November 20, 2011

Tiramisu - What More Could You Ask For?

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In a rather delightful story of origin the story goes that tiramisu, which means "pick me up", was a dessert favored by courtesans of Venice who needed quick sweet bursts of energy throughout their busy days.  I liked this very much because it seemed so right that this lusciously decadent dessert belong to the category of sexy. Cream, chocolate, cake, coffee and luscious mascarpone cheese.  And a generous drop of rum.  What more could you ask for?

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Ladyfingers or Savoiardi
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70% chocolate

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I just recently made my first tiramisu in this last year.  Before I had always been intimidated by a vague idea of it being hard to make.  Not sure why. But due to the delightful Italian dessert book, La Dolce Vita, that we picked up secondhand and the successes that I had from many recipes in that book, I finally got the courage to try making it myself.

And guess's easy to make and sooo delicious. Our tiramisu actually tasted better than some of the stuff you can order in restaurants.  Not sure why cause it's a very straightforward recipe.  Maybe those restaurants skimp on the ingredients or use weird substitutes or it's just not fresh enough.

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It's become a family favorite now and though this recipe makes a really big bowl of tiramisu, it disappears pretty quickly.  It's actually better if you leave it in the fridge and have it the second day or even the third day because the flavors really come together then. And then just serve it with some spoons for everyone to dig in.  It's definitely a spoon dessert and not a fork dessert.  

Oh bother, just writing about the tiramisu is making me hungry for some sweet loving.  Better go by the store tomorrow to pick up some ladyfingers and chocolate and cream and...ah!  Yummy already.
Tiramisu Recipe
(Adapted from Tiramisu recipe in La Dolce Vita )
Prep time: 15 mins   Chill time: 2 hours



Mix the mascarpone, sugar, extract and rum in bowl until fluffy.  Beat cream until soft peaks form.  Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.

Pour expresso into a flat bowl.  Dip the ladyfingers into the expresso, let any excess drip back and then single layer across the bottom of your bowl, breaking lady fingers into sizes that fit as necessary.  You can use your ladyfingers as a reference for bowl size: it should fit approx. 12 ladyfingers in one layer. 

Spread over half the mascarpone mixture, smooth with spatula and then sprinkle half the chopped chocolate over evenly.  Layer another single layer of expresso dipped ladyfingers, spread the rest of the mascarpone over and sprinkle the rest of the chocolate over the top.

Chill for a few hours or overnight for best taste.



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