“ Type: Tiramisu „
I love a good desert but having reached my idea weight I intend to stay there so don't allow myself too many! One of my favorites has to be Tiramisu. On high days and holidays I tend to make my own as shop bought versions can be very hit and miss. However I have recently discovered a Tiramisu that ticks all the boxes for me. The dessert in question is made by Marks and Spencer.
For those of you who don't know, Tiramisu is an Italian dessert made by combining sponge fingers soaked in either brandy or liqueur and strong coffee. The sponge fingers are then topped with a layer of mascarpone. The dessert is then dusted with chocolate. There are many variations of the recipe and if you fancy making it for yourself just type in Tiramisu and take your pick!
The name Tiramisu literally means pick me up in reference to the strong coffee and sugar content of the dessert. However there is also a story that claims that the dessert got its name because it was created by the God daughter of the confectioner Roberto Linguanotto. As her maiden name was apparently Tiramisu the dessert took on her name. Whatever the truth the result is delicious!
I first discovered Marks and Spencer's version of this classic a few weeks ago. The dessert was on offer at the time so I thought I would give it a try. I think I paid £2.99 as opposed to the usual price of £3.99. The dessert comes in a loaf shaped container topped with a cardboard sleeve. To serve all you need to do is peel back the cellophane top .
The dessert looks very attractive with its delicate dusting of chocolate and deep thick creamy topping. Dig your spoon into it and you will discover the deep layers of liqueur soaked sponge and soft mousse. The all important taste test confirms that this Tiramisu is as good as it looks! The taste is simply delicious! It is not too sweet like some versions I have tried and the sponge is covered with a light mousse. The layer of cream is rich but also light.
I no longer have the sleeve so can't tell you how many calories each portion contains but it won't be a small amount! The dessert served 4 of us with very generous portions which is good value in my book! I would highly recommend this dessert.
I stumbled across this product by pure chance. I had originally ordered a single large tiramisu from Marks and Spencers party food catalogue for an 18th birthday buffet lunch party but on collection day it was unavailable so the store substituted it with 2 of these instead.
The tiramisu itself is beautifully presented, its creamy surface is lightly dusted with cocoa powder and has a dark chocolate fan artistically placed on top and has the word 'Tiramisu' written across the top in scrolling handwriting made of cocao powder.
It had an absolutely gorgeous taste - the blend of coffee, chocolate, cream, cake and liqueur was masterfully done and all this was achieved without feeling too stodgy.
The tiramisu easily sliced into 12 portions and was incredibly popular with the guests. I ended up putting both of them out on the buffet table and there were only 2 slices left.
It is not too pricey (for Marks and Spencer) but unfortunately does not freeze so has a relatively short shelf life due to all the cream.
Imagine sitting at a pavement table at a heavenly little restaurant in Florence, Italy.It's early evening, and the heat of the sun has abated somewhat, leaving the temperature at a comfortable and pleasant 20 to 25 degrees. You've just had the most delightful meal, and are now ready for coffee and dessert, both of which the Italians are VERY good at.
The coffee is most probably "Lavazzo", (yummy,see my review, heh, heh) and the dessert is Tiramasu, a dish invented right here in the Tuscany region of Italy.
It doesn't come much better than this, I can tell you. It's nearly enough to make me want to jump on the next plane and return once again to one of my favourite spots on the whole planet.
What has all this reminiscing got to do with Marks and Spencer Tiramisu, I hear you ask? Well, not a lot, but Italy WAS the first place that I got turned on to this totally delicious wee dessert, and I was indulging myself for a few minutes. (That's allowed, isn't it?)
Tiramisu was initially created in Siena, as a speciality dish to honour the visit of a neighbouring Duke. He took the recipe with him back to Florence, where the dish became popular among the resident English artists and intellectuals who lived there. They brought the recipe back to the homeland, (UK) where it was equally enjoyed. Hence it's old name, 'zuppa Inglese'. (English soup, I think!)
Eventually the recipe made its way to Venice, or to be more exact, the Treviso province to the north east of Venice, where it was refined and changed over the years, and eventually came to be called Tiramisu.
According to local legend, it was taken as an aphrodisiac by lovers (the literal translation of Tiramisu is 'pick-me-up') to bolster their flagging passions. History has it that the Venetian version of Tiramisu (which they claim as their own!) was initially created at a small café called 'Le Beccherie', to enflame the passions of the prostitutes who worked in the brothel on the floor above the restaurant. So it's a dessert with a long and interesting history!
So what exactly is this "food of the Gods" called Tiramisu?
Basically I suppose you could describe it as a very light chocolate flavoured pudding, but that wouldn't totally do it justice.
The description on the Marks and Spencer Tiramisu describes it as,
"Chunks of sponge fingers soaked in coffee and coffee liqueur, topped with a light mousse, and dusted with milk chocolate."
I suppose that's near enough as descriptions go.
The original Italian recipe is eggs, espresso coffee, brandy or rum, ladyfingers, (small sponges) cream, sugar, mascarpone cheese, (originally custard was used instead of the cheese), a wee touch of sugar, and topped with cocoa or chocolate.
So the Marks and Spencer version differs quite a bit from what would traditionally be called a Tiramisu! It also includes a fair few "E" additives, if that sort of thing concerns you. It also contains traces of nut, and cow's milk is used, so it isn't suitable for anyone with a nut allergy, or for vegetarians. (I'm not 100% sure about the vegetarian thing. Can vegetarians eat a product with cow's milk and eggs in it?)
To be honest, I'm personally not too worried by all that. All I know is that it tastes totally delicious. It has all the things I like in it. Light sponge, coffee, mousse and a coating of tasty milk chocolate on the top. It comes in one of these small, clear plastic containers with a peel-off top, and you get 95g in each pot for only Euro1.08.
Other information you might find useful is that it's NOT suitable for the freezer, and should be eaten fairly quickly. Not that there's much chance of it remaining uneaten in my household for too long!
Oh, and for all you weight conscious folks out there, it contains 140 calories per pot. (Is that a lot?)
Obviously, you can buy it in the Marks and Spencer foodhall.
Highly recommended and nearly as delicious as the "real thing".
Translation of the Opinion Title from the vernacular Scots.
"Give me a small Tiramisu right now"
Originally posted at Ciao under my Ciao username "the mad cabbie". Edited and updated for posting here at dooyoo.