Cranberry Tiramisu

Cranberry Tiramisu, is the dessert recipe I created for our up coming Halloween Italian Cooking Class/Pop Up Supper Club in Support of the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry. It is a play on the classic coffee-flavored Italian Tiramisu. I used cranberry to fit the flavor profile of the the American holiday season. Using cranberry, also gave me a chance to support our local Texas South Wind Winery. They make a superb all cranberry fruit wine that sells out fast during the holiday season.

Ingredients: for 4 servings

This dessert has 3 components:

  1. The Cranberry Compote.
  2. The Cranberry Tiramisu Cream – an egg custard base with mascarpone cheese and whipped cream folded in.
  3. The cranberry wine soaked Savoiardi (Italian lady finger cookies.)

Each serving has 3 lady finger cookies, so we will need a total of 12. We will also need 8 ounces of mascarpone cheese that has been brought up to room temperature.

Ingredients for the Cranberry Compote:

  • 4 ounces of frozen cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons of cranberry wine

Making the Cranberry Compote:

Add all four of the above ingredients to a heavy duty stainless steel pan and place on a medium high flame.
Bring to a simmer
Cook for 10 minutes. The natural pectin in the cranberries will allow it to turn into a jam.
Transfer to a glass bowl. Allow it to cool to room temperature while you make the Cranberry Tiramisu Cream.

Ingredients for the Cranberry Tiramisu Custard Base:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel powder
  • 1 tablespoon of cranberry wine
  • 1 tablespoon of extra fine sugar

Making the Cranberry Tiramisu Custard Base:

Bring water to a simmer in the base of a double boiler pan. While the water is coming to a simmer whisk together the 4 egg yolks, sugar, fennel powder and cranberry wine.
Place the egg mixture on top of the simmering water and continue to whisk until it turns frothy and pale in color.
Transfer the cooked egg mixture to a glass container and let it cool to room temperature.

While the egg base is cooling make the whipped cream by whisking together a cup of heavy cream with a tablespoon of extra fine sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a teaspoon of fennel powder.

Once the egg base is cooled gently fold in the 8 ounces of room temperature mascarpone.

Assembling the Cranberry Tiramisu:

I used a rocks glass to serve the tiramisu. You can use any parfait glass that you like. Start by placing 3/4 cups of cranberry wine in the bottom of a glass dish. This cranberry wine will be used for soaking the lady fingers. Set up your assembly station as shown in the photo below.

ASSEMBLY SET UP: 12 lady fingers. Cranberry Compote. Cranberry Wine. Cranberry Tiramisu Cream.
Soak the lady finger cookies in the wine for 1 second on each side. The idea is to let the cookies absorb the wine without getting soggy in the center.
Add a dollop of Cranberry Tiramisu Cream to the bottom of the glass. Top with a teaspoon of Cranberry Compote.
Break the cranberry wine soaked lady fingers into thirds. Place 5 pieces up right in each glass.
Cover the cookies with a large dollop of Cranberry Tiramisu Cream and another teaspoon of Cranberry Compote.
Place 3 or 4 additional cookies pieces in each glass.
Cover with a layer of Cranberry Tiramisu Cream and place a cranberry in the center of each glass for garnish. It is best to make this dessert a day before serving. Refrigerate it overnight to allow the flavors to marry. It tastes great the next day. 😋

For the feature photo, I used a pumpkin platter and 2 servings of Cranberry Tiramisu on it. I thought it made a cute Halloween presentation similar to the one I used for my Pork Piccata last week.

I usually place each Cranberry Tiramisu on a fancy plate for a pretty presentation.

I am very proud of the Cranberry Tiramisu. I was able to cut the sugar down by using fennel powder which gives the illusion of sweetness. I have used this trick before in other recipes such as my marinara sauce and my berry zabaglione. I also used Savoiardi cookies imported from Italy. They are organic, have higher quality flour, and less sugar than American made lady fingers.

When I did the test recipe, I invited a friend over to be my taste tester. It turned out so yummy that I just had to eat one myself. I tested my fasting blood sugar the next day and it was fine. I was so happy. 😊

With this recipe, I have now posted all the recipes for my upcoming Halloween Italian Cooking Class/Pop Up Supper Club in Support of the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry. I am now going to spend the next four days getting everything ready for the event. Wish me luck!

Results of My First Cooking Class/Pop Up Supper Club in Support of the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry

My first cooking class/pop up supper club was a lot of fun and a big hit.  The students loved the cooking class.  Everyone enjoyed the food, wine pairing and the goodwill generated during the event.  The best compliment I got was that the food, wine and service were like a five star restaurant, but the camaraderie was the best thing of all.

I am thankful to my guests for their goodwill and donations to the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry.  We were able to raise $600 to help our community.  Not bad for a first trial run event.

OUR NEXT EVENT WILL BE ON SEPTEMBER 28th.  This time the menu will be Indian Cuisine.  I will post the menu by the first week of September.  The event will be open to 20 people and will be held in my cooking school house on my ranch.

Here is the Italian profile menu that was prepared and served for this event.  It was all delicious, gluten free and Keto friendly.  I was also able to provide vegan and vegetarian options.

BCEFP Event 2

 

THE AMUSE-BOUCHE

AUTUMN DAL–I served a sample of the soup that I made for the 2019 Bastrop County Empty Bowl Project.

