Helloooo, 2011, I think most of us will agree that we’re relieved to have 2010 behind us! We’ve hit the ground running, or limping (bandages off here 🙂 ), with full intention of achieving a mixed bag of goals this year. Among them are the standard: exercise more, drink less – eat healthy is not included because I pretty much do that already and I will be sharing some ways that can help you achieve this goal, if you’re interested. The exercise part is more specific than usual as it includes road cycle and strength training for an upcoming bike/barge tour through the Dutch countryside during tulip season, so I have exactly 4 months to be able to ride 50 km and enjoy it!
The last year and three months has been a blogger blur – my fellow bloggers, you know what I’m talking about! The Don has pleaded with me to return to my previous organized, on-time, list-making self to clean my office, go back to using Quicken so I can print out reports on how our dollars are disappearing, and restock everything in the house from Q-tips to peanut butter 🙂 On top of this I want to learn some semblance of French so on my next trip to Paris I’ll be able to order in the native language without butchering it too badly. My success in achieving these goals is directly related to the amount of time I spend in front of the computer and I’m working on finding a symbiotic balance.
She’s Cookin’ is still about basic good food, cooking for your family and holding on to beloved family traditions, but its also about creating your own traditions, and today, before I begin my series on healthy helpful hints for the new year, I’m pleased to have my friend The Modchik guest post as our first TopMom of 2011 with a tempting Tiramisu that has become a tradition in her family. Enjoy 🙂
Hello She’s Cookin readers my name is Lindsey aka “modchik“, I am a fellow cook, blogger and aspiring photographer. Priscilla and I met through the OC blogging group BlogCrush a year ago and have dined at some great local eateries including most recently Anqi. Priscilla and I share a love for good food and cooking, especially for our family. When Priscilla and I talked about me doing a guest post about a traditional recipe from my family I almost trotted out one of our old family favorites Carrot Casserole but after careful consideration I thought it best to leave that one in the old binder and share something I am really passionate about, Tiramisu. What’s not to love? Velvety smooth sweet cream custard, dark chocolate and the bittersweet kiss of espresso… oh YES!
I began making Tiramisu in the late 90’s, a newlywed with a baby I had more time than I knew what to do with so I cooked…. A LOT. Italian food was popular and back then carbs were still considered our friend. We had a local authentic Italian market (Claro’s) where I bought the two hardest ingredients to find, mascarpone cheese and Ladyfinger Cookies. I started with the recipe on the back of the ladyfinger packages but half the time I had to convert the measurements from metric, so over time I used many recipes finally settling on David Rosengarten ‘s basic Tiramisu, they say his recipe is an adaptation of the original Tiramisu from chef Carminantonio Iannaccone.
(adapted from David Rosengarten)
8 Eggs separated*
1/3 Cup Sugar
2 Cups Mascarpone Cheese
1 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Cups Espresso (or strong coffee) cooled
2/3 Cup Rum (or Brandy)
1 Large package of Ladyfinger Cookies (24-30) Bonomi are the best
4 oz. grated Bittersweet Chocolate
The first thing I do is pull about 8 espresso shots, I love my Nespresso for this very reason, quick and no grounds to clean up. You can also use very strong brewed coffee or instant espresso but I will tell you using the ‘real’ stuff makes a big difference.
Mix the sugar into the egg yolks, blending well. I used a Kitchen Aide mixer but a hand mixer will do fine.
Add a little mascarpone at a time to the egg yolk mixture, and mix until smooth.
Set aside. (this is where I have to wash my ONE Kitchen Aide bowl)
In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Set this aside as well. (wash mixing bowl bowl … again)
In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. See the glistening of the whites below? That’s what you want.
Fold the whipped cream into the egg yolk mixture,
fold a little more…
until it looks like this
then fold in the beaten egg whites.
a little more …
gently so you keep the light fluffy texture but it looks more incorporated like this…
Spread about 1/3 of the cream mixture of a 4-6 quart glass baking dish or serving bowl.
Place espresso/coffee in a shallow bowl, add rum (or brandy). My personal fav is 10 Cane Rum, pure vanilla goodness!
Dip a ladyfinger into the espresso briefly. This is the tricky part you want enough to saturate without obliterating the cookie.
I submerge until I see bubbles maybe 2 seconds.
lay it in baking dish on top of the cream mixture.
You’ll notice one side of the cookie has almost a frosted looking side, I usually face that side up, no reason other than being consistent.
Lay them close together and break to fit your pan size. Continue in this manner, laying ladyfingers side by side to cover.
Top with a layer of grated bittersweet chocolate. Be generous.
Place another 1/3 of cream mixture on top of soaked ladyfingers. Spread so it covers the entire surface.
Cover this with another layer of espresso-soaked ladyfingers and a layer of grated chocolate.
Top with remaining cream mixture.
Dust final layer with grated chocolate.
Using a fine mesh strainer dust top with the cocoa powder.
Cover (optional) and chill overnight to set. You can eat it after a few hours in the refrigerator but it really needs to ‘set’ and is much better after a minimum of 8 hrs.
When you are plating your desert dust with a little bit of cocoa, add a sprig of mint and a few berries. Belissimo!
Here are my side notes:
*Please note the recipe does include the use of raw eggs, I have never had an issue but it should be stated.
*There is a reason this dessert is called “pick me up” as it is highly caffeinated and probably shouldn’t be served to kids (should you choose to omit the alcohol) .
*It softens very quickly – ALWAYS keep it cold, take it out serve it and put it right back in the fridge should it get warm you’ll be serving it in cups (trust me I have).
You can substitute the alcohol for rum flavoring adjust and add a little more liquid (espresso).
Click on Tiramisu (Word Doc) to download.