Magic Mayo Moist Chicken Breasts

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This Magic Mayo Moist chicken breasts recipe is a variation, with variations, of a generic Mayo Chicken Breast recipe that’s been around since the 60’s.  It is moist, versatile, full of flavour, moist, and best of all, easy to make! Did I say that Magic Mayo Moist Chicken is moist?  Did I say that Magic Mayo Moist Chicken is easy and versatile?  You betcha! Magic Mayo Moist Chicken is perfect for a stress-free dinner party, too – prepare ahead, leave in the fridge until you put the oven on to preheat, put into the oven when ready! MAGIC!

Magic Mayo Moist chicken breasts, ready to eat – note the moisture on the lower right

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup good egg mayonnaise (use plain Greek yogurt in place of the mayo, for a healthier option, or half and half)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (halve recipe for 2 people)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ -1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or Italian, or your choice)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Optional: ½ cup mozzarella, sprinkle planko or other crumbs)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise (or yogurt if substituting), cheese, and the seasonings of your choice (other options below)..
  2. Preheat oven to 160 deg C (375 deg F)..
  3. Put the chicken breasts into a baking dish, tucking thin ends underneath.
  4. Spread the mayo mixture evenly on top of each chicken breast, sprinkle with crumbs, if using.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven, for about 35-45 minutes,  or until cooked through. (test wuth skewer for clear juices from thickest part.
  6. Serve warm, with noodles, potatoes or similar, plus a salad.

Autumn’s Culinary TIPS:

Experimenting with the basic recipe is fun – here’s some ideas

  1. Try using the mayo mix on thick fish fillets.
  2. Slice the chicken through the middle from the side and slide in a big slice of ham with a little Mozzarella por cheddar cheese for a different taste.
  3. You can switch the mayo for Greek yoghurt or lite mayo, the seasonings for BBQ or other seasonings.
  4. Other things you can add, or sub for original seasoning:

– Finely zested lemon or orange zest.

– finely chopped fresh herbs ( a little basil or thyme is great)

– a little chilli, or even some sweet chilli sauce

– some seasoned breadcrumbs (wholemeal or Planko are great)

  1. As well as the parmesan, add 1/4 – ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese.
  2. Try adding some bacon (chopped small) on top, about 3/4 the way through cooking.
  3. A great, easy side dish is thin egg noodles cooked to al dente, drained, and then some butter, garlic cloves, and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top! Delicious and simple .  Salads are great, too.
  4. What great ideas can YOU come up with?

Magic Mayo Moist chicken breasts, ready for the oven

Magic Mayo Moist Chicken Breasts
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken, Dinner, Celebration, Mains
Cuisine: Inernational
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Magic Mayo Moist chicken breasts is a variation, with variations, of a generic Mayo Chicken Breast recipe that’s been around since the 60’s. It is moist, versatile, full of flavour, moist, and best of all, easy to make!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup good egg mayonnaise (use plain Greek yogurt in place of the mayo, for a healthier option, or half and half)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (halve recipe for 2 people)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ -1 teaspoon seasoning salt (or Italian, or your choice)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Optional: ½ cup mozzarella, sprinkle planko or other crumbs)
Method
  1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise (or yogurt if substituting), cheese, and the seasonings of your choice (other options below)..
  2. Preheat oven to 160 deg C (375 deg F)..
  3. Put the chicken breasts into a baking dish, tucking thin ends underneath.
  4. Spread the mayo mixture evenly on top of each chicken breast, sprinkle with crumbs, if using.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven, for about 35-45 minutes, or until cooked through. (test wuth skewer for clear juices from thickest part.
  6. Serve warm, with noodles, potatoes or similar, plus a salad.
  7. Autumn's Culinary TIPS: Experimenting with the basic recipe is fun – here’s some ideas
  8. Try using the mayo mix on thick fish fillets.
  9. Slice the chicken through the middle from the side and slide in a big slice of ham with a little
  10. Mozzarella or cheddar cheese for a different taste.
  11. You can switch the mayo for Greek yoghurt or lite mayo, the seasonings for BBQ or other seasonings.
  12. Other things you can add, or sub for original seasoning:
  13. - Finely zested lemon or orange zest.
  14. - finely chopped fresh herbs ( a little basil or thyme is great)
  15. - a little chilli, or even some sweet chilli sauce
  16. - some seasoned breadcrumbs (wholemeal or Planko are great)
  17. As well as the parmesan, add ¼ – ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese.
  18. Try adding some bacon (chopped small) on top, about ¾ the way through cooking.
  19. A great, easy side dish is thin egg noodles cooked to al dente, drained, and then some butter, garlic cloves, and Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top! Delicious and simple . Salads are great, too.
  20. What great ideas can YOU come up with?

