Try this traditional Italian dessert with a twist from Chocolate by Katelyn Williams, R380, from Human and Rousseau
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FOR THE ESPRESSO SYRUP
45g (90ml) castor sugar
375ml (1½ cups) freshly brewed, strong coffee
45ml (3T) grappa or coffee liqueur (optional)
FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL WHITE CHOCOLATE SAUCE
200g (250ml) white sugar
30ml (2Tt) water
80g (80ml) salted butter, at room temperature
125ml (½ cup) cream
100g good-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
sea salt flakes
FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE MASCARPONE MOUSSE
3 large eggs, at room temperature
4g gelatine sheets or 4 g (2,5 ml) powdered gelatine
100g (125ml) white sugar
60ml (½ cup) cold water
250ml (1 cup) fresh cream
250g (275ml) mascarpone
150g good-quality white chocolate, melted
24 store-bought finger biscuits
cocoa powder, for dusting
1. Make the espresso syrup by dissolving the sugar in the hot espresso, then allow to cool. Stir in the grappa and set aside to cool.
2. To make the white chocolate sauce, place the sugar in a small saucepan with the water and heat (without stirring) until melted and caramelised to a deep golden brown.
3. Add the butter and cream, and swirl to form a sauce. Add the white chocolate and a pinch of sea salt flakes. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
4. To make the mousse, beat the eggs with an electric mixer until pale and thick. The mixture should leave a trail – this is called the ribbon stage. Soften the gelatine sheets in water.
5. Prepare the sugar syrup by heating the sugar with the water until it dissolves. Bring to the boil until it reaches 121°C on a sugar thermometer.
6. Gradually add the hot syrup into the eggs while beating. Squeeze the water out of the softened gelatine and place it in the still-warm pot which had the sugar syrup in it. Allow it to melt then pour into the egg mixture. Whip until cool to the touch and thick, about 10 minutes.
7. In the meantime, gradually add the cream to the mascarpone until thick and smooth (take care not to overmix the mascarpone or it will split). Fold the cooled egg mixture into the mascarpone with the melted white chocolate.
8. To assemble, dust the bottom of a deep 22 x 28cm serving dish with cocoa powder. Dip the finger biscuits into the cooled espresso syrup and arrange on the bottom of the dish. Spread a third of the caramel sauce over the top, then dust with cocoa powder. Place half of the mascarpone mixture over, then dust again with cocoa powder, followed by a soaked finger biscuit layer, one-third of the caramel sauce and a layer of cocoa powder.
9. Place the remaining mousse in a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle and pipe blobs on top. Dust with cocoa powder, to finish. Serve with the remaining caramel sauce.
*COOK’S TIP: Tiramisu is best made the day before serving so that the flavours really develop.