Monday, March 1, 2010

Tropical Tiramisu


Eeek! This almost feels weird to write again. The essay component of my senior project had been eating me alive, but now, thankfully, it is over. I finished. Woohoo! I hope that you missed me as much as I missed you, and I greatly appreciate all of the comments that you leave me. They brightened my days, which is saying a lot as the stress has been crowding out almost every other ray of sunshine that has come my way lately.

A few days after I graduate, my mom and I are embarking on a very exciting journey. We are traveling to Paris, leaving the city and the country that is so familiar to me. We do not return to America for three weeks, during which time we will be meandering around Europe and visiting whichever city strikes our fancy.

The only drawback to this incredible trip is the fact that I will not be able to bake and share my triumphs (and disasters) with all of you. However, I was hoping to post some entries about the food, particularly the desserts, that I get to eat while on the other side of the Atlantic. Of course, I will only do this if you are interested, so please let me know.

Anyhow, the mounting pressures of school and not knowing where I am going to college coupled with the unusually long cold spell that has descended upon Charleston have left me dreaming of summer. Even though I only snuck a tiny taste, the scent and the pretty, cheerful colors of the tiramisu were enough to bring back memories of riding bikes with Charlotte and Mary and Saturday morning trips to the farmer's market.



I cannot personally speak for the greatness of this tiramisu. I must admit that I was skeptical. I don't find the texture of sponge cake particularly endearing, and tropical fruits don't often win me over, save a banana or a kiwi. The individual components of the tiramisu didn't sound very promising, but, it was much better than I had anticipated. I didn't care for the fruit in the tiramisu, but the coconut custard was delicious. Whatever else it was, it was a nice, little pick-me-up at the beginning of a week that is looking bleak already.

Tropical Tiramisu
Serves 8
Adapted from Room for Dessert

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup canned Thai coconut milk
4 egg yolks
1 cup unsweetened dried coconut

1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pint basket strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
1 medium mango, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 tablespoons sugar
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup dark rum

1 Sponge Cake

Heat the sugar and whole milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk, then add the scraped bean. Whisk the cornstarch and coconut milk together until completely smooth. When the milk mixture is hot, whisk in the coconut milk mixture and continue cooking until the mixture is very thick, stirring constantly. Whisk the egg yolks together in a small bowl. Pour some of the thickened milk into the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Pour the warmed egg yolks into the saucepan and whisk with the rest of the thickened milk. Continue cooking and stirring until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Remove the vanilla bean and stir in the coconut. Refrigerate the custard. Heat the pineapple in a pan until it is lightly cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Toss the pineapple, strawberries, mango, sugar, lime juice, and rum together in a bowl. Cut the cake into two pieces that will fit in a 2 quart soufflé dish, reserving trimmmings for middle layer. Spread 1/2 cup custard on the bottom of the dish and cover with a piece of cake. Spread half of the fruit and its juices over the cake. Spread 1 cup custard over the fruit and cover with cake trimmings. Cover with remaining fruit and another cup custard. Top with remaining slice of cake, and spread custard over that. Refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.

More Tiramisu Recipes


  1. Will you bring me a piece to school tomorrow? this looks so good!


  2. Looks great Hayley!!! I can't wait to taste this deliciousness in the car tomorrow morning! (and thanks for the shout out about riding soon as the weather gets nice, its on!)

  3. This was so good! I could eat this all day, every day! I helped cleanse me of a lot of stress. A nice break in the day. Thanks for bringing it!


  4. You are going to Europe for three weeks?!
    That is so exciting. can't wait to read about your trip.
    so.. if i holla again, will you bring me some french food to south korea?