Thus far on my blog, my desserts have been limited to cupcakes, cakes, muffins, breads, cookies, and predominantly chocolate goodies, which is self-explanatory, since these are all treats that either Lloyd or I enjoy.
Recently I got an itch, and not the kind that an OTC medicine can cure.
I got an itch to make something different. I wanted to step outside of my comfort zone, and try whipping up something that intimidated me, or at least something new to me. After some thinking, I settled on an Italian dessert- tiramisu. It seemed like just the thing to make for a few reasons:
- I’d been wanting to use my trifle bowl for something, as I think the presentation looks impressive.
- Since I won’t go near mascarpone cheese, this dessert wasn’t going to make me fat!
- It was unlike any other desserts I’ve made so far.
- People go nuts for tiramisu!
Let me clarify something for you. The following is a list of foods I won’t go near, from most disgusting to least disgusting (but nonetheless still disgusting!):
- cream cheese
- sour cream
- creamy dressing
You read that right.
I won’t eat any of those foods solo, or in any combination. I don’t care if “you can’t really taste it,” or “you wouldn’t even know it was in there.”
Deal with it. I ain’t eating it.
I seem to have an aversion to white, creamy things. (That’s what she said!) I think it’s more of a texture thing. I hate the way it feels in my mouth. (That’s what she said. Again.)
I liked tuna as a child (hold the mayo!) but haven’t touched it since around second grade, when I used to bring it to school in a Tupperware container and eat it with a fork. It was either that, or salad for lunch. I didn’t “do” lunch meats as a child.
I was strange, I know. Not much has changed.
Sounds healthy, but there was always a variety snacks to accompany my lunch, including, but not limited to Cape Cod chips, Yodels, Oreos, Fruit Roll-Ups, Doritos, and Smart Food. And it was all washed down by a High-C or a Hawaiian Punch.
I can’t figure out why I’m addicted to sugar, either. Or why there’s an obesity epidemic in America, but I digress.
Anyway, since I don’t do cream cheese or creamy white things, like mascarpone cheese, I thought this would be a great dessert for stepping outside the culinary box. Did you know that “tiramisu” translates to “pick me up” or “carry me up?” I did my research, and discovered that for tiramisu to be “authentic,” you should use mascarpone cheese. Most restaurants or bakeries use cream cheese, or a cream cheese mixture, which results in the dessert that is more cake-like, and with a filling that resembles a whipped cream. I may not eat tiramisu, but I am part I-talian, so I was going to do it the right way. Leave it to Giada to have a simple, authentic recipe for tiramisu, which had multiple reviews raving about it.
- *6 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pound mascarpone cheese
- 1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled
- 2 teaspoons dark rum (I used Kahlua)
- 24 packaged ladyfingers
- 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish
- 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 combined.
- In a small shallow dish, add remaining espresso and rum. Dip each ladyfinger into espresso for only 5 seconds. Letting the ladyfingers soak too long will cause them to fall apart. Place the soaked ladyfinger on the bottom of a 13 by 9 inch baking dish, breaking them in half if necessary in order to fit the bottom.
- Spread evenly 1/2 of the mascarpone mixture 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.
Notes: I used Kahlua, because I had some in the house, rather than go buy rum, that I’d never use again. I used a cheese grater for my chocolate instead of shaving it with a vegetable feeler. I sprinkled it on top at the end, which made it look like a dusting of chocolate.
This dessert took no time at all to prepare! I’d read that it tastes better the longer it sits, so I made it on Saturday morning and served it on Sunday afternoon.
Although I couldn’t bring myself to try this dessert, it was fun and easy to make. I thought the presentation looked beautiful and “fancy.”
I had to rely on others for a description and review. Who better than Chelsea?! Ms. Sprinkles doesn’t even care for tiramisu (she says it reminds her of a bad night with mudslides!) but she sampled it and said, “I loved it because it was smooth in flavor and light in texture. My number one complaint about tiramisu is the alcohol overpowers the rest of the flavors, but yours was creamy without the kick. Your ladyfingers were soft and tender lending itself well to the rest of the smooth and silky ingredients, making it an enjoyable and well-balanced dessert.”
My friend Colleen echoed Chelsea’s description, stating that it was much creamier than any other tiramisu she’d tried, which leads me to believe that she’s never had authentic tiramisu with mascarpone! She agreed with Chelsea in that she appreciated that it wasn’t soaked in alcohol.
Whether or not they were just being polite, the dessert seemed to go over well with the crowd- a perfect “pick me up” for any occasion!