Summer seems to have arrived. And I say seem because it is never really the case here in London. You get the illusion, you thank God for the sun and the more forgiving temperatures. But by the time you dared to switch
your wardrobe to summer mode, here comes the rain, the cold and your hopes go down the drain again. Classic!
But that’s ok. I have become accustomed to the weather having fun driving me insane. I am sure you have, too…
However, because I am learning to live in the moment, this week I am going to enjoy the warm days we have been blessed with. But not just that.
I am also going to get excited about all the pudding options we now have to celebrate our temporary week of summer!
This tiramisu alla nutella is egg and sugar free and this technically disqualifies it from being called a tiramisu. That said, it is still quite an outstanding piece of pudding.
I am rather a food fascist when it comes to food naming conventions and the only reason I used the term tiramisu in the title is, quite frankly and blatantly, for search engine optimisation. Shhh don’t tell Google, please! (In short to make sure people can search and then find this recipe when googling. Not many would type: semifreddo alla Nutella, which is what I would rather call it)
Two years ago my super and amazing aunt Carla came to visit me on one of my brief stays in Naples. She always bakes/makes something special for me. Last time she brought tiramisu alla Nutella. I took a quick look at it and got extremely excited. I then took a first mouthful and I was basically in heaven.
“Why is this so good? How did you make it?” I asked in an overly dramatic tone. “Easy,” she said. “Cream, mascarpone and Nutella. No eggs or sugar.”
“What? Seriously? Can this be so good just thanks to mascarpone and cream?” And after having scoffed the first – already generous – slice, I just kept asking for more.
And that is how I got to know about this variation of the traditional tiramisu.
It did not take me long to decide I had to make it myself. And every single friend who tasted it struggled to figure out it was not tiramisu. Some, including my husband, may even have claimed to prefer the Nutella version… But there is only one way to assess how credible George’s assessment is.
Anyway, enough about the form and more about the substance. The most important piece of information you need to retain from all my blablala is that fake tiramisu is as good as the real stuff. In fact, unless you really focus, you would hardly notice any difference.
“So why not make the original one?” a colleague of mine asked me the other day.
Because this is easier and quicker to prepare, equally yummy and it suits people who are not comfortable using raw eggs in their puddings. It’s a win-win situation if you are in a rush and you are not keen on eggs.
Watch the little video below to see what I am talking about when I say you can hardly notice any differences!
Time to make tiramisu alla Nutella together now.
Ingredients for tiramisu alla Nutella
- 375g savoiardi or sponge/finger biscuits (approximately two packets of finger biscuits)
For the cream
- 500g mascarpone
- 600ml whipping cream
- 1 heaped teaspoon of Nutella +3 or 4 heaped tablespoons of Nutella
For the coffee
- 600ml espresso coffee (3 big mokas)
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 1 or 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (optional)
- Cocoa powder
- Strawberries and mint leaves to decorate
In a medium-large bowl add the whipping cream straight from the fridge and whip it with an electric mixer until it reaches a stiff consistency.
Add the mascarpone and mix well with the electric mixer until they are both incorporated into a smooth mixture.
Move half of the mixture you obtained to one mixing bowl and the other half to another mixing bowl.
In the first bowl add a rounded teaspoon of Nutella and mix well with the electric mixer until you obtain an even coloured cream.
In the second bowl add 3 (or 4) rounded tablespoons of Nutella and mix well until you obtain a smooth cream where the Nutella has been incorporated evenly into the white cream.
Cover with cling film and place both bowls in the fridge.
Make the espresso coffee. Do not add sugar. Add the coffee liqueur and two tablespoons of boiling water. Mix well. Move it to a dish with high edges.
If you want to prevent your hands from getting coffee stains, use some suitable cooking gloves. Let the coffee mix cool down a bit, but if it is still warm, it is better.
Soak each biscuit in the coffee, for about 5 seconds on each side. The biscuit needs to be fully immersed. It should not disintegrate in your hands (that means it is just too soaked and the liquid will be overflowing in the dish. You definitely want to avoid that).
As soon as you soak each biscuit, move it to the dish (26×20 cm), aligning it next to the previous one to create the base of the tiramisu alla nutella.
Spread the cream made with the large portion of Nutella (3 or 4 tablespoons). This layer should be thicker than the top layer.
Create a second layer with the rest of the biscuits and cover with the cream made with the small amount of Nutella (1 teaspoon).
Sprinkle a relatively thick layer of cocoa powder.
Cover the baking dish with cling film.
Place in the fridge for at least 8 hours. This pudding freezes extremely well. Just remember that it will need 24 hours to defrost in the fridge…
If you make tiramisu alla Nutella, please tag me @coochinando either on Facebook or Instagram and let me know whether you prefer this version — or if the original version is the one you will always be in love with!