This twist on the Italian classic of tiramisu uses a basic cherry sugar syrup and cherry jam in place of the espresso, and the layering makes it incredibly pretty. Perfect for afternoon tea - plus, this cake only takes about 30 minutes to prepare!
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- 125g ricotta cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- 200g caster sugar
- Seeds from one vanilla pod or 1 tsp. good vanilla extract
- 24 sponge fingers
- 6 tbsp. cherry juice (or another fruit juice)
- 6 heaping tbsp. cherry jam (or more if you like)
- Few drops of almond extract
- 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
- 50g fresh cherries, stoned, stems removed
Whisk together the egg yolks with 125g of the caster sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the ricotta and mascarpone until you have a smooth mix and add the vanilla seeds. If the mix looks like it will curdle, add a little extra sugar or 1 tsp. flour. (to make the mix even lighter, whisk the two egg whites from the eggs and fold in)
Heat the rest of the sugar with the cherry juice until the sugar dissolves and the liquid thickens slightly into a syrup. Pour into a bowl and add the almond extract. Line a loaf tin with cling wrap.
Dip 8 fingers into the cherry syrup, just enough to flavour them. They shouldn't fall apart! Layer into the bottom of the loaf tin and top with half of the cherry jam. Spread on half of the cheese mix, then repeat. Finish with the final 8 biscuits dipped into the cherry syrup. Press down so that everything stays in the loaf tin (you may need to use a bigger loaf tin or two tins if you've added egg whites to the mix) and bring the cling wrap up and over the sides of the cake. Press down firmly and weight it down with a plate.
Put into the fridge and leave to set for about 4-5 hours. When the cake is set, put a plate on top whilst it is still in the tin, and flip upside down. Carefully slide off the tin and unwrap the cling.
To serve, sift over the cocoa powder and scatter on the cherries.