I set myself a cooking challenge, just like on the television show Chopped. Have you seen this program? The contestants are given a mystery basket containing 3 to 5 ingredients and are asked to come up with a dish that includes all the ingredients in some way. They also have access to a pantry and refrigerator full of other ingredients to use. The basket contains stuff that’s unlikely be used together in normal cooking like white balsamic vinegar, chocolate covered peanuts, dried cranberries and masa harina and those ingredients would need to be made into a dessert. The dishes are judged on taste, creativity and presentation.
I had some raspberries, amaretti biscuits and whipping cream and my formidable pantry, refrigerator and booze cabinet, where I found Kahlua. If I’d actually been on Chopped, I would probably have been asked to use some other freaky ingredient like sardines or dill pickles, but that’s the good thing about setting the challenge yourself.
Unlike the contestants on Chopped, there was no time limit other than my needing to use the raspberries before they went bad. I made this twist on an Eton Mess which is a layered dessert of strawberries, meringue and whipped cream. Not so creative, but full marks for taste and presentation (if I do say so myself).
Here’s what happened.
And amaretti biscuits.
Raided the booze cupboard for Kahlua.
Whipped some cream. Right near the end of whipping, added 2 teaspoons of Kahlua.
Started the assembly.
Crushed 4 or 5 amaretti biscuits by hand and dropped them into my glass.
Added 6 or so raspberries.
Then added 2 heaping spoonfuls of whipped cream.
Then another layer of raspberries.
Sprinkle some more crushed amaretti (3?) on the raspberries.
Whipping cream on top.
Finally, drizzle (pour) some Kahlua over the top and around the edges of the glass so the liquor reaches the berries and soaks into the amaretti.
Raspberry Amaretti Mess
Makes 1, but can easily be increased
8 – 10 amaretti biscuits
1 container (6 oz.) of fresh raspberries
150ml of whipping cream
3 tsp. Kahlua, divided
Roughly crush the amaretti biscuits. Whip the cream to into soft peaks. Add Kahlua to the whipped cream and whip just to combine.
Place a layer of crushed amaretti biscuits in the serving glass. Top with a layer of raspberries, then cream. Repeat layering once and finish with a few fresh raspberries. Drizzle with remaining Kahlua. Serve.