Something shifted in the air last week. Whispers of a spring hidden under the thick mantle of snow that covers everything around us. It is perhaps the soft sound of water drops gently echoing through the stillness of the pine forest. Or the rich smell of the earth stirring from its winter slumber. The birds, chirping from the treetops not unlike a celebration of the changing of the seasons; their joyful songs filling the air with a sense of wonder? Yes, maybe it’s all that.
And as spring is slowly emerging, I cannot help myself but bake with rhubarb. At the restaurant it means a crème brûlée; topped with a rocher of cardamom ice-cream, roasted rhubarb, a rhubarb gel, and soft and chewy kola kakor on the new menu. And a rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice-cream, Campari fluid gel and olive oil jelly on our tasting menu.
At home, I put together a simple rhubarb tiramisu. Delicate lady fingers, rhubarb roasted in a vanilla sugar syrup just so, a rich and velvety mascarpone cream and a dollop of whipped cream with a hint of amaretto. It was the perfect dessert for our Easter lunch.
For the roasted rhubarb
- 600 g rhubarb washed and trimmed
- 125 g caster sugar
- 100 g rhubarb juice or water
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 vanilla pod or a little vanilla paste
For the mascarpone cream
- 3 eggs
- 450 g mascarpone
- 85 g caster sugar
- 12 ladyfingers
For the amaretto cream
- 125 g whipping cream
- seeds from half a vanilla pod
- a dash of amaretto optional
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C.
- Cut the trimmed rhubarb into 2cm pieces. Put into a large baking tin and sprinkle with the sugar. Add the rhubarb juice, and the vanilla pod and seeds.
- Cover the tin with foil, sealing the edges, and bake for 30 minutes or until the rhubarb is very tender and just holding its shape.
- Allow the rhubarb to cool down completely before getting on with the rest.
- When ready to assemble, start by gently transferring the rhubarb into another dish using a slotted spoon. Save the liquid.
- Make the mascarpone cream.
- Separate the eggs and set aside the yolks until needed.
- Using a hand-mixer or a stand-mixer fitted with the whisk attachement, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Then add half the sugar and keep on whipping until the sugar has dissolved, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until light and fluffy, around five minutes.
- Now add the mascarpone, a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Whisk together until smooth.
- Add a large spoonful of the meringue into the mascarpone mixture and mix in energetically using a silicon spatula. Now add the rest of the meringue and fold in delicately until fully incorporated.
- To assemble the tiramisu, prepare 6 ramekins.
- Briefly soak two ladyfingers (read note above in case you want to make thinner layers) into the rhubarb syrup and arrange at the bottom of a ramekin. repeat with the remaining ones. I like to break my ladyfingers into halves.
- Top with a dash of extra syrup. And a generous spoonful of the roasted rhubarb.
- Finally, pipe the mascarpone cream onto the rhubarb. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Before serving, whisk the whipping cream with the seeds from half a vanilla pod and a dash of amaretto - if using, until lightly whipped. Spoon a dollop of the cream onto your tiramisu, and serve.