Tiramisu

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tiramisu

Y'know what I love? I love that tiramisu means "pick me up" in Italian. I love that this decadent dessert is a bona fide slice of comfort food--in every sense of the word.

Before this weekend, I would flit from Italian restaurant to Italian restaurant, cafe and coffee shop to cafe and coffee shop, in desperation, seeking my pick me up.

I'd stand before the counter, ragged and run down, only capable of eeking out of the word tiramisu, before they handed over the goods. Yeah, my infatuation with this dessert has been that serious. It's a bit shocking, really, because I don't drink coffee or espresso. But ... who can make heads or tails of matters of the heart, I ask ya.

Anyway, if you want to begin a relationship with this rich and heavenly dessert, here's my own recipe of what you'll need:
(apologies for them being metric & not superior imperial)
250 milliliters ounces of hot water
110 milliliters of Chambord black raspberry liqueur divided into 60 milliliters and 50 milliliters (alternatively, use any liqueur that you like ... I personally like the sweet flavor of this fruity liqueur)
15 milliliters of instant espresso (make sure it's espresso & not coffee!)
2 eggs, separated
75 grams of sugar
1 package of lady fingers (if you can't find lady fingers, I bet vanilla wafers would work)
150 grams of mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons fromage frais
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
chocolate curls
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Here's what you do:
Add the espresso the to required amount of hot water along with 50 mls of the Chambord. Set aside to cool.
Separate the eggs into individual bowls. Whisk the whites with an electric mixer so that they are aerated and frothy but not stiff.
Pour your sugar over the egg yolks along with the remaining liqueur. Whisk using a normal, non-electric whisk until aerated. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the mascarpone followed by the fromage frais and the vanilla essence. Finally, whisk in the remaining contents of the mascarpone. Whisk until smooth and thick.
Gently fold in the egg whites.

In your serving dish, lay out a layer of lady fingers. Pour 1/2 of the espresso mixture over the lady fingers, being careful not to spill too much in the bottom of the dish. Allow to absorb. Once absorbed, spoon over half of the cream and egg mixture. Repeat this pattern of lady fingers then cream until you have used all of the ingredients, being sure to end with a cream layer.

Refrigerate for at least six hours.
Just before serving: sprinkle on the cocoa powder and chop with chocolate curls. Serve with ice cream or more mascarpone.

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