In the lead up to Christmas, Giovann Attard, executive head chef at Norma has shared his recipe for the restaurant’s festive tiramisu with chestnuts, cinnamon, and orange.
Originating from Gozo, an island situated next to Malta, Giovann Attard’s cooking has a wealth of international influences, with particular focus on Moorish cuisine, by which the food from his home region Is heavily influenced. He brings this to his menu at Norma in Fitzrovia, where he joined the opening team as head chef in February 2019.
On his passion for Mediterranean food and eating by the sea, Giovann Attard, executive head chef at Norma, said: “I love fresh sea food, anything grilled or barbecued. I grew up on a farm and my dad is a farmer, so we always harvested our own produce, which ignited my love of cooking with fresh ingredients. My inspiration has to be the women in my family, particularly my aunt who is an amazing chef, along with my mother and grandmother. In Maltese culture, cooking is a group activity that brings everyone together, which I love.”
Moreover, discussing his festive take on the Italian classic tiramisu, the chef told The London Economic: “Tiramisu is the perfect dish for sharing – this is why I think it is a great dish to serve at Christmas and during the festive season, when family and friends sit down together to enjoy a real feast. The Mascarpone cream and rich flavours of Christmas make this a really indulgent dessert. My recipe doesn’t include alcohol, which makes it a multi-generational favourite that everybody can enjoy.”
- 20 pieces savoiardi biscuits
- 3 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- 500 g mascarpone cream around 2 tubs
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 2 glasses of strong black coffee cold
- 1/2 zest of an orange
- A few cooked chestnuts
- Cocoa powder
- 2 spoons caster sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder mixed together
- First, separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.
- Then, ideally using a food mixer, whisk the egg yolks, caster sugar, ground cinnamon and orange zest until thick and fluffy, and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.
- Next, beat the mascarpone cream with a spatula and fold into the egg yolk mix
- Gently fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mix until well incorporated
- Now it’s time to start layering – use a ceramic dish around 29cm x 20cm x 4cm. The first layer should be the coffee-soaked savoiardi. To make, slightly soak the biscuits in the cold black coffee (be careful not to over-soak) and place them next to each other on the bottom of the dish
- Next is the layer of cinnamon and orange mascarpone cream – spread half of the mascarpone cream evenly on top of the savoiardi biscuits
- Repeat the above steps again – you should end up with two layers of savoiardi biscuits and two layers of mascarpone cream
- Leave to set for at least two hours in the fridge
- Before serving, dust with cocoa powder, and finish with grated cooked chestnuts, fresh orange zest and cinnamon sugar
- If you want to give your tiramisu some festive magic, optionally spray on golden cocoa butter and enjoy!