 

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Pineapple, Pumpkin, Passionfruit and Apricot Jam.

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Pssst, fancy something different, not too sweet, and VERY tangy and tasty on your morning toast?  You certainly can’t go past this easy-to-make, unusual Pineapple, Pumpkin, Passionfruit and Apricot Jam.  It looks good, and tastes even better!  Don’t use the pale, tiny, insipid dried apricots, though – this is worth lashing out on large deep orange dried apricots.

Pumpkin in jam?  Ask you mother or grandmother what they did during WW11,and the years of austerity after that! Put it this way – a friend in Dunedin said to me “I keep seeing trucks go into that preserves factory – and they’re full of swedes and pumpkins! There’s no swede jam around, is there?”

So I told her, and now you’ll know.   Swede and pumpkin have a certain natural sweetness to them, have the quality of going transparent when boiled, and are excellent as a “filler” for more expensive fruits in jams.

By the way, this jam tastes almost like tropical fruit salad (well, it would, wouldn’t it?) and apricots – totally yummy, and I usually double the recipe as everyone wants some!

Unusual, easy and very tangy – the Pineapple, Pumpkin, Passionfruit and Apricot Jam

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Ingredients

250g dried apricots chopped (big fat dark orange ones)

3.5 – 4 cups water

400g chopped pumpkin (approx 3 cups finely diced, even better – GRATED!)

1 kg jam setting sugar (or white sugar)

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup passionfruit pulp (or substitute with a small can of crushed pineapple)

OR add BOTH – I do!

Method

Soak chopped apricots in water overnight in a large pot.

In the same water and pot, boil the apricots and pumpkin for 20 minutes.

Add the jam setting sugar (or white sugar) and boil for 25 minutes.

Add lemon juice and passionfruit pulp, and pineapple.
Boil for 5 minutes.

Bottle while hot in sterilised jars. Cover when cold.

Pineapple, Pumpkin, Passionfruit and Apricot Jam.
Author: 
Recipe type: Preserves, Vegetarian, Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Fancy something different, not too sweet, and VERY tangy and tasty on your morning toast?  You certainly can't go past this easy-to-make, unusual Pineapple, Pumpkin, Passionfruit and Apricot Jam.  It looks good, and tastes even better!
Ingredients
  • 400g chopped pumpkin (approx 3 cups very finely diced, or just grated)
  • 250g dried apricots chopped or finely cut into strips with scissors
  • 3,5-4 cups water
  • 1 kg Jam setting sugar (or white sugar)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup passionfruit pulp (or substitute with a small can of crushed pineapple)
  • (Or add both - I do!)
Method
  1. Soak chopped apricots in water overnight, in a large pot.
  2. In the same water boil the apricots and pumpkin for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the jam setting sugar, or white sugar
  4. Boil for another 25 minutes. Add lemon juice and passionfruit.
  5. Boil for 5 minutes.
  6. Bottle while hot in sterilised jars.
  7. Cover when cold.

The original came from Chelsea Sugar NZ, but has been altered to suit my taste.

 

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TURKISH MANDARIN CAKE – easy, exotic, delicious!

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This recipe for TURKISH MANDARIN CAKE always transports me back in my memory to a hot Autumn day on the Turkish coast near Ephesus, looking out to the sea and seated at a little hole-in-the-wall cafe, eating a cake like this one.   But here I am, late Winter in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, and it’s the aroma of this TURKISH MANDARIN CAKE that’s making the memories come alive.  This cake is divine – moist, exotic and suitable for an afternoon tea or a sumptuous dessert.  And yet, it’s sooooo easy to make – all done in the bowl of a kitchen food processor!

The cooked cake, after the syrup is poured over, and the segments arranged -but the cake is still in the paper-lined tin, to allow the syrup to soak in well.

There have been some frosts this winter, but all the local gardens have an abundance of citrus fruits:  limes, lemons, grapefruit, tangelos and mandarins and it’s the mandarins I was given that I used for this cake.  You’ll love it.  It’s easy, exotic, and delicious!

