In 1978 I was seven years old and in year one at primary school. Back then we had three school terms a year and May school holidays.
May school holidays were notorious for one thing. It usually always, without fail, rained the entire two weeks.
So, being an only child at the time after the May school holidays I got up super early to get ready for school. I loved school, I couldn't wait to get back. In the dark I got dressed, poured myself some cornflakes and as it was customary in those days, sprinkled some sugar on top. Poured the milk.
Sat down, took a bite. Spat out the cornflakes in disgust.
That wasn't sugar. That was coffee.
Still to this day I cannot bear coffee.. I don't drink coffee, do mocha anything - the smell of coffee repels me.
And of course now, I have married a coffee-lover - his favourite dessert ever is tirimisu. My favourite dessert is cheesecake. So this recipe is the compromise cake - we both love chocolate.
I hope Giovanni Pilu doesn't read my blog (as if!) but this is a very loose interpretation of tirimisu, it's cake-y and rich. In fact unless you're making this for 10 or more people, cut the recipe in half, or be a good neighbour like me and share it with your friends who live across the road.
375g cream cheese
500ml thickened cream
1/2 cup caster sugar
400g savioardi biscuits
1/2 cup good quality drinking chocolate
1.5 cups hot water
1 tsp vanilla extract
100 g chocolate
50ml cream, extra
Place your cream cheese in a bowl and whip until soft and fluffy. Add the thickened cream and caster sugar and whip until reaches still peaks. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix your drinking chocolate with water and vanilla esssence, ensure all well combined to make your chocolate syrup.
Spread about 1/4 cup of the cream mixture on the bottom your serving dish, and then dunk your savioardi biscuits in for about 15 seconds until you can feel them taking on the syrup. (I let my smallest frills do this - word to the wise, remove t-shirts first - chocolate goes everywhere!)
Place on top of your cream mixture in your serving dish. Place them close together.
Continue this until you've filled the dish with one layer.
Cover this layer with 1/2 of the remaining cream mixture.
Add another layer of dipped savioardi biscuits and then cover with the remaining cream mixture.
Melt your 100g chocolate (I do mine in the microwave 50% power in 2 x 1 minute intervals, stirring inbetween) Mix through the extra 50ml cream and it will become smooth and glossy.
Roughly spoon over your mixture. Try very hard to avoid little fingers swiping the chocolate. (check out Laura's mouth - chocolate already swiped from last process! And yes, the shirts had been removed from here on in!)
Crush left over savioardi biscuits and crumble over the top.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.
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