The story of the biscuit Rose of Reims
The pink ladyfinger is a French classic delicacy, it is made pink by the addition of carmine. Originating in Reims/France, Biscuit rose de Reims is a product of the Biscuit Fossier company. It is customary to dip the biscuit in champagne or red wine.
The biscuit was created around 1690 in Reims. A baker wanted to make the most of the heat in the bread oven between the two batches, so he had the idea of creating a special dough; cooking it twice, which is where the name “biscuit” or “bis-cuit” meaning “cooked twice” in French. The biscuit initially was white. In order to add flavor to it, a pod of vanilla was introduced into the recipe. This vanilla left brown traces on the biscuit. In order to hide them, the baker decided to add a natural color based on cochineal, a scarlet dye, to disguise his mistake. (The insect produces carminic acid that deters predation by other insects. Carminic acid, typically 17-24% of dried insects’ weight, can be extracted from the body and eggs, then mixed with aluminium or calcium salts to make carmine dye, also known as cochineal. Today, carmine is primarily used as a colorant in food and in lipstick.) From this sequence of events, the Biscuit Rose de Reims was born. The biscuit is oblong in shape, and is lightly sprinkled with caster sugar. Enthusiasts for the biscuit included King Charles X, Leopold II of Belgium, the Russian czar, and the Marquise de Polignac. It is commonly dipped in the following liquids to bring out its flavor: Champagne, ratafia (Spanish almond liqueur), port wine coffee, milk
It quickly became a great success in terms of confectionery throughout France. The original recipe of the famous “Biscuit Rose” is still kept secretly by Fossier’s confectioners. Despite the basic ingredients that include eggs, sugar, flour, and vanilla, the traditional French recipe demands special mastery and daintiness.
Ingredients: 500 gr mascarpone, 7 tbsp sugar, 2 grapefruits, 20 pink ladyfingers (Biscuit Rose), 4 gr gelatin, 200 ml cream, icing sugar, 1 cup water
- Wash, dry and grate half of the peel of the grapefruit, then squeeze out the juice of the whole grapefruits. Set aside (keep some fresh grapefruit segments for decoration).
- In a large bowl add the mascarpone cheese and flavor with 5 tablespoons of sugar.
- In a second mixing bowl, whip the chilled heavy whipping cream until stiff then fold into the mascarpone cream (you can add gelatin now).
- Stir in the grated grapefruit peel.
- Pour the grapefruit juice and 1 cup of water into a rim soup plate, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Spoon the bottom of a baking dish with a little amount of the mascarpone cream.
- Dip briefly the pink ladyfingers (one at the time) into the grapefruit and water mixture, then squeeze out the excess of liquid.
- Make a layer of dipped ladyfingers into the baking dish then spoon evenly half of the mascarpone cream over the ladyfingers.
- Make another layer of dipped pink ladyfingers, spoon evenly the remaining mascarpone cream over the pink ladyfingers.
- Cover the grapefruit tiramisu tightly with cling wrap and allow to rest in the fridge at least 2 hours before serving.
- Serve garnished with powdered grapefruit segments on the top.