I hope you got the most important things?

  • it’s EASY
  • it’s exotic
  • it’s delicious
  • you’ll love it!

And yes, I’ve been busy, and I still have that Dulce de Leche cake to do for you, so here’s this TURKISH MANDARIN CAKE to tempt you, and another post giving a peek at some of the cake decorating I’ve been doing.. in my “spare” time!

TURKISH MANDARIN CAKE

Cake

4    mandarins (such as Satsumas), simmered for 30 minutes, then cooled and chopped into chunks

3    large eggs

1    teaspoon Heilala vanilla extract

1/2   cup plain greek-style yoghurt

50 gm  melted butter

2/3rd cup sugar

1 + 1/2 cup plain flour

2 teaspoons  baking powder

1/4 cup poppy seeds

Syrup/candied segments for decoration

3 mandarins (such as satsumas), juiced and zested

1/2 cup good honey

2  mandarins (such as satsumas), carefully segmented, with all pith removed.

Method:

Preheat an oven to 160C (325 F). Grease and line the bottom of a 22cm cake tin with a removable bottom.

Put the chopped mandarins into a kitchen food processor, and pulse until they are a smooth pulpy consistency.

Add the eggs, vanilla, yoghurt, butter and sugar, pulsing again until well combined.

Add the flour, baking powder and poppy seeds, pulsing very briefly to combine.

Gently ladle the mixture into your tin, smooth the top and bake for 40-45 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean).

Turkish Mandarin Cake, cooked and making skewer holes for the syrup to soak into.

Make the syrup and candied segments:

To make the syrup, place the juice, zest and honey in a saucepan or a frying pan.

Melt the honey and bring to a simmer. Place the mandarin segments into the mixture and gently simmer until they are sticky and glossy, and the syrup is thickening,

The mandarin segments simmering in the syrup

Remove the segments with a slotted spoon, and place onto a piece of baking paper.

Use a thin skewer to make multiple holes all over the cake, right through to the base.

With the remaining syrup pour over the cake in the tin while the cake is still warm.

The divinely exotic Turkish Mandarin Cake, ready to serve

Serve with in slices, with yoghurt or lightly whipped cream on the side, or serve as a dessert, with ice cream.

TURKISH MANDARIN CAKE
Author: 
Recipe type: cake, dessert
Cuisine: International - Turkish, Mediterranian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
This Turkish Mandarin Cake is moist, it's EASY,  it's exotic, it's delicious, and suitable for afternoon teas or for dessert - you'll love it!
Ingredients
  • Cake
  • 4 mandarins (such as Satsumas), simmered for 30 minutes, then cooled and chopped into chunks
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Heilala vanilla extract
  • ½ cup plain greek-style yoghurt
  • 50 gm melted butter
  • ⅔rd cup sugar
  • 1 + ½ cup plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds
  • Syrup/candied segments for decoration:
  • 3 mandarins (such as satsumas), juiced and zested
  • ½ cup good honey
  • 2 mandarins (such as satsumas), carefully segmented, with all pith removed.
Method
  1. Preheat an oven to 160C (325 F). Grease and line the bottom of a 22cm cake tin with a removable bottom.
  2. Put the chopped mandarins into a kitchen food processor, and pulse until they are a smooth pulpy consistency.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla, yoghurt, butter and sugar, pulsing again until well combined.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and poppy seeds, pulsing very briefly to combine.
  5. Gently ladle the mixture into your tin, smooth the top and bake for 40-45 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean).
  6. To make the syrup, place the juice, zest and honey in a saucepan or a frying pan.
  7. Melt the honey and bring to a simmer. Place the mandarin segments into the mixture and gently simmer until they are sticky and glossy, and the syrup is thickening,
  8. The mandarin segments simmering in the syrup
  9. Remove the segments with a slotted spoon, and place onto a piece of baking paper.
  10. * Use a thin skewer to make multiple holes all over the cake, right through to the base.
  11. * With the remaining syrup pour over the cake in the tin while the cake is still warm.
  12. * Serve with in slices, with yoghurt or lightly whipped cream on the side, or serve as a dessert, with ice cream.

