Tuesday, July 10, 2012


From the Mai 2012 issue of Cuisine Actuelle: Carambarmisù
A made-up contraction of the words Tiramisu and Carambar

Carambar is a caramel candy from France with jokes on the inside like Laffy Taffy. They are for kids and are generally cheesy.

  My favorite (that I know would never make it on the inside of a Laffy Taffy for American kids to giggle over):

“Qu’est-ce qu’on donne à un elephant qui a la diarrhea?”
(“What do you give to an elephant with diarrhea?”)

“Réponse: Beaucoup d’espace !”
(“Answer: Lots of Space!!!”)


Ok, that's enough funny business! Back to the recipe! 

This is a change from the traditional tiramisu. Usually you take lady fingers, dip them in an espresso syrup, layer the custard and cookies and top with a dusting of cocoa.

Carambarmisu lets you chose the cookie you use and you drizzle them with the caramel syrup you make using the candy.

The recipe reads:

Beat 2 egg yolks and 50g of sugar. Incorporate 150g marscarpone, 1 tsp. rum, 2 egg whites beaten to stiff peaks. Melt 5 Carambar in 20 cl of cream. Alternate layers of cream, crushed cookies of choice, and the caramel in glasses. Serve chilled.

Yes,  a-straight-and-to-the-point, I-hope-you-know-what-you-are-doing recipe. Typical of the French. They expect that everyone knows what he/she is doing in the kitchen. Now, let's do an American version that clears it up a bit. Oh, and by the way, this recipe does contain raw eggs (That's traditional! Blame the Italians...). Don't eat it if you are not supposed to! ( i.e. you have a compromised immune system, you are very young, elderly, or pregnant) Make sure your eggs are fresh, and you shouldn't have any problems.

You will need:
2 eggs, separated
50 g (about 1/4 c.) sugar
150 g (about 5 ounces) mascarpone*
1 tsp. rum
About 50 g (about 1.5 oz.) of caramel candy
20 cl. (about 7 fl. oz) or cream (heavy cream or half & half)*

Step 1:
Separate your eggs while cold. Let come to room temperature.
Melt your caramel candies in the cream over low heat. Let cool slightly.

Step 2: 
Whisk together egg yolks, most of the sugar, the mascarpone, and the rum. 

+ I actually used 2 tsp of rum because I thought it needed it... then, I was bad and added in a splash of Kahlua, too. I used a hand held mixer to do all my whisking. 

Step 3:
Whip egg whites and remaining sugar to stiff peaks. Fold the whites into the yolk mixture.

+ Apparently, I don't like to follow directions, but I have a good reason. Since it is easy to over-whip egg whites, I reserved some sugar to whip along with it. I also threw in a small pinch of Cream of tartar. Another protection for the proteins in your egg whites. 

Step 4:
The Magazine suggests using individual glasses for serving, I didn't feel like it, so I made one big one. You decide on your container(s). I used an 8x8 square. It also doesn't tell you what cookies to use or how much. All it says is crushed.... Hmmm.... Room for creativity! This is caramel flavored so it could go with so many things.

+I wasn't sure what to chose, so I went for the classic: The Lady Finger. Well, I also didn't crumble the cookies. Why would I, they fit perfectly into my dish? I was also naughty and deviated from the recipe again and used up some left over coffee by mixing it with sugar and dipping the lady fingers in it as with the traditional recipe.... I liked it, but coffee is a strong flavor and it kind of overpowered the Carambar, so I am not sure that I recommend doing that. 

Step 5: Final step! Assembly! Place a layer of your cookies in the dish, top with the caramel cream you made, top that with some of the custard (egg mixture), repeat. You may chose to dust the top with cocoa... or not....You decide. Place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly.... 

Voilà! You have Carambarmisu!


Mascarpone is a soft Italian cheese similar to cream cheese. It usually comes in an 8 ounce tub. In our grocery stores, it is over by the fancy cheeses like brie... not over by the cream cheese and cheddar ;)

The recipe says Liquid Cream... I thought immediately of heavy cream, but I didn't have quite enough on hand so I substituted the rest with half & half.

More info on Carambar:

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