Tiramilova (a Plum Wine Tiramisu Masquerading as a Pavlova)
This recipe came about when recently asked the question, "If you were a recipe what would you be?" I spent an entire week pondering the question. I wanted to create something that represented me - a mix; a fusion of several cultures over three continents and two hemispheres. In short, it had to be something part Japanese, part Australian, adopted Italian and definitely something sweet. To be honest, I’m much more of a purist when it comes to recipes, so at first I wasn’t sure about creating a fusion recipe, I felt like I was concocting something only Morimoto could get away with, but after turning the kitchen into a science laboratory, I think I’ve found it, me in a recipe, and something I'd like to remembered for: Plum wine tiramisu masquerading as a pavlova. Or, what my husband has decided to call, tiramilova. The pavlova part of the recipe forms the outside casing - this dessert is not only a national culinary icon of Australia and New Zealand, but is something that was present at practically every Christmas when I was a child. The idea of mixing the soft pavlova insides with the mascarpone comes from a beautiful gelato I tried for the first time one summer along the Tuscan coast – meringue gelato. It had little crunchy, melt-in-mouth pieces of meringue, which were just gorgeous. The Japanese part of the recipe is a delicate touch of plum wine, umeshu, a liqueur made out of ume, a Japanese plum that looks like a small, unripe apricot. It is steeped in shochu and sugar and is quite often homemade. It has a sweet, perfumed, slightly sour taste and is delicious served on its own or with a bit of ice. It also makes a great summer cocktail when mixed with some green tea. A hint of mandarin rind always reminds me of trips to Japan too. The adopted Italian part of the recipe is the inside - the tiramisu! Italy has been my adopted home for the past six years and the greatest influence on what I eat and cook at home. The tiramisu itself is a fusion recipe, originally being a variation on zuppa inglese, the classic English trifle. For this fact, I think it lends itself pretty well to other variations and recreations. Be prepared for the incredible indulgent quality of this dessert – it is, after all, like eating two desserts at once!
What you will need
1/4 pound caster sugar
8 ounces mascarpone
5 ounces umeshu (Japanese plum wine)
Grated rind of 1 mandarin
1 packet ladyfinger biscuits