 

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TIRAMISU – the Italian coffee trifle

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The Italian coffee trifle known as TIRAMISU is a coffee lover’s delight, rich and coffee-creamy, with a touch of alcohol like all good trifles, and has a myriad of recipes.  This is my TIRAMISU,  derived from many sources, close to the traditional, but with some allowances and adaptations.  And I learned to make my own MASCARPONE cheese to indulge myself – I posted the recipe last night.

I’ll never forget my first taste of TIRAMISU in Italy, in a small taverna on one side of the famous Piazza Navona, sandwiched between the Vatican and the Spanish Steps and my favourite building ever, the Pantheon, in Rome.   The luscious coffee-custardy dessert was like nothing I’d ever experienced before, and I made rather a pig of myself, I’m afraid.  Let’s just say I didn’t stop at one, and leave it at that!

Tiramisu (and one of 2 gift ones), ready to serve. The top cream layer isn’t distinct, but it’s there, with it’s grated chocolate. Oh, trust me – it’s there!

Making a Tiramisu at home, from scratch, takes time, but it’s easy if you take it in stages – and read the recipe right through first!.  First make the zabaglione, add the mascarpone, cool, and add the cream.   Then prepare the coffee-Marsala mix.  Then with those two in front of you, dip the Savoiardi sponge fingers into one, place in dish, cover with the zabaglione-mascarpone mix, and you’re well on the way.

I make mine the day before needed, and top with extra cream and the chocolate topping just before serving.

My Tiramisu – made at home, from scratch, and YOU can do it, too.

My TIRAMISU – the Italian coffee trifle

Makes at least 10 servings – not including the two small “gift” ones…..

INGREDIENTS:

250 ml (1 cup) brewed espresso or very strong coffee, at room temperature

125 ml (1/2 cup) dry Marsala wine  (divided into 2 equal quantities)*

3-4 teaspoons Heilala vanilla extract or paste

5-6 large egg yolks  (freeze the whites in 2 lots, for sponges, pavlova, etc)

125 ml (1/2 cup) granulated sugar (divided into 2 equal quantities)

450-500 gm (14-16 ounces) mascarpone cheese

350 ml (1.5 cups) whipping or heavy cream

30-50 Savoiardi Italian ladyfingers (keep the leftovers in an airtight container)

Topping:

125 ml (1/2 cup) whipping or heavy cream

1 Tablespoon icing sugar

1/2 teaspoon Heilala vanilla paste or extract

50-60 gm (2 oz) dark chocolate (grated) or hot chocolate powder or cocoa powder for dusting

* You can use an alternative to Marsala wine, but it won’t be quite the same.  Suitable alternatives are sherry, brandy and or liqueurs.  In fact, when I do a chocolate version of Tiramisu for non-coffee loving friends, I use a mixture of  hot chocolate, brandy and a chocolate liqueur, such as Creme de Cacao.  Kahlua is nice with the coffee version, too

METHOD:

Make the Zabaglione-mascapone custard filling:

In a small stainless steel bowl that will fit over a pot (or a double boiler), whisk the egg yolks,  half the Marsala and half the sugar.  Place the bowl over a pot of just-simmering water, with about 25 mm (1 inch) between the bottom of the bowl and the hot water.

Whisking over simmering water, to cook, and increase the volume of the egg mix

Beat with a whisk (great arm workout, guys and gals!), or a hand beater, or an electric hand-held mixer, until the mixture is tripled in volume, which will take from 4 to 8 minutes.

The zabaglione ready – see how thick it is, and holding it’s shape.

NOTE: Until the mixture is tripled in amount, DO NOT stop beating, or you will end up with “sweet scrambled eggs”.  So, no cellphones or other phone calls, and don’t answer the door.  4 to 8 minutes aren’t long – except when you’re whipping this Zabaglione-like custard!

Zabaglione-mascarpone mix for Tiramisu, before the cream is folded in.

When the mixture is tripled in size, and holds it’s shape well, remove from the bowl from the heat, leave for 5 minutes to cool a little, then beat in the mascarpone cheese until just combined, then let stand for 10-15 minutes (time for a coffee or that phonecall…).

Whip the cream in a bowl until it holds stiff peaks, then fold half the cream into the cooled zabaglione-mascapone mixture. Be gentle, this is a folding movement, not a beating.   Then fold in the rest of the cream.  If the custard is still a bit warm, you may lose a little volume,  but that’s fine.  or, if you have time, leave it to cool a bit longer- we’re busy people, make it work for you.

