Ingredients - about 12 portions
Method1. Choose a 6-8c attractive serving bowl that is wide and shallow (nice vegetable serving dish will do)
2. Divide sponge fingers into the 4 layers. Put one layer in bottom of bowl and arrange other three layers standing up against the sides of the bowl like flower petals. Normally rounded side out.
3. Dissolve instant coffee and sugar in hot water or add sugar to made hot coffee. Add liqueur. Taste and see if you want more liqueur or sugar.
4. Spoon/drizzle coffee mix onto lady fingers until they are completely saturated and no longer white looking. Coffee might pool at bottom of bowl, so rotate bowl so fingers absorb more coffee liquid.
5. In a 6 c mixing bowl, whisk 1c cream, ¼ c sugar, and 2 tbsp liqueur until stiff.
6. Add mascarpone and gently whisk into cream mix until blended. Taste and see if you want more sugar as you don't want to be eating tasteless cream cheese.
7. Gently spoon cheese mix into bowl and smooth top.
8. Take one piece of clean computer paper and cut into long ½" wide strips. Place the paper in parallel lines about 1" apart on top of cream cheese. Press the paper slightly into cheese at edges if it won't stay. Place more strips of paper at almost right angles on top of the first row of paper. Look and see what looks most attractive to you. You are aiming for a lattice work of paper with cheese mix showing through, including at the edges.
9. Place cocoa powder in a fine strainer/sieve(tea strainer is great) and gently tap or stir cocoa to fall onto the open portions of cheese - so you are filling in the gaps with a fine dusting not thick mounds.
10. Carefully lift the cocoa covered paper strips and discard. The bowl should now have little diamonds or squares of cocoa powder alternating with white squares or diamonds.
11. Preferably chill for a few hours to allow flavors to mellow.
This is very rich so only give small portions. Coffee and liqueur is probably too much for most children.
Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers Catering services, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner and has her own series on Merrimack TV. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.