If you want grated chocolate over the top of your tiramisu, place it in the fridge so it’s cold for grating.
Take the mascarpone from the fridge and leave it out to bring it up to room temperature before using it.
Hull (or thinly slice off the stalk end) and roughly chop up 300 g / 1 punnet of the strawberries. Leave aside.
Lay out as many sponge fingers as you can fit into the bottom of a 12-cup capacity dish. Simply break some in half if need be. Place aside.
Juice the lemon for the 2 tablespoons of juice.
Place the chopped strawberries, ¼ cup / 40 g of the icing sugar and the lemon juice into a blender, a food processor with the blade attachment or a bullet and blend it all together until smooth. Also, placing it aside.
If you are using a vanilla bean, use a small sharp knife to slice it down the centre (not all the way through). Open it out and use the knife to scrape out the seeds.
Place in a medium-sized bowl, the mascarpone, milk, vanilla and the remaining ¼ cup / 40 g icing sugar.
Using electric beaters on low speed beat it together, stopping as soon as it's smooth.
Place the cream into another medium-sized bowl and on medium/high speed, whip it until stiff peaks form.
Add the cream to the mascarpone mixture and use a large spoon or spatula to gently fold it through, stopping as soon as it’s done.
Pour the blended strawberries over the sponge fingers.
Spoon the mascarpone cream over the strawberry sponge fingers and carefully spread it out.
Use a metal spatula to smooth it over (it doesn't need to be perfect), then place it in the fridge.
Hull and thinly slice up the remaining strawberries.
Place the strawberries all over the top in a pretty fashion.
If you like the look in the image, here’s how to do it...
Do an outer layer with the flatter ends facing inwards, then just kept moving around, spiralling into the centre, slightly overlapping them as you go. (I don't use the rounded cut ends of the strawberries when layering. I add them last because it's easier to layer the flat slices). Depending on the size of your dish and strawberries, if you have a space in the centre you can place the ends in there.
If you are adding chocolate, use the cheese grater to grate it over the top of the strawberries
Cover with cling wrap and return it to the fridge to chill for at least one hour or longer (even overnight). It’s best kept refrigerated right up until serving.
If you'd like to dust it with icing sugar, you'll need to do so just before serving.
Just before serving, garnish it with a large sprig of mint.
Well covered, it will keep refrigerated up to 2 days.