 

THE APPETIZER

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER–topped with shaved Italian cheeses, pine nuts and a drizzle of homemade pesto.  I have not yet posted this recipe on my blog, but I will soon.

The cooking class students enjoyed making and eating this dish.  It was a class favorite.

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The pesto that topped the cauliflower was easy to make, fragrant and oh so yum!!!

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My friend, Melinda thought it smelled divine.

By the way,  Melinda has been very supportive of my cooking endeavors.  She made me promise that when I do my first cooking class, I have to call her so that the event can be scheduled at a time when she will be able to attend.  True to my promise, she was the first one to be invited.

A NO WASTE TIP–when we prepped the cauliflower, we saved all the stalks and leaves.  We used them as part of the base for the stuffing in our main course.  I wanted to show that no part of the vegetable has to go to waste. I always use it all one way or the other.  In this case I used it in the soffritto that makes up the stuffing for the Dover Sole.  The cauliflower stalks taste like a cross between celery and fennel, so they make an aromatic addition to the soffritto.

 

THE SALAD

MIXED GREENS–with house made balsamic vinaigrette.  I bought some organic greens at grocery store, but the ones you see me washing were grown by my hubby.

The main reason that I wanted to make a salad was to show my students how easy it is to make salad dressing.  It is basically 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, an emulsifying agent, salt, pepper, herbs and spices.  Here I used Tuscan Extra Virgin olive oil, White Balsamic vinegar from Modena, soy sauce as the emulsifying agent, thyme and my Italian Spice Mix.

I will write a detailed post on the basics of making salad dressings in the future.  I never buy commercial salad dressings because most of them have ingredients that are not good for you.  Also the home made dressings are easy to make and taste so much better.

 

THE MAIN COURSE

STUFFED DOVER SOLE–with artichoke hearts and onion, served on a bed of BUCKWHEAT PILAF surrounded by BLISTERED TOMATOES.  On the right you see the vegan option, where roasted cauliflower was substituted for the fish.

I picked this dish for my first cooking class because it was the first dish I posted when I started my blog.  I was so lucky to find wild fresh caught Dover Sole at the store.  For the full recipe please click on the links above.

Here are a few more photos from the cooking class.

 

THE DESSERT

CC 1 Zabaglione Whip
Photo by Gabby Silva

BERRIES AND FENNEL SCENTED ZABAGLIONE

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Zabaglione is an Italian custard made with egg yolks, sugar and sweet Marsala wine.  The eggs came form our own chickens, making this custard extra special.  I played around with the traditional zabaglione recipe to find a way to cut down the amount of sugar used.  The classic recipe calls for a table spoon of sugar for 2 egg yolks along with a table spoon of sweet Marsala.  I was able to cut the sugar down to 1 tea spoon by adding a pinch of fennel powder. In the future, I will write a post showing the recipe step by step.

THE TIP HERE IS THAT FENNEL POWDER ADDS THE ILLUSION OF SWEETNESS SO IT ALLOWS YOU TO DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF SUGAR.  The fennel powder also adds great flavor.  I use this same trick in my marinara sauce.  An Indian cooking trick carried over to Italian Cuisine.  I really like that.

I was a bit nervous because this was my first cooking class.  However, everything went smoothly.  All the food was timed correctly.  We started the class at 1:30 with 5 students.  The class ended right on time at 5:30.  The dinner guests arrived at 6 pm and my husband served everyone a cocktail.

Above you see him making his Pear Martini.  It is a very popular drink.  The pears come from our tree.  If you want to see the recipe please click on the link.

Each course was perfectly matched with a Texas wine from Messina Hof.

Thanks to everyone who helped to make it a great event!

CC 1 Group Photo
Photo by Gabby Silva

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking Class/Pop Up Supper Club in Support of the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry

I am finally doing my first cooking class/pop up supper club to benefit the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry.  This is event is a trial run for a small group at my  home.  I am opening a cooking school on my ranch in September and am planning to do a larger event for Hunger Action Month.

As stated on  feedingamerica.org,  “September is Hunger Action Month-a month where people all over America stand together with Feeding America and the nationwide network of food banks to fight hunger.  It’s a month to spread the word and take action on the hunger crisis, and dedicate ourselves to a solution.”

My trial event is this Saturday, July 27th 2019.  I will be featuring an Italian menu paired with Texan wines from Messina Hof.

BCEFP Event 2

I am happy to say that the event sold out before I even had a chance to send out e-mail invites.  Believe it or not, besides being delicious, the whole menu is gluten free.  The main course is the first recipe that I posted on my blog, Stuffed Dover Sole.

Today is 4 July 2020.  I am updating this post to direct you to the Berries & Fennel Scented Zabaglione recipe from this menu.  I decided to post this very special, red, white and blue, Keto friendly dessert recipe in honor of our Independence Day.

I am in charge of the food and my husband is in charge of the drinks.  In addition to the wine, he will be making cocktails and mocktails.  Some of our guests don’t consume alcohol, so we want to accommodate everybody.

Tresha Silva, the director of the food bank, has kindly offered to help me serve.  I am very excited that I finally managed to make time in my life to do this.  There is a lot of work to do between now and the event.  I will let all of you know how it went.  I have never done a cooking class/pop up supper club before.

WISH ME LUCK !!!