Thursday, January 24, 2013

One Word: Tiramisu

Picking up a fork, she loaded it with tiramisù and arched an expectant eyebrow at him. “Close your eyes.”

Gabriel did as he was told, and she delicately slipped the fork between his lips. He hummed loudly, for the dessert was very good. Better still was the pleasure of being fed by his beloved. She was preparing to serve him another piece when he interrupted her.

“I think you forgot something, Miss Mitchell.” His tongue swept across his lower lip.
He grasped her hand, dragging two of her fingers through a small portion of the dessert and drawing those same fingers languorously into his mouth. As usual, he was unhurried, drawing gently, on each finger, gliding his tongue up and down before sucking on them from root to tip.

-Gabriel’s Inferno chapter 34

This is one of my favorite chapters and I’m sure you’ll guess why… ; ) It’s beautifully written and it perfectly conveys the love Gabriel and Julia feel the one for the other. Add tiramisu to the mix? Heaven…

So here’s a good recipe to make a perfect tiramisù :

500gr Mascarpone cheese (approx. 1 lb.)
6 pasteurized eggs
2 packages savoiardi lady fingers
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 shots Cognac or Brandy (2oz)
6 cups coffee, espresso sized cups (about 8 oz)
4 Tablespoons powdered unsweetened cocoa.

Bring all ingredients to room temperature.

Make the espresso and poor it into shallow flat-bottomed bowl. Add one shot of cognac, one teaspoon cocoa, and allow to cool to room temperature.
Separate egg yolks and whites.

In the first mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until creamy white. Add mascarpone and 1 shot of cognac and mix until blended. Leave this mixture in the bowl.

In the second mixing bowl, beat eggs whites until fluffy. Fold beaten egg whites into mascarpone mixture. Mix only enough to blend. Over mixing will deflate the egg whites.

Quickly dip a savoiardi in the espresso bowl. To get the right amount of espresso on the savoiardi, lay the finger flat in the bottom of the bowl sugared side up and immediately pull it out. Place each finger flat in the bottom of the pan sugar side down. The savoiardi will quickly absorb the espresso. If you soak the savoiardi in the espresso you will end up with soggy savoiardi instead of moist savoiardi.

Build a layer of dipped savoiardi across the bottom of the pan. If some of the savoiardi do not look 'dark' from the espresso, spoon a few more drops of espresso on the savoiardi. Any espresso left in the bottom of the pan will be absorbed by the savoiardi. Too much espresso will turn the fingers into a soggy mess.

Spoon a layer of egg/mascarpone mixture across the layer of savoiardi. Use about 1/2 of the mascarpone mix. The layer should be about 1cm. (3/8in.) thick.

Dip another layer of savoiardi and lay them on the mascarpone mix. Layer them as before, sugar side down. Drip espresso on the savoiardi that don't look dark from the coffee.

Spoon a second layer of egg/mascarpone mixture across the second layer of savoiardi. Use the remaining mascarpone mix. The layer should be about 1cm thick.

Sift cocoa on top of the second mascarpone layer. Scoop a tablespoon of cocoa into a small sieve. Hold the sieve over the tiramisu and tap the sieve on the side with your finger. The cocoa should sprinkle down in an even layer. Use this technique to cover the tiramisu with a very thin layer of cocoa.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

I wish I was on the terrace in Florence eating tiramisu with The Professor …



MeilleurCafe said...

This sounds SO good! Thank you, Elena!

I wish I had better baking skills. Maybe I could make a good tiramisu and the Professor would find his way to my door...

Efrat Noy said...

Thank you Elena for this recipe! I'll try it.
I usually make Tiramisu a little differently. I make a zabaglione (whisking the egg yolks over heat until it thickens) and add Marsala to it. Then add whipped heavy cream instead of the egg whites. The rest is the same. I admit, it's more calorie-heavy - but so worth it! :-)
The Marsala adds a unique sweetness to the dairy mixture, that works very well with the Brandy or Cognac in the savoiardi. Plus the spirits renders different flavors between the textures that makes the Tiramisu very interesting - depending on what your spoon picks up :-)


Elena said...

Hello Efrat! Thanks for your comment!
Your tiramisu recipe sounds delicious! I've never tried it with Marsala, but next time I'll make tiramisu, I'll try it :) I'm sure it's yummy!
Thanks again!

grace crawford said...

Sounds delicious and I know my tiramisu loving wife would really go for it.
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