Prep 30 mins (plus 3 hours in the fridge)
- 250g cranberries
- 1 large orange, zest and juice
- 110g caster sugar
- 250ml strong black coffee
- 75ml Grand Marnier
- 3-4 tsp cocoa powder
- 3 egg yolks
- 250g mascarpone
- 300ml double cream
- 20-24 savoiardi biscuits (lady fingers)
- 20g dark chocolate (80-90% cocoa solids)
In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, orange zest and juice and 50g sugar. Bring to a steady simmer and cook for around 5 mins, until roughly half of the berries have popped and broken down, but the remainder are whole, yet soft. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Brew the coffee, decant into a small container that will snuggly fit the length of one savoiarde biscuit. Add 3 tbsp Grand Marnier to the coffee and set aside.
Use a balloon whisk to whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and remaining liqueur for a few minutes, until the mixture is light in both colour and texture and has more than doubled in volume – it should look and feel like a thin mayonnaise. Use a spatula to combine this with the mascarpone.
In a separate bowl, use a balloon whisk to whip the cream to an airy, luscious but not-too-stiff ribbon stage. Fold and beat the egg yolk mixture into this, then very briefly use a balloon whisk to whip it back to that not-quite-soft peak stage (it will set further once in the fridge and a little ooze is preferable to over-whipped).
To assemble, dust the base of a 2-litre capacity serving dish with 1 tsp cocoa powder.
One by one, soak half the biscuits in the coffee and booze mix so that they’re wet and flavourful but not soggy, then transfer directly to the dish until the base is covered (I hold a biscuit flat in the liquid without letting go, say “and one”, then move it to the dish).
Spread the cranberry sauce over the biscuits and dust that with another teaspoon of cocoa powder. Spread just under half of the mascarpone mixture on top.
Repeat the biscuit soaking and arranging for a second layer. Cover with the remainder of the mascarpone, then refrigerate for 3 hours or more. Just prior to serving, dust with a final, generous teaspoon of cocoa powder, then use a fine microplane or similar to grate the chocolate over the top.
Image: Kim Lightbody
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