you love how much you care through giving up a portion of your time to make them slightly rounder?” Velvet’s resident recipe writer, Hannah Gregory, serves up her signature Limoncello Tiramisu

Amalfi (54107743)
Amalfi (54107743)

In my humble opinion, nothing says I love you like food that resurrects a memory of a special trip. Well, maybe recreating the trip with surprise flights and an unexpected week away says ‘I

love you’ with a bit more oomph, but the year is 2022, surprise trips are a thing of the past - insert crying emoji here.

On a trip to the Amalfi coast many moons ago, my then-partner and I discovered, some may say, an unhealthy addiction to Limoncello - what do you mean a bottle per day is too much?! Since that trip I made it my mission to create something with Limoncello every Valentine’s Day to conjure up memories of one of our favourite trips together. In hindsight, I probably could have just whacked a bottle of the stuff in the freezer and been done with it, but where’s the fun in that?

Of the many lemony inventions, this was the stand-out winner, combining two of Italy’s finest exports (IMO): tiramisu and this GAWG-eous lemon liquor. The aforementioned partner is a thing of the past, but this dessert still gets gobbled on the reg and has more recently been having a whirl around private dining clients. Further proving my theory: you can gain good things from bad relationships.

Limoncello (54107745)
Limoncello (54107745)

In this recipe I have balanced the sharp lemon with creamy white chocolate - as always, buy the best quality you can afford; no Milky Bars here please and thanks - and topped it with yuzu pearls that are available online and add a fun element to the dish. The lemon curd does take a bit of elbow grease, but the result is totally worth it so pop on a playlist, or a podcast if you’re that way inclined, pour yourself a glass of Limoncello (it helps with the stirring - fact) and get going.

This tiramisu is much lighter than its more traditional counterpart and is perfect for those who aren’t huge coffee drinkers but still want a taste of Italy.

There are a few elements to this dish and you will need to begin the day before or early doors of the day you want to eat it to allow things to cool and set but that is the beauty: it takes time and care and isn’t that what Valentine’s is all about? Showing the person you love how much you care for them through giving up a portion of your time to make them slightly rounder?

You will also need two sheets of acetate (I get mine from a stationery shop) or you could swap out the choc layer for grated choc - but who doesn’t love a chocolate layer? You know that crunch

you get in a Vienetta? That’s what I’m talking about.

Limoncello Tiramisu

Hannah Gregory's Limoncello Tiramisu (54107744)
Hannah Gregory's Limoncello Tiramisu (54107744)

Serves: 6

Tipple of choice: Chilled Limoncello - obvs

What you need:

For the joconde sponge:

● 3 egg whites (keep the yolks for your pate a bombe and curd, you will use more yolks than whites but you can freeze the whites and use at a later date)

● 15g caster sugar

● 100g ground almonds

● 100g icing sugar whisked

● 3 eggs

● 30g plain flour

● 30g unsalted butter melted

For the lemon curd:

● 10 large organic egg yolks

● 300g golden caster sugar

● 200ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

● Zest of 4 lemons

● 50ml yuzu juice

● 180g unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature

● 2 tbsp Limoncello

For the pate a bombe cream mix:

● 2 egg yolks

● 35ml water

● 40g sugar

● 375g mascarpone

● 150ml whipping cream

● A bottle of Limoncello (you do not need a whole bottle but it is lovely to serve a shot with the dessert and keep the rest in the freezer)

● 75g good quality white chocolate (reserve a few squares to grate over at the end)

● 100g sponge fingers, preferable Savoiardi

● Yuzu pearls to garnish (optional)

How you do it:

1. Heat the oven to 220°C.

2. Whilst the oven is heating, crack on with the lemon curd: in a heatproof bowl whisk all the curd ingredients except the butter. Place over a pan of simmering water and stir with a wooden spoon until thickened, or the mixture reaches 82°C on a sugar thermometer. I’m not sure of the science here but sometimes this has taken me 20 minutes, sometimes it has taken 45 - you just need to pray to the curd gods and hope for the best.

3. After the curd reaches temp, remove from the heat and slowly stir in the butter a cube at a time until melted and all the butter has been incorporated.

4. Pass the mix through a sieve into a clean bowl, stir through the Limoncello and cover the surface with cling film (the film needs to sit on the surface to avoid skin issues). Pop in the fridge until you are ready to assemble.

5. Make your thin chocolate layer. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. Place one sheet of acetate on the worktop. When the chocolate is thoroughly melted, pour it over the acetate, placing another layer on top. Gently move the chocolate around to create a thin layer between the sheets. Put a chopping board or something weighted on top to get the chocolate as thin as possible. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

6. Remove from the freezer and trim to the size of the serving dish you are using. Do this by placing the dish on the chocolate, using a warm knife to run around the edge of the serving dish. Carefully discard (or eat) the trimmings and place the chocolate sheet in

the fridge till ready to use.

7. Next up is the sponge. Grease and line a Swiss roll tin or a shallow baking tray.

8. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks.

9. Add in the caster sugar in increments ensuring all is incorporated and dissolved after each addition. Your egg whites should be thick and glossy.

10. In a separate bowl whisk the ground almonds, icing sugar and whole eggs until doubled in volume.

11. Fold in the flour.

12. Fold in the whisked egg whites in increments making sure each addition is fully incorporated.

13. Drizzle the melted butter down the side of the bowl and gently fold in.

14. Pour the batter into the prepared tray, tap on the side to help it along and use a palette knife to smooth the top of it.

15. Bake in the oven for 7 minutes until golden and springy to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

16. Now the pate a bombe. First place the sugar and water in a small pan and bring to the boil.

17. Whilst that is doing its thing, whisk the egg yolks until thick and creamy in a stand mixer.

18. Slowly add in the sugar syrup in a steady stream and keep whisking on high until the mix is light, foamy and voluminous and the bowl of the mixer is completely cool.

19. In a separate bowl whisk the mascarpone and cream until combined.

20. Add the pate a bombe half at a time, folding with a spatula to ensure combined.

21. Transfer the mix to a piping bag and chill in the fridge.

22. Lay your sponge fingers on a tray and drizzle over a healthy glug of Limoncello, turning your fingers to ensure even coverage. You don’t want them to go super soggy so don’t let them swim.

To assemble:

1. Trim the jaconde sponge to the shape of your serving dish(es).

2. Place in the bottom and then using a pastry brush, paint over the Limoncello - use as much or as little as you like here.

3. Allow this to soak in and then spoon over an even layer of curd.

4. Pipe over the cream mix in a thick layer.

5. Top the cream with the soaked sponge fingers.

6. Next place the white chocolate layer.

7. Top with another layer of curd.

8. Pipe on the final layer of cream mix, smoothing with a palette knife.

9. Grate over the reserved white chocolate and spoon on some yuzu pearls if using.

10. Leave to set for at least six hours.

A former BBC MasterChef quarter finalist, Hannah hosts WanderSups supper clubs, “serving meals created with love, inspired by journeys around the world, dished up on home turf”. Her ethos is simple - have fun, enjoy it, make it an occasion. To find out more follow @WanderSups or visit wandersups.com

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