Make the coffee-Marsala dipping mixture:

In a flattish pudding bowl, combine the  espresso (I get a takeaway) or other coffee, the other half of the Marsala wine, the vanilla extract, and the rest of the sugar, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.

Assembling the Tiramisu:

First, get your glamorous Trifle Bowl, or a deep glass bowl about 23 – 25 cms (9-10 inches),  You can also use a square or oblong dish, and make just two layers, or even use a loaf tin, and cut the finished dessert into slices.

Coffee-marsala mix on left, zabagilone-mascarpone in middle, trifle bowl at rear, and 2 glasses for gift Tiramisu on right – all set to start assembling! Note the packet of Savoiardi sponge fingers at left rear and an open pack in front of that.

With the coffee-marsala mix and the zabaglione-mascapone mix in front of you, you’re good to go.

Dip a few of the Savoiardi sponge fingers very quickly into the coffee mix, and use them to line the bottom of your bowl.  (You might find that you need to break a few into pieces to fit them in the dish).

Quickly dip the Savoiardi biscuits, then lay into your dish, covering the bottom, and maybe cutting some to fit. Sorry, I didn’t realise the unopened pack would show through quite so much – it’s well behind my trifle bowl.

Spoon half of the mascarpone filling over the lady fingers and spread into an even layer. Grate half of the bittersweet chocolate over filling. Then dip the remaining ladyfingers very quickly into the coffee and arrange a second layer over filling.

Assembling the next layer of coffee-soaked Savoiardi sponge fingers on top of the first two layers. Still some gaps to fill with cut pieces of fingers… Savoiardi sponge one, that is!

Keep layering soaked biscuits and the zabaglione-mascarpone mixure as high as you desire, leaving room at the top for the extra whipped cream layer, if using.   Then cover with plastic kitchen wrap and put into the fridge for at least 6-8 hours, or overnight.  I prefer making mine the day before, and doing the last cream and chocolate layer, just before serving.

About 20 minutes before serving, remove your bowl from the fridge to bring it back closer to room temperature.

Make the optional cream layer:

Just before you’re ready to serve, whip the topping amount of cream with the icing sugar and the vanilla (I sometimes add a dessertspoon of liqueur, too).  Spread gently over the top, and smooth with a spatula, the grate dark chocolate and/or cocoa (shake through a small sieve).

And enjoy!  It’s rich, decadent and just divine!

Autumn’s Culinary tips for Tiramisu:

  •  I like to make mine the day before it’s to be served, and add extra cream at the last minute.
  • Leftovers (huh?) will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to four days, but will start losing texture in the fingers from 2 days.  The positive is, the flavours become more syrupy and blended, too.  That’s IF you have leftovers…
  • Instead of expresso coffee, you can use a unsweetened hot chocolate or cocoa, in exactly the same way.
  • This does NOT work with English-style sponge – it’s too soft.  Tiramisu relies on the texture of the crisp Savoiardi fingers lightly dipped, for it’s unique texture.
  • You “could” use a fruit juice and rum or brandy essence for a non-alcoholic version, but it just doesn’t taste the same – keep Tiramisu for occasions when it’s “adults only” at the dining table!

TIRAMISU - the Italian coffee trifle
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, International
Cuisine: International - Italian
Serves: 10-12 serves
 
