Sunday, 1 May 2011

When Semifreddo met Tiramisu`

You know? I really don't like Tiramisu`. To me, being presented with a slice of the gooey mess is the equivalent of torture (slight exaggeration, of course!) Tiramisu` is sweet, floppy and combines two ingredients which I don't enjoy together: coffee and liqueur! No, thanks!

Now... when Semifreddo met Tiramisu`, they had a beautiful baby, which I made today, using strawberries, cream, Mascarpone cheese, sponge fingers, milk eggs and sugar. Needless to say, it's quite delicious and reminiscent of one of my loves, probably the only sweet I have ever ordered at a restaurant: creme brulee, though my cake is not baked, not brulee, and really suitable for Summer. Lovely with Prosecco or any kind of Spumante. I don't usually like fizzy drinks, but I make an exception for Prosecco and M&C Champagne! "Pretty bubbles!"

When I was in Puglia, last month, land of all good organic fruit and vegetables, I just had to "visit" the large market in Modugno, with my sister and my husband. There was no stopping me. I went from one stall to another, spoke to everyone, took photos, tasted "bits" (people are so nice, there!) I had so much fun, I can't tell you!

This lady and her stall caught my eye.


She was very tidy, pretty and smiled a lot. What attracted me to her stall was the variety of produce and... a smell I knew very well: fresh sun ripened strawberries!

Italian strawberries

 No puddings in our home, when I was a bambina. We had strawberries with sugar and lemon juice or Marsala (sweet Italian wine) NO CAKES! If Mamma was in a good mood, she might let us have strawberries and cream. SHE... loved Gelato alla Fragola e Limone (strawberry and lemon ice cream)

I felt brave today and inspired by all the lovely strawberries in the shops, so... I MADE a PUDDING!

Ok... this my recipe for something which my sister described as Tiramisu`. To me, it's more like Semifreddo, so I decided to call this recipe WHEN SEMIFREDDO MET TIRAMISU`. Good name, eh?

When Semifreddo met Tiramisu`

(can serve up to 10. It's very rich!)


3 fresh egg yolks
5 tbsp white sugar
300 gr mascarpone cheese
300 gr whipped cream
500 gr strawberries
about 30-40
Boudoir biscuits
(or Savoiardi
or Pavesini)
some milk
confectioner's sugar


This is really easy: no cooking required. Place the egg yolks in a bowl, add the sugar and whisk till it reaches a creamy consistency. Add the Mascarpone and gently blend together using a spatula or a wooden spoon.

Next, add the whipped cream. The mixture should be feeling soft and will look very inviting. I had to taste it, at this stage... it was Yummy!

In a small bowl, place some cold milk, then find a dish (preferably a square one) in which you will assemble your cake. Dip some of the biscuits in the milk, then make a base with these, at the bottom of the dish.

Follow with a layer of sliced strawberries, then another layer of the Mascarpone mixture, again, more biscuits and, to finish off the cake, a final layer of the Mascarpone and cream mixture.


I fanned some strawberries, to decorate my cake, but, really, you can be as creative as you like, and use all kinds of delicious, juicy Summer fruits for this.

Keep refrigerated for two to three hours before serving. It's very rich, so don't be too generous with your portions! Good with Limoncello, too, by the way!


  1. One summer we really should do a cook book together. All your recipes need a book.

  2. Dear Valery... available... anytime. With your photography, and my ... whatever... we should be able to produce something good.

    I agree, a family Summer in Italy, between Puglia and Campania should allow us to put together a fun cookery book with outstanding pictures (taken by you, of course)

    My cake is even more beautiful, today... but I'm being good... I just look at it...