Even if you are not a fan of tennis, the Wimbledon fortnight is a pretty big part of British culture. I personally love it and I think a lot of this stems from my Mum. Although I played tennis when I was younger (and was distinctly average in spite of my many lessons), she’s definitely a lot more keen. If she’s not playing it she’s watching it! So while I spent my Sunday at work, she spent hers glued to the television. However, Wimbledon season still always manages to get me fired up. Since this blog post falls on the same day as many of the final rounds of the competition, including the men’s singles, I therefore used this as inspiration. We also can’t ignore the fact that the British twist on this Italian dessert becomes even more apt through the success of the Brits. So thank you Andy Murray, Heather Watson, Gordon Reid and Jordanne Whiley for making it, what I would consider, obligatory for me to sneak a cheeky glass of Pimms after work while writing this post and catching up with the matches.
If you think of food and drink at Wimbledon, I could almost guarantee that Pimms, strawberries and cream instantly come to mind. Therefore I decided to combine all three and follow the drinks-related theme of my last post for Dandelion and Burdock Loaf Cake. Thinking along the line of boozy and creamy bakes instantly brought me to Tiramisu. Although I haven’t necessarily eaten a lot, it gave me the opportunity to experiment with the layers in order to bring out different intensities of all the different flavours. Therefore I decided to adapt my recipe from one I received at The Grange Cookery School down in Somerset. While there my first attempt at sponge fingers didn’t quite go to plan, I decided to take the opportunity to redeem myself. And, if all else failed, at least I still had the Pimms!
However, I think my attempts to redeem myself were relatively successful. By adding tones of orange and mint, which are normally added to a glass of Pimms and lemonade, the dessert has both a freshness and a warmth that compliment each other. Although my sponge fingers weren’t the neatest, the final thing looked really smart, so overall I was pretty happy. I decided to keep the sponge fairly neutral as I thought soaking it in Pimms would overpower any flavour in them anyway. I also added more Pimms to the cream along with some orange zest and incorporate a layer of fresh strawberries, reserving a few for decoration. I also finished with a sprig of mint for more colour. There are many different ways of making Tiramisu and experimenting with different combinations so it would be quite easy to adapt a recipe you are already familiar with, but either way I hope you enjoy!
Strawberry and Pimms Tiramisu (Serves at least 6)
For the Sponge Fingers:
- 3 Eggs, separated
- 50g Caster Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 50g Plain Flour, sieved
- Icing Sugar
For the Tiramisu:
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 75g Icing Sugar
- 25ml Pimms, plus some extra for soaking the sponge.
- 250g Mascarpone
- 4 Tbsp Whipped Double Cream
- 1 Orange
- Fresh Mint
- Preheat your oven to 190C/ 170 Fan/ 340F
- To make the sponge fingers, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add the caster sugar and continue to whisk until smooth.
- Gently fold in the beaten egg yolks and the vanilla essence followed by the flour.
- Pipe the mix into the desired shape on greased and lined baking sheets, making sure you leave plenty of space between different sponges.
- Sprinkle heavily with icing sugar and leave for 5 minutes. Sprinkle again and then tap off the excess over the sink.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes and then leave to cool fully on a wire rack.
- Once they are cooled you can start assembling your tiramisu. Start by mixing the egg yolks with the icing sugar and the Pimms. Then gradually add this mix to the mascarpone, making sure it is completely smooth. Gently stir in the whipped cream and the zest of half an orange.
- Put a layer of this mix in the bottom of the dish you are using. Then take your sponge fingers and, after dipping in some more Pimms, layer them on top. Follow this with a layer of sliced fresh strawberries. Follow with another layer of cream and another of soaked sponge. Top with a final layer of cream and then decorate with strawberries, mint and orange zest. Then leave to chill overnight.