I borrowed Giada de Laurentiis' latest cookbook Giada at Home. It's a beautiful book with lots of pictures, that focuses on Italian and Californian recipes. Luckily, many of the recipes are also featured on her TV show of the same name and so can be found online on foodtv.com.
One recipe that I really wanted to try was the lemon hazelnut tiramisu. I'm not really sure what attracted me to it. Maybe the combination of lemon and hazelnut that I thought my mom would love? Or that the recipe requires no cooking? I also love the use of lady fingers in tiramisu that transform dry, hard cookies into a cake-like texture.
I also get excited trying new ingredients and got my first taste of Frangelico, a hazelnut liqueur. It's imported from Italy so it's a bit pricey but totally worth it! The hazelnut flavour totally comes through.
Lemon Hazelnut Tiramisu - Serves 10-12
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis.
From the picture on foodtv.com, Giada makes this in a trifle bowl. However, I liked making it in a long baking dish and slicing it to make it look like a slice of cake!
Lemon and Hazelnut Syrup
I highly recommend making a larger recipe of the lemon syrup using the same proportions. Maybe one and a half recipe. We had just enough syrup but you really want enough to dip in the lady fingers. If there isn't enough, the lady fingers will be dry and you want them moist so they turn into that cake-like texture!
* ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
* ¼ cup water
* ⅓ cup sugar
* ½ cup hazelnut liqueur (such as Frangelico)
Zest the lemon and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine lemon juice, water and sugar over medium heat.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
Take the pan off the heat and allow the syrup to cool.
Mix in the hazelnut liqueur with the syrup.
I only ended up making 2 layers instead of the 3 layers in the recipe. I did not use all of
* 1-½ cups whipping cream
* 5 tablespoons sugar
* 1 (15-ounce) container mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
* 42 soft or hard ladyfinger cookies (or enough for 2 layers)
* 1-¼ cups lightly chopped toasted and skinned hazelnuts
* 1 lemon, zested
Whip the cream in a large bowl until thick.
Add the 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue to whip until the cream holds soft peaks.
In another bowl, cream together remaining sugar and mascarpone cheese for 30 seconds.
Mix ¼ of the cream into the mascarpone.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining whipped cream.
In a food blender, quickly pulse the hazelnuts and lemon zest.
Place the lemon and hazelnut syrup in a small shallow bowl.
Quickly dip a ladyfinger in the lemon and hazelnut syrup, quickly turning it into the syrup. (The goal is to make sure the lady finger has absorbed enough liquid without disintegrating.)
Place the lady finger at the bottom of a 13" x 9" serving dish.
Repeat until the bottom of the dish fully covered.
Spread ½ of the mascarpone mixture over the cookies.
Top with ½ of the hazelnut mixture.
Repeat layering the moistened ladyfinger cookies, mascarpone mixture and hazelnut mixture.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. (I didn't plan ahead and refrigered it for maybe 2 hours. It was still very good!)
The simple steps assembling the tiramisu: 1) dip the lady fingers, 2) cover the bottom with the fingers, 3) top with mascarpone mixture and hazelnut and 4) repeat.
Even though the mascarpone and whipped cream are quite rich, the tiramisu tasted quite light and airy because of the lemony flavour and the moistened lady fingers. I would definitely make this recipe again. It makes quite a large portion so I would have it next time or make it when I have a lot of guests. It's definitely a great recipe for a summer dessert since it involves no baking. A very good alternative to the traditional tiramisu!
Lemon Hazelnut Tiramisu.
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