Gin-a-misu is the boozy dessert you never knew you needed

A good tiramisu is one of life's greatest pleasures! Is there anything better than a big slice of this delicious dessert? Well, when our resident gin chef Carol and May's amazing Bordiga Occitan Gin come into the mix, the answer is a resounding yes. Her gin-soaked take on the classic recipe will be your new favourite treat - guaranteed!

May is such a lovely month. Sunshine, blossoms and just a hint of summer around the corner. It is usually in May that we have our first al fresco meals. I love dining outdoors – the sun shining, the birds singing and surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers. And for some reason, food often tastes better outdoors and the whole meal just ambles on into a long and relaxing afternoon or evening!

For May, we have a wonderful citrusy gin from Italy and so I’ve revisited one of Italy’s most famous desserts, tiramisu, and given it a modern and fresh, gin flavoured twist.

This recipe can be made substituting oranges for the lemons, and orange curd for the lemon curd, but I prefer the zesty freshness of lemon. The dish is quite rich and you do not need a huge portion.

It really is a winner, and I had to make more than one batch when developing the recipe as my family ate it before I could get it photographed, so that has to be a good sign!

The gin-a-misu is quite firm as the lemon juice ‘sets’ the cheese mix, and so it could be made in a loose ring cake tin then served on a cake stand. This would make a very impressive dinner party dessert, with a shot of iced limoncello on the side.

I hope you enjoy it.

(Note: this recipe contains raw egg. Care should be taken if pregnant or elderly)

Occitan and Lemon Gin-a-misu

Occitan gin and lemon gin-a-misu tiramisu boozy dessert

(serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

3 lemons, juice and zest
8 tbsp Bordiga's Occitan Gin
100g caster sugar
2 packets sponge fingers
500g mascarpone cheese
2 large eggs
Jar of premium lemon curd (do not use cheaper varieties)
150ml double cream
Crushed amaretti biscuits

Method:

Mix together 50g of sugar, the juice of two lemons and 4 tbsp Occitan gin in a bowl and leave until sugar has dissolved.

In a clean bowl whisk egg whites until they form peaks, and in another bowl whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks.

Beat together the mascarpone, egg yolks, zest of two lemons, 100g lemon curd, 50g of sugar, 2tbsp Occitan gin and the juice of one lemon.

Fold the cream and egg whites into the mascarpone mixture with a metal spoon.

Take a rectangular dish (I used a 25x20cm glass dish), dip sponge fingers in the lemon syrup and use to make a layer in the base of the dish. You may need to cut the sponge fingers to size. Spoon a little extra lemon syrup on top then smooth over half the mascarpone mix.

Now take 2 heaped tablespoons of leftover lemon curd and mix with the last 2 tbsp Occitan gin to make a smooth sauce. Drizzle half the sauce on top of the mascarpone mix.

Now repeat the 3 layers, using up all of the lemon syrup on the sponge fingers. You will not use both packs of sponge fingers, just use enough for 2 layers in your chosen dish. Pour the rest of the gin and lemon sauce over the top of the mascarpone layer and swirl together with a knife.

Place in a fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Just before serving sprinkle the top of the gin-a-misu with the remaining lemon zest that has been mixed with crushed amaretti biscuits.

This dessert goes very well with some sliced, ripe strawberries.

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