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Summer Tiramisu

Serves 10-12/ Vegetarian

150ml (5fl oz) water
200g (7oz) unbleached caster sugar
400g (14oz) mixed berries, fresh or frozen)
50ml (2fl oz) crème de cassis or crème de framboise
4 eggs, separated
250g tub mascarpone cheese
1 x 200g packet of boudoir biscuits (sponge biscuits)
50g (2oz) flaked or slivered almonds

Make a syrup by dissolving half the sugar in the water, then boiling for 2 minutes. Add in the fruit. If using fresh fruit, turn off the heat and leave it to cool. If using frozen fruit, bring the syrup back to the boil and let it simmer very gently for 1-2 minutes, then leave to cool. Add the cassis or framboise to the syrup.

Beat the egg yolks in a bowl with the remaining sugar until pale and thick. Beat in the mascarpone cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold them lightly into the egg and mascarpone mixture.

Strain the fruit from the syrup. Place the syrup in a wide bowl. Dip half the biscuits in the cooled syrup and use them to line the base of a 28cm (11in) gratin dish. Spread half the mascarpone mixture over, followed by half the fruit. Cover the fruit with another layer of the biscuits dipped in the liquid. Spread over the remainder of the fruit, followed by the remaining mascarpone mixture. Cover and chill for a minimum of 6 hours, or ideally overnight, to allow the biscuits to absorb the juices and soften.

Meanwhile, toast the almonds by heating a dry frying pan, tossing in the nuts and frying for 2-3 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool. Use to sprinkle over the tiramisu just prior to serving.