This is a delicious tiramisu, with a special flavour of the season. You can make this in individual serving dishes, or use one large dish.
250g mascarpone (1 tub)
125g creme de marron (chestnut puree)
2 tbsp sugar
12 sponge fingers (also called ladyfingers or boudoir biscuits)
200ml strong coffee
2 tbsp Rum
You will also need six to eight individual serving dishes (I used glass preserving jars), or a single serving dish, large enough to hold 6 sponge fingers in a single layer.
1. Separate the egg yolks from the whites.
2. In a medium-sized bowl beat the egg yolks with 1 tbsp sugar until white and thick. Add the mascarpone and the creme de marron and mix until lump-free.
3. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 1 tbsp sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
4. Fold one third of the beaten egg whites into the mascarpone mixture to ‘loosen’ it. Then add the remaining beaten egg whites and fold in until the mixture is smooth.
5. Pour the cold coffee into a shallow bowl and add the rum.
6. To assemble the tiramisu, put some of the mascarpone mixture in the bottom of your dish (one third of the mixture if using one large dish). Dip each sponge finger briefly into the coffee and arrange in a neat layer in your dish. Top with another third of the mascarpone mixture and repeat with the sponge fingers. Finish with the last third of the mascarpone mixture and level with a spatula. If you are using individual serving dishes, break/cut the sponge fingers to make them fit.
7. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to chill for four to six hours.
Before serving you may wish to dust the tiramisu with cocoa powder but try it without the cocoa powder first. I find that it can overpower the delicate flavour of the chestnut puree.
Note: chestnut brandy is traditionally used, but hard to find. I found rum to be a reasonable substitute, but if you can find chestnut liqueur it would be even better.