Tiramisu For You

tiramisu

11 Sep Tiramisu For You

Recently, I took a DNA test and found out (to the surprise of my entire family) that I am part Italian. This led us on a giant selvaggio inseguimento inutile (the internet told me that was Italian for “wild goose chase”) to figure out where the Italian bloodline came from. Four DNA tests later and we have yet to pinpoint the origin of the Italian, but everyone can now rest easy knowing that there is a 99% chance that my parents are in fact biologically related to me.

In honor of my mystery Italian relative, I decided to make some tiramisu. When I tackled this recipe, I was incredibly surprised at the simplicity of the dessert–just a handful of ingredients and little time created one of my favorite dishes. I suppose I had always assumed that it would be much more difficult to make.

I started by baking my own ladyfingers. Since I was going to be making individual tiramisus in bourbon glasses, I wanted to have round ladyfingers rather than the oblong ones that you buy from the store. I used the below recipe and piped the batter in circles (with the help of a round cookie cutter) onto the baking sheet. I found that it was very important to not mix the batter more than necessary.

ladyfingers2
ladyfingers2

Homemade Ladyfingers

September 11, 2014

This recipe is courtesy of Allrecipes, found at: http://bit.ly/1CNYXEz

Ingredients

4 Eggs, Separated

2/3 Cup of White Sugar

7/8 Cup all-purpose Flour

1/2 Tsp of Baking Powder

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit large pastry bag with plain 1/2 inch round tube (or coupler).

Place egg whites in bowl and beat on high until soft peaks start to form.

Slowly add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and continue beating until stiff and glassy.

In another bowl, beat egg yolks and remaining sugar until thick and very pale in color.

Sift flour and baking powder together on a sheet of wax paper. Fold half of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Fold in flour and then add the remaining egg whites.

Transfer mixture to pastry bag and pipe out onto prepared baking sheets. I piped mine in the shape of circles so that they could fit into my bourbon glasses.

Bake 8 minutes.

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This next part of the recipe requires lots of yelling in Italian while gesturing your hands dramatically. That’s not stereotypical at all, right? But seriously, I’m Italian now so I can say that kind of stuff. Just kidding I don’t actually mean it. When gathering my ingredients below, my mom and I made a trip to our local Italian shop called “Lotsa Pasta” for some genuine espresso and mascarpone cheese. For the coffee beans, we used mostly the “Italian blend” but mixed in some mocha beans (because I love chocolate). They had a coffee grinder there, which is a good thing considering the fact that I own neither a grinder nor an espresso maker. In order to make my espresso, I actually took all of the ground coffee, put it in a coffee filter, and poured boiling water through it until I had a cup and a half of very strong coffee.

This is why I love shopping with my mom.

This is why I love shopping with my mom.

tiramisu
tiramisu

Tiramisu

September 11, 2014

This recipe is courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis, found at: http://bit.ly/1e2pLmO

Ingredients

6 Egg Yolks

3 Tablespoons of Sugar (white granulated)

1 lbs Mascarpone Cheese

1 1/2 Cups of Strong Espresso, cooled

2 Teaspoons of Dark Rum

24 Packaged Ladyfingers

1/2 Cup of Bittersweet Chocolate for Garnish

Directions

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale (about 5 minutes).

Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth.

Add 1 tablespoon of espresso and mix until thoroughly combines.

In a small shallow dish, add remaining espresso and rum. Dip each ladyfinger into espresso for only a few seconds.

Letting the ladyfingers soak too long will cause them to fall apart. Place the soaked ladyfingers on the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish, breaking them in half if necessary in order to fit the bottom.

Spread 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture evenly over the ladyfingers. Arrange another layer of soaked ladyfingers and top with remaining mascarpone mixture.

Cover tiramisu with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 8 hours.

Before serving, sprinkle with chocolate shavings.

00:00

For the garnish, all you need is a double boiler, a heat-safe decorating bottle of some sort, baker’s chocolate, and parchment paper. After melting down my semi-sweet chocolate and pouring it into my bottle, I piped a whole bunch of weird shapes. I made way more than necessary because I wasn’t sure they would survive being pulled off of the parchment paper later. Then I refrigerated them overnight until I was ready to serve. The chocolate shapes peeled off easily but melted pretty quickly after serving them.

chocolate decoration2

Overall, I was incredibly pleased with the results. I was concerned that my espresso was too strong (I’m not much of a coffee drinker so it was difficult for me to know the difference) but it turned out to be the perfect amount of coffee flavor when paired with the mild mascarpone. My one piece of advice to anyone attempting this is to make sure that your ladyfingers don’t get soggy–it makes for a soggy tiramisu and nobody wants that.

I must say, the Italians certainly knew what they were doing when it comes to desserts. I’m proud of my Italian heritage and glad that I could celebrate it through baking. Soon, I’ll have to celebrate my Irish side with some Guinness cupcakes. Until then, ciao!