Pakistani’s adore Western food, especially desserts so hence I grew up with always experimenting with such sweets – But once I left Pakistan, I realised that I craved Pakistani desserts more, which has lead me to reinvent many.
However a wild obsession for everything Italian lead me to create a recipe which brings my favourite Italian dessert, Tiramisu, to perfect unite with the hauntingly exotic flavours of Pakistani desserts. The base of the recipe is what you would expect in a Tiramisu, mascarpone cheese and eggs but there is no coffee, no chocolate – instead you are greeted with what someone eating this dessert once said, the true taste of Pakistan. My Desi twist is the use of rosewater, aniseed (saunf) and cardamom. These are flavours we usually find in most Pakistani desserts, but hardly ever in a Western ones. Chai tea adds a different spicy flavour as opposed to the usual coffee one and the pink colour just looks pretty! These aromas and flavours marry well to create a sublime and unusual dessert that’s hard to resist!
THIS IS MY SIGNATURE DESSERT AND IS COPYRIGHTED AS ALL MY RECIPES ARE – PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES WITHOUT MY PERMISSION – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Preparation time: 30 – 40 minutes
Refrigeration time: 7-8 hours, preferably overnight
Serves: makes about 4-6 cocktail glasses or dessert cups or is enough for a large 6×6 casserole dish (feeds about 4-6 people)
Utensils and equipment:
A 6×6 1 ½ deep casserole dish or 4-6 cocktail glasses or desserts cups
3 plastic mixing bowls
3 large free-range egg yolks
25g caster sugar
250g mascarpone cheese
1 large egg white
½ packet of a 175g pack ladyfingers / sponge biscuits
Flavouring and tea:
200ml brewed Chai tea (using teabags)
1 tsp ground Aniseed
1 tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Rose essence or 1 tbsp Rosewater
a few drops of pink food colour
1 tbsp roughly chopped pistachios
Edible rose petals (optional)
- Using an electric beater, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is very pale, very thick and leaves a trail from the mixer when lifted.
- Next whisk in the mascarpone cheese, vanilla, ground cardamom and aniseed and ensure that the mixture is well combined. Now add the pink food colour, to create a light pink hue.
- Beat the egg whites, in a separate bowl, beat until stiff. Then careful and gently fold the stiff egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.
- Lay about half the ladyfinger / sponge biscuits in a bowl and pour over the brewed Chai tea. Then careful place each soaked biscuit in the bottom of the serving dish or bowl. Pour over half the mascarpone mixture and then repeat the layers with the rest of the fingers.
- Sprinkle chopped pistachios, edible rose petals (if desired) and any remaining aniseed and cardamom powder and with Clingfilm and put in the fridge to set for at least 8 hours or overnight. Serve cold.
Basic tiramisu recipe ingredients inspired by Woman and Home magazine