So, I was reading one of the blogs I follow, Baking Bites, the other day and came across her recipe for Strawberry Cheesecake Tiramisu. Does that sound just yummy or what? Heaven knows I do love tiramisu...I read through the recipe, and somehow just could not reconcile the coffee with strawberries in my head. But, the thought of strawberry tiramisu sounds soooooo good. And, I have the perfect "excuse" for making it (as if wanting it is not enough)...one of the guys at work is retiring, the formal gathering to celebrate his retirement has been done, but tomorrow we are all bringing goodies and hosting a roast for him...what better reason than that to make a strawberry tiramisu? And it's the perfect reason to share my version with you!
When I make tiramisu I dip the ladyfingers in a combination of espresso and a coffee flavored liquor, but, as I said, I just cannot make the espresso and fresh strawberries work in my head, so I decided that I would use amaretto instead. And, to add another twist, I thought I'd use angel food cake instead of lady fingers....and I'd toast it a bit. Hmmmm...this might be really good!
So, here's what you need if you want to make some too...
An angel food cake (purchased or home made, your choice)
Amaretto liquor (you can skip this if you want)
16 oz of fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 package unflavored gelatin
8 ounces of nufatchel cream cheese, softened
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 pint of whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 oz sliced almonds for garnish (optional)
If you'd like to toast your angel food cake, slice it into 1/2 inch slices and put on a cookie sheet, pop in a 250 degree oven and "toast" for about 30 minutes, flip them, and give another 10 minutes in the oven. Let cool.
While they are cooling, smash the strawberries. Cut the strawberries up, toss on 1/4 cup of sugar, and smash them a bit with a potato masher or something similar. This is going to release lots of juice, so when they are smashed to your liking, sprinkle a packet of unflavored gelatin over them and stir in. Let set to allow the gelatin to soften.
Dip the slices of angel food cake into amaretto and arrange in the bottom of the pan, feel free to stuff them in there tight...and set aside. If you choose not to dip them in the amaretto, layer the cake undipped.
In the top of a double boiler, over simmering water (or, you can do like I do, and use a shallow bowl over a sauce pan), put the 4 egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar.
Whisk together, and continue whisking over the simmering heat for about 10 minutes. In that time they should become very pale, and double in bulk, they develop a sort of "fluffy" texture that you can see. Add the softened cheese and whisk them well to combine. Put it in the fridge for a bit to cool while you make the whipped cream.
Beat the whipping cream until it forms soft peaks, then add the 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar. Whip until the peaks are stiff, then slowly stir in the cheese mixture. When that is incorporated, add the strawberries. Stir them in by hand, gently. You don't want to deflate the mixture.
Pour the strawberry mixture over the toasted angel food cake. Garnish with fresh strawberries or sliced almonds. Refrigerate at least a couple of hours, or over night. I make mine in just one layer, but it is often made with two layers.
Stays yummy for a couple of days in the fridge...I tend to prefer it the first day after it is made. You can also freeze it, and serve it frozen (regular tiramisu is wonderful that way too)...a wonderful summer dessert!