When I saw some sponge fingers in the supermarket in France, I just had to get them with this in mind. The next time I ventured into the supermarket I picked up some marscapone which is the only ingredient that I didn't already have (just for a change..).
Most recipes use eggs with marscapone to make a creamy custard, perhaps with the eggs separated and the whites whisked through to make a mousse-like textured custard. Sounds scrummy, doesn't it ? Today I couldn't be bothered with all of that flaff though, and I fancied a lighter, non-eggy version. Fortunately, I came across exactly what I was looking for in Gordon Ramsay's book Fast Food. Well, actually I first searched for the recipe on-line, and then when I saw that the version I wanted was in a book that I already had, I dug the book off the shelf and, for once, I followed it to the letter. No omissions, additions or alterations and it's not often at all that I can say that. :o)
Here is the recipe:
250gr marscapone cheese
150ml cream (I used single)
4tbps amaretto/tia maria/rum (I used Tia Maria)
200ml strong coffee/expresso (I made strong instant coffee)
Grated dark chocolate
1tsp Vanilla Extract
4 tbsp icing sugar
20-24 sponge fingers (mine were from France - no idea if these are the right ones..they look the part tho)
1. Add 3tbsp icing sugar to the cream, and whisk to combine. Add the mascarpone, vanilla extract and 1tsp vanilla extract. Whisk again.
2. In a different bowl, make the coffee - 200ml is needed.
3. Add the remaining 1tbsp of icing sugar to sweeten the coffee, along with the remaining 2tbsp alcohol.
4. Dip the sponge fingers into the coffee, until they are moist and not completely soggy. Layer the sponge fingers either into four individual glasses or a small, square dish. I used one per glass, broken in half. Next add a layer of the cream mixture, followed by another layer of coffee-soaked biscuits. Continue to layer until the cream, coffee and sponge are used up, finishing with a layer of cream.
5. Grate dark chocolate over the top of each glass, or over the dish.
6. Leave to refrigerate for a couple of hours, or overnight to allow the flavours to meld together.
NOTE: Some recipes use cocoa instead of dark chocolate on top. Some recipes also use cocoa or chocolate in between the layers.
Having made this, I was thinking what a perfect dinner party dessert this would be. This version is put together in a few minutes and is best made the night before. So, perfect for a dinner party when you usually need time to do other things (eg, get ready, clean the house, cook all of the other food, chill out... gosh, I hate dinner parties.. all that pressure!)
Anyway, I will post a photo and give my judgment on this later, as I have yet to taste it !
I have to say that despite not usually liking creamy desserts, this was ansolutely delicious. No single mouthful was creamy alone, but exquisitely combined with the really strong bitter coffee, the tang of the chocolate, or the alcohol mixed with sponginess. All in all I would make this again for a dinner party. Only one small note, I would say I have a moderate appetite, not huge, not small, and I couldn't finish this. So, next time I think I would make this is in six smaller ramekins, rather than four large glasses. I hope you enjoy it if you make it. TTFN. KG. x