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Combining the best of both worlds, this heavenly dinner time dessert by Paula from Enjoy Dessert has a rich brownie base layered with coffee soaked ladyfinger biscuits and fluffy mascarpone cream. Brownies have been on my baking list for more times than I care to remember and tiramisu is something I no longer need a recipe for, yet I have never paused to give a thought about how these two will pair up until they became famous on food blogs. The subtle coffee kick nicely offsets the intensity of dark chocolate and if you are patient enough to allow the brownie and tiramisu layers to meld together overnight, you will probably thank yourself [and me!] afterwards.

TIRAMISU BROWNIES

For the Brownie Layer

200g dark chocolate

150g unsalted butter

150g caster sugar

30g cocoa powder

3 large eggs, room temperature

50 ml whipping cream

1 teaspoon coffee

1 teaspoon amaretto

100g all purpose flour

Pinch of table salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

For the Tiramisu Layer

200g mascarpone

2 large eggs, separated

Pinch of table salt

60g caster sugar

80 ml strong coffee

10 ml rum, optional

1 teaspoon amaretto

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

20-25 ladyfinger biscuits

50g dark chocolate, melted

Method:

  • For the brownie, melt the chocolate along with butter over low heat in a thick bottomed saucepan.
  • When the mixture is homogeneous, remove it from heat, add sugar and cocoa and mix thoroughly.
  • Combine the all purpose flour with baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and set this aside.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, to the chocolate mixture and mix well after each addition. Then add cream.
  • Stir in amaretto and coffee. Carefully fold in flour mixture till no flour streaks remain. Do not over mix.
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a 20×20 cm baking tray with parchment paper. Pour in batter.
  • Level the surface with a spatula and bake for 20 to 23 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick.
  • Remove cake from oven and let it cool in pan. Prepare coffee for soaking biscuits and leave to cool.
  • Add rum, amaretto and vanilla extract to cooled coffee. For the tiramisu layer, beat the mascarpone.
  • Beat egg yolks with sugar until they turn white in color and doubled in volume. Fold into mascarpone.
  • Beat egg whites with salt until stiff and carefully fold into mascarpone cream and chill for 30 minutes.
  • For the assembly, dip ladyfinger biscuits in coffee mixture and arrange neatly over the brownie layer.
  • Spoon mascarpone cream over biscuits, chill for few minutes. Melt dark chocolate over a bain marie.
  • Bring to room temperature so that it is still fluid. Drop teaspoons of the chocolate over mascarpone.
  • Run a knife lightly over cream to give marbled effect and return cake to refrigerator. Chill overnight.
  • Dust the tiramisu brownies with extra cocoa powder. Cut into squares and serve. Makes 20 servings.

Tiramisu Brownies

Panna cotta is dessert I think I should make more often. It is one of those examples which justifies the old adage that ‘simple is beautiful’ or ‘less is more’. All the way from Italy, this delicate chilled pudding is traditionally made from cream and gelatin with a side serving of fruit coulis. You can play around with the gelling agent and the dairy as long as your final product has a soft set and a slight wobble with a smooth, melt-in-the-mouth texture. You need to make sure your mixture does not turn lumpy or gritty at any point; it is not a good idea to walk away from your pan as it goes on the stovetop. If you are worried that it does not get to set properly, you can serve this vanilla speckled strawberry panna cotta, from BBC Good Food, right out of dessert cups or shot glasses instead of unmolding it on a plate.

STRAWBERRY PANNA COTTA

Ingredients:

For the Panna Cotta

3 agar agar leaves

450ml double cream

200ml whole milk

100g white caster sugar

1 vanilla pod

For the Strawberries

400g strawberries, hulled

1½ teaspoon corn flour

50g white caster sugar

Method:

  • For the panna cotta, put agar agar leaves in a small bowl of cold water to soften, about 5 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, pour the cream, milk and sugar into a pan, split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds.

  • Add the seeds, along with the pod, to the cream mixture. Heat gently until hot, but not bubbling.

  • Remove agar agar leaves from the water, squeeze out any excess liquid then add to the hot cream.

  • Stir the mixture until agar agar is dissolved and leave to stand for 20 to 30 minutes until cooled.

  • The vanilla pods should be suspended in the liquid by this point. Strain mixture through a sieve.

  • Pour into 6 serving glasses, then chill for at least 3 hours. Toss strawberries in a small saucepan.

  • Add the corn flour and sugar in a saucepan. Place over a medium heat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.

  • Cook until the released juices thicken and strawberries are softened. Set the mixture aside to cool.

  • Once completely cooled, top panna cottas with the strawberry mixture. Chill until ready to serve.

Strawberry Panna Cotta

Kulfi, often likened to ice cream, actually bears subtle differences which completely sets it apart from its American counterpart. This, you will notice, as soon as you start making your own kulfi at home. Firstly, kulfi does not use eggs, which makes it safe and accessible to a larger group of foodies. The process of making this traditional Indian dessert will need you to be patient as you wait for milk to come to a slow boil; it should be thick enough to coat a spoon like a custard. The texture will remain somewhat coarse and grainy, and even more so if you plan to add ground almonds, as kulfi is not churned to get rid of ice crystals as it is done for ice cream.

This delightfully easy mango kulfi, from Cooking from Heart, works best with freshly plucked, fragrant mangoes though you can also use frozen or canned if they are not in season. This year, we have unfortunately not been blessed with a long mango season and good quality mangoes have been rare and rather expensive but do not let this keep you from trying homemade mango kulfi. If you happen to have any leftover mango pulp after this, you can always whip it with some plain yogurt to make mango lassi, a refreshing summer drink.

MANGO KULFI

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups milk

1/4 cup cream

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup almonds

3 tablespoons pistachios

2 green cardamom pods

3/4 cup mango pulp

Method:

  • In a mixer jar, add 1/4 cup of almonds along with 2 cardamoms and grind to a fine powder.

  • In a bowl, add milk and bring it to boil. Next add fresh cream and let it heat on a low flame.

  • Add ground almond powder and mix well before it turns lumpy. Cook till mixture thickens.

  • Add sugar and mix until completely dissolved. Remove from heat and cool down completely.

  • Mix mango pulp with milk mixture. Sprinkle pistachio slivers at the bottom of kulfi molds.

  • Pour cooled mango mixture into prepared molds and sprinkle more pistachio slivers on top.

  • Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours until set. Gently push an ice cream stick halfway into each kulfi.

  • Dip the molds in warm water to release the kulfi and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Mango Kulfi

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