I have been making versions of this dessert for a long time now. It is a simple and classic combination of a cake or cookie base, strawberries, and a decadent and creamy topping, and I find it just perfect for summer. It is easy to make and doesn't even need much of a recipe. You can make one or two small servings, or make a huge batch for a crowd with equal ease. Sometimes I make individual sized servings in small bowls which looks very pretty too. As always, use this as a guideline and make your own fun variations on it; I have yet to see this ever going wrong.
Now finally, I have also given it a name. I am calling it 'Strawmisu'. I searched on it to be doubly sure, and no such word exists, so I can say I have coined it, and it works!
3-4 tablespoons of Grand Marnier
1/4 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
2-3 teaspoons sugar (optional)
4 oz mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream
2-3 Tablespoons sugar
a few drops of vanilla extract
8-12 Savoiardi or Italian style ladyfingers (you will need more or less depending on their size)
Rinse the strawberries quickly, and place on a kitchen towel. Slice enough strawberries so that you have about 1 an 1/2 cups of slices. Use the rest for garnishing.
In a medium bowl, place the sliced strawberries. Add the Grand Marnier, 2-3 teaspoons of sugar, and orange zest. Let it sit for about an hour so that the juices and sugar create some syrup.
Whip together the mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, the rest of the sugar (or to taste), and vanilla extract, for a few minutes until it forms soft peaks.
In a pan about 8 X 8 inches in size, arrange the ladyfingers close to each other to create the base layer. You might need to break up some of them to make them fit the entire pan. Spoon the strawberries evenly over it. Drizzle the syrup evenly so that all the ladyfingers are evenly moistened.
Spread the cream and cheese mixture evenly over the strawberries. Cover and keep in the fridge for 2 hours or more.
Garnish or serve with additional sliced or whole strawberries.
If you do not want to use Grand Marnier, you can use freshly squeezed orange juice.
In place of the ladyfingers, you can also use thin slices of pound cake or something similar.