Monday, August 25, 2008

Light Peach Tiramisu

Recently my friend Jan wrote to me about a peach tiramisu that she had made. Her description of the dessert was so mouth-watering I knew that I just had to make it before summer was over. This past Saturday night I had offered to bring dessert to dinner at a friend’s house and therefore had the perfect opportunity to do so. I asked Jan to send me the recipe but, oops, it wasn’t a Cooking Light recipe. Actually, it wasn’t light at all! Still, her description of this delicious creamy dessert was stuck in my head, and I wanted to make it.

The easiest part was finding the dry Italian ladyfinger cookies required-- I had a package of them in my pantry. The most difficult part of preparing to make this tiramisu was a split—finding a substitute for mascarpone cheese, and getting a couple of beautiful, yet rock-hard, peaches to ripen in 43 hours.

After visiting several websites, I chose to use the mascarpone substitute which I found on judyskitchen. I will not go into why I had no mascarpone, since the mega-grocery store a mere 15 minutes’ drive away carries it, but suffice to say I did not have any.

Judy directed to, for each 8 ounces of mascarpone required, use 8 ounces of cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of sour cream, and 2 tablespoons of whipping cream. She mentioned that this is only a substitute for mascarpone and doesn't taste like like the "real thing", but we liked it just fine.

As for the peaches, suffice to say that I became their Ripening Coach. I placed them on our black mesh patio table, moving them every couple of hours to keep them in the sun. When this wasn’t giving the quick results that I wanted, I popped them into a paper bag with a ripe banana and left them in the hot sun a while. I coaxed, I urged, I cajoled… every few hours I would visit my peaches and let them know how very important it was for them to be nice and ripe by 1pm on Saturday afternoon. It worked! They could have used another day, but were fine by the time I
was ready to use them.

The original recipe weighed in at 410 calories per serving, 24g fat, 13g saturated fat. The fat content was more that I try to eat in a day! So I worked on subbing for the two major culprits, the mascarpone cheese and the heavy cream (which was to be whipped). What I came up with was much better than I had dared hope. The cheese was light and fluffy, the ladyfingers, soaked in a mix of espresso and dark rum, were softened (not mushy) and there wasn’t an obvious “coffee” flavor. In fact, all of the flavors (rum, coffee, peaches) blended together quite well and I was pleased. I used neufachel cheese, light sour cream, and lowfat half & half and, in place of the whipped cream, Cool Whip Lite. It worked! :) The final recipe yielded 6 good-sized servings each containing 321 calories, 12g total fat, and 6g saturated.

The only thing that I will do differently next time is with my choice of serving dish. The original recipe called for an 11” x 8” dish and made 6-8 servings. Jan used a glass loaf pan to halve the recipe. I scaled the recipe down a little to allow for 5 very slightly smaller servings, so I thought I would use my 1-1/2 quart glass bowl with the little flowers. That would have been nice, but it was at the lake house, so I decided to use a slightly smaller, oval-shaped bowl. It was not a good idea. In addition to barely fitting everything in, the oval shape allowed for too many ladyfingers at each of the narrow ends, giving those servings more of a cookie-to-cream ratio than I would have liked. Also, a wide glass bowl or rectangular pan will give more presentable slices of the tiramisu, not the “scoops” which I ended up serving. It’s all in the presentation, remember? ;)

* Exported from MasterCook *

Not my best attempt at a food-photo, but we were on a dark porch and the camera flash burned out the

white tones too much to repair...

Light Peach Tiramisu

Recipe By : Vicci

Servings: 6

Preparation Time :50:00 (plus at least 6 hours of refrigeration)

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

3/4 cup brewed coffee -- hot

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 cup dark rum

3/4 pound ripe yellow peaches -- peeled and thinly sliced

8 ounces neufchatel cheese

4 ounces fat-free cream cheese

1/4 cup light sour cream

1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

2 tablespoons lowfat half & half

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups Cool Whip Lite®

4 ounces Italian ladyfinger Cookies -- dry; also named "savoiardi"

optional garnishes as desired: additional peach slices, mint sprigs, additional Cool Whip Lite

In a shallow bowl, dissolve the sugar in the hot coffee and cool to room temperature. Add the rum, stir, and set aside.

Prepare peaches, toss with a little lemon juice (or Fruit Fresh) to prevent darkening, and set aside.

Beat cream cheeses and sour cream with an electric mixer at medium speed for two minutes. Add confectioner’s sugar, half & half, and vanilla extract and beat for an additional minute, scraping down bowl frequently. Drop the Cool Whip Lite in several dollops onto the surface of the cream cheese mixture and use a spatula to gently fold in until blended. Set aside.

Dip half of the ladyfingers quickly (for just a second) into the coffee mixture and arrange on the bottom of a 1-1/2 quart serving dish or flat-bottom bowl. Spread with half of the cheese mixture. Top with an even layer of the peaches, then place the remaining ladyfingers, dipped in the coffee mixture, on top of the peaches. Finally, spread the remaining cheese mixture over all.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours but not more than 18 or the ladyfingers start to break down and become mushy.

Slice into serving pieces and garnish as desired.

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Per serving: 321 Calories (kcal); 12g Total Fat, 6g Saturated; (44% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 25g Carbohydrate; 44mg Cholesterol; 315mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 5 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates


Laura said...

I am so jealous you have Ladyfingers on hand--I cannot find them on my side of town and always forget to buy them at the 1 hour trip each way grocery store.

This looks great--I am not the biggest peach fan, but you can layer anything with mascarpone (or mascarpone substitute) and I am there. :)

Kitchen Queen Victoria said...


Weirdly enough, I buy these at Sam's Club! But they are seasonal, so I have to remember to stock up when I see them.

I think that mango and raspberries would fill in for the peach very nicely. :)