Christmas cake? Give me tiramisu any day

While we do have Christmas cake in our house, I have never understood its appeal

'Tiramisu is something I make with the kids and they enjoy the act of assembling it while eating as much of the cream as they can.' Photograph: Getty Images/Moment

'Tiramisu is something I make with the kids and they enjoy the act of assembling it while eating as much of the cream as they can.' Photograph: Getty Images/Moment

 

If your house hasn’t descended into Christmas mode yet, you may be one of the lucky ones. In the past number of years, Christmas seems to start where Halloween ends, or some cases when the kids return to school in September. “Can Santa make iPhones”, is something my girls regularly say to me, imagining how this artisanal gent crafts a smartphone from wood. 

It may seem strange to some that one in the restaurant industry bemoans the extended commercialisation of Christmas, though I would prefer the coming weeks to be more about food and less about Christmas-jumper-wearing loons that partake in the 12 pubs of Christmas. 

My wife made the Christmas cake a few weeks ago (is it a tradition in your house?) and continues to pour a little whiskey over it once a week to make it suitably drunk. I have never understood Christmas cake and recall only ever eating the icing with the marzipan as a child. I have eaten many things in my life (the odd bits of cows and pigs), but Christmas cake is definitely on the “dislike” list.  Perhaps unconventionally, my “Christmas cake” is a large tiramisu. It’s something I make with the kids and they enjoy the act of assembling it while eating as much of the cream as they can.

Cream six egg yolk with 100g of sugar. If you like, add 50ml of Baileys (or rum or marsala) into the mix for good measure. Fold in 400g mascarpone. Whisk up the six egg whites in a food processor and slowly incorporate 150g of sugar to make a fluffy meringue. Fold both mixtures together. 

Dunk your lady fingers into a cool coffee and liqueur solution (or leave the alcohol out if the kids are partaking). Layer up the whole thing and then sprinkle with good quality cocoa powder. Set in the fridge for four hours.

If you’re making dessert for Christmas Day, do make it the day before as you’ll have enough to do in the day. Next week: turkey, ham and vegetables.

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