The Italian coffee trifle known as TIRAMISU is a coffee lover's delight, rich and coffee-creamy, with a touch of alcohol like all good trifles, has a myriad of recipes. This is my TIRAMISU, derived from many sources, close to the traditional, but with some allowances and adaptations. And I learned to make my own MASCARPONE cheese to indulge myself - I posted the recipe last night.
Ingredients
  • 250 ml (1 cup) brewed espresso or very strong coffee, at room temperature
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry Marsala wine (divided into 2 equal quantities)*
  • 3-4 teaspoons Heilala vanilla extract or paste
  • 5-6 large egg yolks (freeze the whites in 2 lots, for sponges, pavlova, etc)
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) granulated sugar (divided into 2 equal quantities)
  • 450-500 gm (14-16 ounces) mascarpone cheese
  • 350 ml (1.5 cups) whipping or heavy cream
  • 30-50 Savoiardi Italian ladyfingers (keep the leftovers in an airtight container)
  • Topping:
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) whipping or heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon icing sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Heilala vanilla paste or extract
  • 50-60 gm (2 oz) dark chocolate (grated) or hot chocolate powder or cocoa powder for dusting
  • * You can use an alternative to Marsala wine, but it won't be quite the same. Suitable alternatives are sherry, brandy and or liqueurs. In fact, when I do a chocolate version of Tiramisu for non-coffee loving friends, I use a mixture of hot chocolate, brandy and a chocolate liqueur, such as Creme de Cacao. Kahlua is nice with the coffee version, too
Method
  1. Make the Zabaglione-mascapone custard filling:
  2. In a small stainless steel bowl that will fit over a pot (or a double boiler), whisk the egg yolks, half the Marsala and half the sugar. Place the bowl over a pot of just-simmering water, with about 25 mm (1 inch) between the bottom of the bowl and the hot water.
  3. Beat with a whisk (great arm workout, guys and gals!), or a hand beater, or an electric hand-held mixer, until the mixture is tripled in volume, which will take from 4 to 8 minutes.
  4. NOTE: Until the mixture is tripled in amount, DO NOT stop beating, or you will end up with "sweet scrambled eggs". So, no cellphones or other phone calls, and don't answer the door. 4 to 8 minutes aren't long - except when you're whipping this Zabaglione-like custard!
  5. When the mixture is tripled in size, and holds it's shape well, remove from the bowl from the heat, leave for 5 minutes to cool a little, then beat in the mascarpone cheese until just combined, then let stand for 10-15 minutes (time for a coffee or that phonecall...).
  6. Whip the cream in a bowl until it holds stiff peaks, then fold half the cream into the cooled zabaglione-mascapone mixture. Be gentle, this is a folding movement, not a beating. Then fold in the rest of the cream. If the custard is still a bit warm, you may lose a little volume, but that's fine. or, if you have time, leave it to cool a bit longer- we're busy people, make it work for you.
  7. Make the coffee-Marsala dipping mixture:
  8. In a flattish pudding bowl, combine the espresso (I get a takeaway) or other coffee, the other half of the Marsala wine, the vanilla extract, and the rest of the sugar, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.
  9. Assembling the Tiramisu:
  10. First, get your glamorous Trifle Bowl, or a deep glass bowl about 23 - 25 cms (9-10 inches).
  11. With the coffee-marsala mix and the zabaglione-mascapone mix in front of you, you're good to go.
  12. Dip a few of the Savoiardi sponge fingers very quickly into the coffee mix, and use them to line the bottom of your bowl. (You might find that you need to break a few into pieces to fit them in the dish).
  13. Spoon half of the mascarpone filling over the lady fingers and spread into an even layer. Grate half of the bittersweet chocolate over filling. Then dip the remaining ladyfingers very quickly into the coffee and arrange a second layer over filling.
  14. Keep layering soaked biscuits and the zabaglione-mascarpone mixure as high as you desire, leaving room at the top for the extra whipped cream layer, if using. Then cover with plastic kitchen wrap and put into the fridge for at least 6-8 hours, or overnight. I prefer making mine the day before, and doing the last cream and chocolate layer, just before serving.
  15. About 20 minutes before serving, remove your bowl from the fridge to bring it back closer to room temperature.
  16. Make the optional cream layer:
  17. Just before you're ready to serve, whip the topping amount of cream with the icing sugar and the vanilla (I sometimes add a dessertspoon of liqueur, too). Spread gently over the top, and smooth with a spatula, the grate dark chocolate and/or cocoa (shake through a small sieve).
  18. And enjoy! It's rich, decadent and just divine!
  19. Autumn's Culinary tips for Tiramisu:
  20. * I like to make mine the day before it's to be served, and add extra cream at the last minute.
  21. * Leftovers (huh?) will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to four days, but will start losing texture in the fingers from 2 days. The positive is, the flavours become more syrupy and blended, too. That's IF you have leftovers...
  22. * Instead of expresso coffee, you can use a unsweetened hot chocolate or cocoa, in exactly the same way.
  23. * This does NOT work with English-style sponge - it's too soft. Tiramisu relies on the texture of the crisp Savoiardi fingers lightly dipped, for it's unique texture.
  24. * You "could" use a fruit juice and rum or brandy essence for a non-alcoholic version, but it just doesn't taste the same - keep Tiramisu for occasions when it's "adults only" at the dining table!

 

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